Organisms are living things; they can be anything from a small unicellular organism to an elephant, a human or a plant. Anything that is alive and living is an organism. The following are five characteristics that all living things have in common.
Living things are structured from very, very small to large. All living things are made up of atoms, and these atoms compose molecules.
EXAMPLEYou know that the human body is made up of a lot of water, and water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. So you're made up of atoms, which compose molecules; those molecules then compose cells. Some living things are only made up of one cell.
For complex organisms like humans, you continue farther down the line. Our cells will make up tissues, and those tissues will make up organs. Then those organs can make up organ systems. Finally, the organ systems will make up the entire organism.
EXAMPLEAll of your organ systems, such as your digestive system, your nervous system, your lymphatic system, et cetera, work together to make up the full organism that is yourself.
To summarize: Atoms make up molecules, which make up cells, which make up tissues, which make up organs, which make up organ systems, which make up an entire organism.
Scientists like to classify organisms into different groups based on the characteristics they have in common. Every living thing is classified by scientists into:
Kingdom is the first classification. All living things can be classified into one of five kingdoms: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia. If you think of every living thing in the entire world, it fits into one of these five groups, so these groups are actually very, very large.
But as you move down these groups, all the way to species, it becomes very specific where only one organism fits into each type of species. So you’re getting more specific as you move down the classification.
To better understand, take a look at the classification of a panda bear.
|Classification of a Panda Bear|
|The panda bear fits into the kingdom Animalia, which tells us that the panda bear is an animal.|
Within the kingdom Animalia, there are about 30 different phyla. The phylum for panda bear is a Chordata; this means that it's a vertebrate, or it has a backbone. Humans have a backbone and thus fit into the same kingdom and phylum as a panda bear.
A clam does not have a backbone, so it would be considered an invertebrate and belong to a different phylum, but would still be in the same kingdom as a panda bear because it's still an animal.
|The class Mammalia means that the panda is a mammal. All mammals share certain characteristics. Humans are also considered mammals, so humans are in the same kingdom, phylum, and class as a panda bear.|
|The order for a panda bear is Carnivora because it is a carnivore, meaning it eats meat.|
|The Ursidae family is a family of bears. Humans do not share this characteristic in common with the panda bear.|
Genus & Species:
|This is when you hear the scientific name of an animal. The scientific name is its genus and species together. The species is specific only to the panda bear; no other animal in the world is the same species as a panda bear.|
Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND