Characteristics of Life What are the characteristics of all living things? Dead or Alive? • It is not always an easy thing to tell the difference between living, dead, and non- living things. Prior to the 1600's many people believed that nonliving things could spontaneously turn into living things. For example, it was believed that piles of straw could turn into mice. That is obviously not the case. There are some very general rules to follow when trying to decide if something is living, dead, or non-living. Proving Biogenesis • Biogenesis: All living organisms originate from other living organisms. • Redi’s experiment – Transparency #1 The Characteristics of all Living Things. • Living things are made of cells. • Living things obtain and use energy. • Living things grow and develop. • Living things reproduce. • Living things respond to their environment. • Living things adapt to their environment. Living things are made of cells • Antony Van Leeuwenhoek built a simple microscope over three hundred years ago. He used it to discover single celled organisms swimming around in pond water. Living things obtain and use energy • The Food Web Living things grow and develop • Cells in your body have grown, died and reproduced since you sat down in this classroom. • The same thing happens in all living things Living things reproduce • Asexual • Sexual • Yes, we are going to talk about reproduction! Living things respond to their environment • What do many plants do when the amount of sunlight is reduced for certain times of the year? Living things adapt to their environment • What do you do when it gets cold outside? • What do you do when it gets warm outside? Conclusion • If something follows one or just a few of the rules listed above, it does not necessarily mean that it is living. To be considered alive, an object must exhibit all of the characteristics of living things. Sugar crystals growing on the bottom of a syrup container is a good example of a nonliving object that displays at least one criteria for living organisms. Homework • Find 5 examples of nonliving objects that display living characteristics?
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