Monday, March 30, 2015
* 3/22/15 Life Characteristics
This is pretty much more information from my online homeschooling website Time4Learning. And... it's about life. This may seem very simple and basic, "You are alive, I am alive, if you are able to do stuff you are alive." Yeah, that might be going through your head, and it is right in a way, but there is more. More simple stuff. But still, fascinating all the same, so I'll share it with you.
So pretty much, there are a few characteristic that makes something alive. In easy-to-understand speak, there are requirements to join the Living club. Some of these are...
Now, there is more to cells then you may think. Yes, they are the building blocks of life, and yes, they make up every living thing, but no, that's not all they do. Think of each cell as creature in itself--even though there are indeed single-celled organisms. Each cell has functions and abilities. Some cells can get around with cilia or a flagellum (single-celled organisms), or take in 'food' and expel waste, and preform cellular respiration.
Generally speaking, a metabolism kind of means the ability to use energy. But much, much more then that. The metabolism of a plant is pretty much their photosynthesizing and their respiration--both of which use energy, or in the case of photosynthesis--make it. The metabolism of a person is quite simple. You eat food, and your body breaks down what you just ingested with enzymes. Then your blood--yes, your blood--absorbs the good stuff and carts it away to your cells.
*Responding to Stimuli
What is stimuli? Lets walk you through. Stimuli is anything that evokes a response in your body. Like, say, if I stick you with a pin, you'll probably scream bloody murder. So the stimulus is my bizarrely aggressive behavior (external stimulus), and the response is the "AAAAAH!!!!!!" In the same way, if a frog feels the need to chow down on something, it finds a worm or an insect to snap up. The stimulus in that case is hunger (internal stimulus) and it's response is to find something to eat.
If living things did not reproduce, there would one generation of that species, and when they die, you'd never see another one in your life. Thankfully, reproduction keeps things moving. One generation succeeds the generation that succeeds the generation that succeeds the generation that... Need I continue? Anyway, reproduction is simply when the two organisms from the same species mate and the female has offspring that will in turn have their own offspring when they mature.
*Adaptation to Change
Hmm.... What is adaptation? You probably know this; it's when an organisms changes to adjust itself to a change. But there is a limit to the change something can do. If I put you outside on a 70 degree day, the melanin in your skin will become darker. If I stick you on planet Venus when it's 864 degrees Fahrenheit... You're a dead person. Not a soul alive can adapt quite that much. If a plant is by a windowsill, it will crane it's length to bend towards the sun. If you alter the sun so that it somehow rises beneath the plant, you can't expect it to double in half and grow straight down.
This is when things end. One of the things that will be ending right now is this post, but the lives of living things end too. I memorized this not that long ago, Death is the state of being dead, when the homeostasis that keeps the organisms alive ends. Another generation typically succeeds it. And luckily for you, another post will succeed this one. Till the next post!