Living things are things that have life in them. Examples are man, insect, bird, fish, toad, lizard, yam, grass, etc. Living things are classified into two major group i.e. plants and animals.
Non-living things are things that have no life in them. Examples are stone, chair, table, water, shoe, bag, salt etc.
The Characteristics of living things (Organisms) are the basic life processes that differentiate them from non-living (lifeless) things. They can be represented by the acronym – “MR NIGER D”
- M _ Movement
- R _ Respiration
- N _ Nutrition
- I _ Irritability
- G _ Growth
- E _ Excretion
- R _ Reproduction
- D _ Death
- Movement: This is referred to as change of position or location. It is passive in plants but active in animals
- Respiration: This is the ability of living things to take in air.
- Nutrition: This is the process of feeding in living things. Plants can manufacture their own food during photosynthesis while animals depend directly and indirectly on plants for food.
- Irritability: This is the ability of living things to respond to stimuli or changes in their environment
- Growth: This is the irreversible increase in size and weight of an organism. It occurs in both plants and animals.
- Excretion: This is the process of removal of waste products or toxic (harmful) materials from the body of living things.
- Reproduction: This is the ability of living things to produce young ones of their kind for continuity of life.
- Death: This is defined as the end of life or the absence of life.
IMPORTANCE /USEFULNESS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS TO HUMAN BEINGS
The following are some of the usefulness of plants and animals to man:
Usefulness of Animals To Man
- Source of protein in food.
- The skin of animals can be used to make belt, bags etc.
- To carry heavy loads e.g. camels and donkeys (called beast of burden)
- Source of income to farmer.
- Means of transportation by man
- Security guards e.g. dogs
Usefulness of Plants To Man
- Medicinal purpose
- Source of timber and plywood
- Source of fibres and latex
- For beautification e.g. ornamental crops (mainly flowers and shrubs)
- Source of food
- To maintain oxygen-carbon(IV) balance in nature