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The Life Processes


All living things move. Both animals and plants can move. Animals can move quickly and from place to place in search of food, shelter and favourable conditions; plants on the other hand are rooted to a spot and move much more slowly by growing and responding to external stimuli, such as light. Animals move their whole body from one place to another. In plants the shoots turn towards the light and their roots grow down into the soil.

All living things reproduce
Reproduction is exhibited in both plants and animals. They multiply in number by giving rise to an offspring, thus carrying on their genes and ensuring the continuation of the species. Plants do this by producing seeds, which give rise to new plants of the same species.

Reproduction can be of two types:
1. Sexual, involving two parents and the union of two gametes, and
2. Asexual, where one parent reproduces itself.


Example : of this are strawberry plants or spider plants
producing runners or offshoots. Animals have young ones. New plants grow from seeds.


All living things are sensitive
Responsiveness or sensitivity is concerned with detecting changes in the internal or external environments and reacting to that change. All living things respond to changes It is the act of sensing a stimulus and responding to it. The stimulus can be from the changes in the environment.

Animals respond more quickly to stimuli such as heat, light, touch and chemicals, however, plants appear less sensitive and respond more slowly (e.g., growing in the direction of sunlight). Some plants, such as the touch-me-not plant, respond to touch. Living things notice changes in their surroundings and react to them.


Example : People react to the environmental changes around them.

All living things need nutrition

Food is used to provide energy. Both animals and plants need food as a source of energy and growth. Plants make their own food by photosynthesis using simple substances like carbon dioxide and water and building them into complex carbohydrate molecules. Animals cannot make their own food and therefore rely on plants or other animals for their energy. Animals take in complex substances and break them down into simple, soluble molecules, which can be used as a source of energy.
All living things eliminate their metabolic wastes
Thousands of chemical reactions go on inside body cells producing both useful and waste substances which on accumulation can be harmful. The process of elimination of waste products of digestion and metabolism from the body is known as excretion. It gets rid of by-products like carbon dioxide and nitrogenous waste that the body is unable to use, many of which are toxic and incompatible with life. Getting rid of faeces or undigested food is not excretion but egestion. Plants and animals both need to get rid of waste gas and water.
All living things respire
Plants and animals use the oxygen in the air to break down food into energy. Energy contained in food is 'unlocked' or transferred to the organism by the process of respiration. Respiration takes place in the mitochondria of the cell. Energy is released in a controlled way in a series of reactions.
There are two types of respiration, with or without oxygen:
  1. Aerobic respiration uses oxygen, and releases a large amount of energy
  2. Anaerobic respiration does not use oxygen and releases less energy.
All living things grow
Growth is an ongoing increase in the size of an organism - as in growing from young to adult animals or from seedlings to mature plants. Babies grow into adults. Seedlings grow into plants.

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