Biology and living things

Biology is the study of living things it involves inquiry. Science (and therefore biology) have a special way of of finding facts called the scientific method or process. These processes are:

  • Careful observation and recognition of the problems
  • Collecting accurate data form reliable sources.
  • Using the collected data to develop news ideas.
  • Arriving at a logical conclusions.

A scientist must develop certain attitudes in order to carry out scientific enquiries. He should be ;

  • Unbiased
  • Be curious or inquisitive
  • Have respect for accuracy
  • Have respect for experimentation
  • Be quick in identifying the significance of observations.

Biology is divided into different fields, these are morphology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, taxonomy, cytology, entomology and virology. Others are parasitology, genetics, ecology, evolution, histology, embryology, and mycology.

Living things are differentiated form no-living things by carrying out the following functions:

  1. Movement
  2. Reproduction
  3. Nutrition
  4. Irritability
  5. Growth
  6. Excretion
  7. Respiration

Plants are different from animals in the following ways:

  1. Feeding – plants mostly manufacture their food because they contain chlorphyll while animals cannot because they lack chlorphyll. Plants are holophytic while animals are holozoic.
  2. Movement – plants are generally static while animals move about freely.
  3. Shape – plants have irregular shapes while animals have definite shapes.
  4. Sensibility – response in plants is slow while in animals it is usually almost immediate.
  5. Cell structure – plant cells are are surrounded by cell walls while animals cells have cell membranes.

To make the study of living things easier similar organisms are grouped together — a process called classification. The problem assigning a name to an identified organism has been solved by using a system introduced by carolus linnaeus. This is a binomial nomenclature. By this method, an organism is identified, classified and given names, one generic and the other specific. Species is the basic unit of classification.

Living things are currently placed in five kingdoms

  • The Monera, protoctista, fungi, plamtate and animalia.
  • The monerans are bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue green algae)
  • Protoctistals include Amoeba, Euglena, etc.
  • Fungi are the yeasts, moulds, mushrooms, etc.
  • Plantae comprise the thallophyta, (algae) and Embryophyta (Bryophyta and Tracheophyta). Tracheophyta are the ferns and seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms).
  • Animalia are divided into invertebrates e.g. Insects and vertebrates which comprises the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

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