Characteristics of Living Things

Mushrooms are part of the 'Fungi Kingdom'.

Characteristics of Living Things

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The study of living things is known as Biology. Biology is a natural science.

There are three kinds of living things that are studied in the general field of biology. They include: humans, animals (which include insects, bugs and aquatic life) and plants. [NOTE: There are also two kinds of “non-living” things. They include: natural (rocks, land, water, etc.) and man-made (toys, cars, clothing, etc.).]

All living things are classified into 5 major Classifications as follows:

Animal Kingdom: This kingdom includes invertebrates (without backbones) and vertebrates (with backbones), multi-cellular, no cell walls organism, all of which derive their energy through a respiratory system. Humans fall into this kingdom and are classified as “homo sapiens.”

Plant Kingdom: This kingdom includes multi-cellular organisms that have cell walls and obtain their energy through photosynthesis. For example, mosses, ferns and flowering and seed plants.

Fungi Kingdom: This kingdom includes cells with cell walls but not green. They do not carry out photosynthesis or break down other organic material in order to obtain food. An example would be mushrooms, molds and yeasts.

Protist Kingdom: This kingdom comes in a wide variety of forms. Some are animal like in characteristic such as an amoeba, paramecium and protozoan. However, others are plant-like such as algae and yet others are fungi-like. Many are single-celled while others are multi-cellular.

Monera Kingdom: This kingdom includes cells that photosynthesize while others respire. The nucleus of a Moneran cell is not bounded by a nucleus membrane like cells in the other kingdoms. Examples of the Monera Kingdom include bacteria and blue-green algae.

All living things need certain characteristics to survive. First, there is the need for food to obtain energy to grow. Second, there is the need to interact, touch, explore and/or communicate. Finally, all living things can and need to reproduce offspring.

The smallest unit of life is a cell. A cell is the basic structure of all known living organisms. Each cell contains protoplasm enclosed within a membrane. The number of cells in living things varies from species to species but humans are made up of some 100 trillion cells.

The cell itself was first discovered in 1665 by Robert Hooke. While looking through a microscope at a cork, Hooke noticed the cells which led him to further study the individual cell. It is believed that cells first emerged on the Earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago.

1.
Who discovered cells?
Benjamin Franklin
Leonardo da Vinci
Albert Einstein
Robert Hooke
In 1665, Robert Hooke first discovered the cell. Answer (d) is correct
2.
Bacteria and blue-green algae are found in this kingdom.
Protist Kingdom
Monera Kingdom
Fungi Kingdom
Plant Kingdom
Bacteria and blue-green algae are not bounded by a nucleus membrane like cells in the other kingdoms. Because of this, they fall into the Monera Kingdom. Answer (b) is correct
3.
What is the smallest unit of life?
A membrane
A cell
A nucleus
An organism
The smallest unit of life is a cell. Answer (b) is correct
4.
This kingdom contains living structures such as amoeba, paramecium and protozoan.
Protist Kingdom
Fungi Kingdom
Monera Kingdom
Plant Kingdom
The amoeba, paramecium and protozoan living structures are each classified in the Protist Kingdom. Answer (a) is correct
5.
Mushrooms, molds and yeasts are found in this kingdom.
Plant Kingdom
Monera Kingdom
Fungi Kingdom
Protist Kingdom
Mushrooms, molds and yeasts do not carry out photosynthesis or break down other organic material in order to obtain food. Because of this, they are found in the Fungi Kingdom. Answer (c) is correct
6.
What is the study of living things called?
Protoplasm
Biology
Photosynthesis
Anthropology
Each cell contains protoplasm, while photosynthesis is a means by which plant life obtains its energy. As such, neither Answer (a) nor (c) is correct. Anthropology is the study of man’s past and present so it, too, is not correct. Biology is the study of living things making Answer (b) correct
7.
This kingdom includes invertebrates and vertebrates.
Protist Kingdom
Fungi Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Plant Kingdom
Invertebrates (without backbones) and vertebrates (with backbones) are included in the Animal Kingdom. Answer (c) is correct
8.
What do all living things need?
Food, remote control and mobile phone
Sunlight, food and to reproduce
Space, energy and water
Food, interaction and to reproduce
All living things need food to produce energy and to grow. They also need to interact, touch, explore and/or communicate and, finally, they need to reproduce offspring. Answer (d) is correct
9.
Homo sapiens are also known as _____.
Humans
Membranes
Clusters
Man-made objects
Humans are included in the Animal Kingdom and are classified as “homo sapiens.” Answer (a) is correct
10.
How was the first cell discovered?
Robert Hooke was looking through a microscope at cork and discovered the cell
Robert Hooke was looking through a telescope and discovered the cell
Robert Hooke was looking at a microscope beside a piece of cork and discovered the cell
While looking through a telescope, a piece of cork hit Robert Hooke in the head which, in turn, helped him to discover the cell
In 1665, Robert Hooke was looking through a microscope at cork when he first noticed cells. Answer (a) is correct
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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