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Watch this video to see how plants respond to a stimulus—from opening to light, to wrapping a tendril around a branch, to capturing prey.

Reproduction

Single-celled organisms reproduce by first duplicating their DNA, and then dividing it equally as the cell prepares to divide to form two new cells. Multicellular organisms often produce specialized reproductive germline cells that will form new individuals. When reproduction occurs, genes containing DNA are passed along to an organism’s offspring. These genes ensure that the offspring will belong to the same species and will have similar characteristics, such as size and shape.

Growth and development

Organisms grow and develop following specific instructions coded for by their genes. These genes provide instructions that will direct cellular growth and development, ensuring that a species’ young ( [link] ) will grow up to exhibit many of the same characteristics as its parents.

A photograph depicts a mother cat nursing three kittens: one has an orange and white tabby coat, another is black with a white foot, while the third has a black and white tabby coat.
Although no two look alike, these kittens have inherited genes from both parents and share many of the same characteristics. (credit: Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue)

Regulation

Even the smallest organisms are complex and require multiple regulatory mechanisms to coordinate internal functions, respond to stimuli, and cope with environmental stresses. Two examples of internal functions regulated in an organism are nutrient transport and blood flow. Organs (groups of tissues working together) perform specific functions, such as carrying oxygen throughout the body, removing wastes, delivering nutrients to every cell, and cooling the body.

Homeostasis

A photos shows a white, furry polar bear.
Polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) and other mammals living in ice-covered regions maintain their body temperature by generating heat and reducing heat loss through thick fur and a dense layer of fat under their skin. (credit: “longhorndave”/Flickr)

In order to function properly, cells need to have appropriate conditions such as proper temperature, pH, and appropriate concentration of diverse chemicals. These conditions may, however, change from one moment to the next. Organisms are able to maintain internal conditions within a narrow range almost constantly, despite environmental changes, through homeostasis    (literally, “steady state”)—the ability of an organism to maintain constant internal conditions. For example, an organism needs to regulate body temperature through a process known as thermoregulation. Organisms that live in cold climates, such as the polar bear ( [link] ), have body structures that help them withstand low temperatures and conserve body heat. Structures that aid in this type of insulation include fur, feathers, blubber, and fat. In hot climates, organisms have methods (such as perspiration in humans or panting in dogs) that help them to shed excess body heat.

Energy processing

Photo shows a California condor in flight with a tag on its wing.
The California condor ( Gymnogyps californianus ) uses chemical energy derived from food to power flight. California condors are an endangered species; this bird has a wing tag that helps biologists identify the individual. (credit: Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Questions & Answers

can i get a broader difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning
Daniel Reply
what are the types of tissues and there functions
Daniel
what is signal cascade?
nur Reply
it is the process by which plants produce their fo
Getabalew Reply
what are the substrates of this process
Fiko
definition of photosynthesis
Fiko Reply
it is simply the process by which plants get there food from the sun through the use of chlorophyll
Daniel
what are the advantages and disadvantages of external and internal fertilization
Mohd Reply
which type of blood group can be tranfer easily after Accidents
Durgesh Reply
O positive cause it is a general donor
Daniel
It can give to other blood group except O negative that can only get from O negative
Daniel
which is the polygonum type of embryo sac in angiosperms
Madhura Reply
Describe how hormones regulate blood pressure, blood volume, and kidney function
junius Reply
2 Positive water potential is placed on the left side of the tube by increasing Ψp such that the water level rises on the right side. Could you equalize the water level on each side of the tube by adding solute, and if so, how?
Sarah Reply
where are the enzymes required for electron transport system located
Madhura
plant and animal cell
Oyedeji Reply
what plant and animal cell
PAvan
plant cell has a definite shape whilst the animal cell has indefinite shape
Owusu
e carriers are present in criste of mitochondria which boosts the process
Maaz
what does cell mean?
Asali
what are the type of cell
abiola Reply
Poukaryotic cell and euakaryotic cell
Smile's
prokaryotes don't have well delet nucleus while Euler have well developed nucleus
Durgesh
Which of the following is considered a keystone species? Deer, Beaver, Elk or Wolves
Nicole Reply
Origin and Diversity of higher plants
Gideon Reply
explain the reason why the impudent and excessive use of antibiotics could be potentially harmful to the user.
Alfred Reply
diseases gain antibiotic resistance from the antibiotic if often used.
Jerome
what is mean by serum
vasant Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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