life processes and common characteristics of all living organisms, plants and animals all living things.

What are the characteristics that are common to all Living Things (Organisms) ??

There are 7 characteristics that all living things share



  1. Movement
  2. Respiration
  3. Response or sensitivity
  4. Nutrition
  5. Growth
  6. Reproduction
  7. Excretion

It is fairly obvious that all animals are capable of movement, they can all move parts of their bodies using muscles, these movements when combined can move their whole body from one place to another.

Plants cannot move their entire bodies they are rooted to their particular location. So what movement do you think they carry out?

Plants move when their flowers open and close each morning and night.

It is obvious that animals move


All organisms must convert glucose (sugar) into energy, this is called Respiration

Respiration is an organisms ability to create energy from food in the presence of oxygen.

So all organisms (even plants) need to take in Oxygen in order to convert their food into energy. This energy is used when the organism moves and when it grows.

Glucose + Oxygen → Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy

This is Aerobic respiration because it uses Oxygen

Anaerobic respiration does not use Oxygen

Sensitivity / Response

Response is when an organism exhibits some reaction to some stimulus provided within the organisms environment.

Living organisms respond to the environment

When humans get afraid they produce adrenalin which makes them stronger for a short while.

Animals have senses developed to detect changes in the environment (5 senses)

Animals all respond to loud noises

Squirrels Hibernate in response to the change in weather.

Plants grow to maximise the light they can get.

Plants turn towards the light (Sun)

Roots grow towards gravity


Nutrition is how cells and organisms, get the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life.

Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet. Animal eat plant and/or other animals, in terms of Humans this is further discussed in Food.


Some Animals only eat Plants, (Herbivores)

other Animals eat Animals (Carnivores)

& many Animals eat both Plant and Animals (Omnivores)

give 2 examples of each

Plants are uncapable of eating as we know it. So how do they get their food?

They make their own, in a process called Photosythesis


Plants and animals all grow

you may have planted cress seeds and watched them grow

you might have had a pet grow

or a baby brother or sister

Growing depends on cells getting larger and then becoming 2 cells

Growth is often caused by cells dividing & becoming 2 cells

Some cells may also increase in size.

A human starts off as just 1 cell, adults can have over 1,000,000,000,000,000 cells

Many Plants grow at a very fast rates, (like cress) others grow slowly (like trees)

Animals usually stop growing but many plants grow all their lives

where ever you have growth in nature you meet the Fibonacci series


this is how a species makes other similar organisms.

Living organisms would not be here if they did not reproduce.To reproduce means to make again.Animals often give birth to baby or young creatures which will develop in to adults much like their parents.Many animals reproduce using eggs.Plants usually produce seed to reproduceSome plants just spread, using growth of new shoots to start up new plants.Excretion

is the getting rid of waste

This is how an organism gets rid of the waste that it produces.

The wastes that animals produce include

  • Urea
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Carbon Dioxide

Sweat or Pespiration is another. This removes Salts!

Plants too excrete Carbon Dioxide, but only at night.

When the plant is in light it excretes Oxygen, which is good for the Animals on the planet.

Heres a link to the BBC 7 Characteristics