Movement A Defining Characteristic Of Life
Movement is one of the 7 defining characteristics of life. The 7 characteristics of life will be the 7 things that living things do and they split living things from non-living things. I used to be always trained the acronym MRS GREN to help me keep in mind the 7 essential characteristics of life.
There is a little quiz in a minute to find out if you know all 7 of these. The acronym mrs gren can provide you a few hints. Here I will discuss the M in the acronym, which means movement so no excuses for getting the first question wrong now!
Why do living things move? During their lives all living things move. This movement can be so simple you will possibly not see it or it can be so obvious you might not even think of it. As you read this you are moving in so many ways, some with no conscious effort required.
All the other characteristics of living things require the pet or vegetable to manage to some form of movement of a greater or lesser extent sometime or all the time. It may appear a little strange to discuss plants moving, after all when was the last time a Sunflower handed you in the street and said hi? Plants display radial symmetry, meaning similar elements of the plant like the leaves are arranged around a central part, the stem. This body plan allows vegetation to face the surroundings at all angles and also allows some of them to go, following the sunlight, to increase their growth. When you talk about plant life moving you are discussing growth.
Plant a seed as soon as they have germinated it causes its way to avoid it of its seed case and starts to go through the ground until it breaks the surface. The herb then continues to grow and this is a form of motion upwards. The plant is moving to get as close as with the ability to the sunlight that provides it the power it requires to grow. The whole reason behind a plant to go is so that it can grow and develop seeds. Some vegetation don’t move very much but others develop rapidly and can be seen to have grown if they are observed on a regular basis.
Bamboo is an especially speedy mover. This video uses time lapse filming showing how a sunflower moves to handle the sun throughout an afternoon. Some animals are sessile. Sessile pets don’t move, they connect themselves to a substrate, including the ocean floor, and they remain there. This appears to contradict the 7 defining characteristics of living things but it generally does not.
These pets may spend their adult lives mounted on the same place however when these were larvae they were motile, meaning they were capable of motion. One example of a sessile pet is the Hydra. Hydras stay stuck to the location but as larvae they move freely in drinking water. Being sessile is a primitive way of living so many sessile animals live in water and their ancestors can be tracked back millions of years with hardly any change in form or function of the animal.
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Members of the Phylum Porifera, also known as sponges, are aquatic pets with a simple body plan that has continued to be unchanged for a long period of time. They haven’t developed because they haven’t had a need to. Sessile animals cannot actively seek mates so they have a big problem when it comes to reproducing. They get around this by counting on water currents to transport their eggs and ensure that they get fertilized.
Corals have a syncronized spawning letting almost all their eggs and sperm go on one special night. This mass spawning is triggered by a full moon the signal they have been looking forward to. They spawn in this syncronized way to maximize the probability of the sperm and eggs finding each other and getting fertilized in the huge mass of the sea. This need to replicate has generated one of the very most beautiful events in the natural world.