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The Characteristics of Life – What is Life?

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The characteristics of living organisms, or Life on Earth, as we know it, follow.

1. Cells – all living things are made up of the building blocks of cells (apart from Prokaryotes)
2. Organization – cells are specialised or are grouped into tissues, and tissues into organs, organs into systems
3. Metabolism – living things consume and burn up” fuel and turn it into energy for functional use, through chemical reactions
4. Homeostasis – living things self-regulate their internal systems (such as core temperature) through feedback control, in order to adapt to one’s external environment
5. Heredity and Reproduction – lviing things reproduce or replicate and pass on their genetic material to their off-spring
6. Responsiveness – living things respond to stimuli
7. Growth – living things grow
8. Spiritual – a Soul animating a physical matter form (not usually mentioned as a characteristic, but one which I like to add)

There are 7 life processes.

1.  Movement – moving parts of the body
2.  Reproduction – producing offspring
3.  Sensitivity – responding and reacting
4.  Nutrition – getting food to stay alive
5.  Excretion – getting rid of waste
6.  Respiration (or photosynthesis) – turning food into energy
7. Growth – getting to adult size

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