Characteristics of a Living Organism

Ten characteristics distinguish an object or thing from an actual living organism. All 10 characteristics must be present simultaneously in order for something to be considered living.

The following table lists four of the 10 characteristics that make up a living organism. Fill in the remaining six characteristics:

Characteristics of a Living Organism
1. Composed of one or more cells
2. May evolve into a new type of organism
3. Carries out and controls a variety of chemical reactions
4. Produces offspring resembling itself
5. Are highly organized, complex entities
6. Contain a blueprint of their characteristics (a genetic program)
7. Acquire and use energy
8. Maintain a fairly constant internal environment
9. Respond to changes in their environments
10. Grow in size and change in appearance and abilities

References

Pruitt, N. L., & Underwood, L. S. (2006). Bioinquiry: Making connections in biology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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