Mr. T's Science Scene

Life and Life Traits

When looking around the internet you will find many differnt Life Trait lists.  We are using a universal list from the textbook; Biology.  In order to remember the 8 life traits we use GERRDCHM.  The 8 life traits are as follows:

1.  Growth and Development

      All living things will grow and/or develop various body parts or structures.  New Link

2.  Evolution

     Living things will evolve (as a species).  This evolution is driven by genetic mutation and external environmental pressures.  The greater the genetic

     divergence from the parent species the greater the chance of a new species being formed.

3.  Reproduction

    All living things (as a species) reproduce more of their own kind.  Those who can not or do not have offspring are still considered living because, as a

    species, the potential is still there.  There are some exceptions (human made) such as the mule, liger, and brocciflower- all genetic creations by people

    who have NO potential to reproduce.

4.  Response or Reaction

    Living things will react or respond to stimuli (a stimulus is an external force that acts apon the senses or sensory structures).

5.  DNA

    DNA is an intregal part of all life on the planet.  It consists of just four chemicals; Guanine, Cytocine, Adenine, and Thymine.

6.  Cells

    Cells make up all living things.  Within the cells is DNA.  Currently there are plant cells, fungal cells (like a plant but without chlorphyll), and animal cells.

7.  Homeostasis

    Homeostasis is an odd one to describe.  Essentially it means that the organism is in a constant state of flux or imbalance.  The flux causes the

    organism's systems to try and put into balance that which is not (homeostasis).  It is unlikely that an organism will ever achieve constant homeostasis-

    unless they are dead.  An example of maintaining homeostasis is breathing, the control of blood sugar by the pancreas, eating, sleeping, and drinking- to  

    name a few.

8.  Metabolism

    Metabolism is the sum total of all energy intake and expense in an organism.  Most of the time we are talking about eating (digestion) or photosynthesis

    for energy intake but reptile basking would be another form.  Expense is the use of that energy to move, to live, to produce heat, to carry on life


Something is considered alive only if it has ALL EIGHT LIFE TRAITS.  If it is missing even one then it cannot be considered living.



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