What are the 8 characteristics of life
What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life

What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life?

What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life? Human as a living being lives side by side with other living beings on earth. And it is not only animals and plants, but also microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and archaea.

Although all these organisms are different from each other, they have something in common, which is equally passed down from one ancestor and alive. Maybe that’s why it’s called living being.

The characteristics of living things are breathing, needing food and drink, moving, growing and developing, breeding (reproduction), removing residual substances, being sensitive to stimuli, and adapting to the environment.

The earth is holding a wide variety of creatures in it. In general, creatures on Earth can be grouped into two types, namely biotic and abiotic creatures.

  • Biotic Creatures

Biotic beings are living things, such as humans, plants, animals, plankton, and there are still several species classified in them.

  • Abiotic Creatures

Abiotic beings are non living beings or so-called inanimate objects. Examples such as shoes, motorcycles, cars, land, water and so on.

Surely some of us simply deny that if a creature breathes or its heart beats, it is said to be a living being. Actually, that is not all.

What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life?

In general the characteristics of living beings are as follows:

  1. Breathing;
  2. Requires food and drink;
  3. Moving;
  4. Grow and develop;
  5. Breeding (reproduction);
  6. Removing residual substances,
  7. Sensitivity to stimuli;
  8. Adapting to the environment.

Here’s an explanation of What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life.


Breathing is an air inhalation that contains oxygen (O2) and emits air with a carbon dioxide (CO2) content greater than that inhaled. You can feel the need to breathe by holding back from breathing for a while. You’ll feel tightness as a sign of oxygen deprivation.

Requires food and drink

The second characteristic of living things is that it requires eating and drinking. As we know, every living being must need food and water. Food serves to produce energy, growth, and replace damaged body cells. Meanwhile, water serves as a solvent in the body.

In the animal world, they are grouped into three groups. The first group is carnivorous animals, namely meat-eating animals. The second is herbivores, plant-eating animals. And lastly omnivorous, animals that eat meat and plants.

As for plants, they eat using the process of photosynthesis. This process makes plants able to produce their own food. Sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide are all needed for this process to occur.


Living things have the ability to move a certain way without the help of outsiders or others. The movement is passive, some are active. Plants do passive motion (do not move), while animals can perform active movements (can move from one place to another).

Grow and develop

Living things will surely grow and develop, be they humans, animals or plants. The process of growing each living being varies. For example, human grows from a baby and then child to older persons. In addition to growing physically, humans also develop mentally. There are differences growing and evolving in aspects that are seen and indicators.

The process of growing in animals is almost the same as that of humans. While in plants, the process of growing starts from seedlings planted until finally growing into a certain larger tree or plant.

The process of growing living things is irreversible. It means that if it grows, it can’t come back. For example, an older human can’t be a child anymore. At a certain time, the process of growing up living things will also stop.

Breed (Reproduction)

What are the 8 characteristics of life - reproduction
What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life? 2

Breeding or reproduction is a process of producing offspring. All living things certainly cannot live forever, therefore in order to preserve their kind, every living being is equipped with the ability to reproduce so as to have offspring.

There are two ways of living things to breed, some are se**xually or generative and some are ase**xual or vegetative. Se**xual or generative breeding begins with the fusing of male genital cells and female genital cells. Examples are poultry (laying eggs), mammals (giving birth), and plants (producing seeds).

While ase**xual or vegetative breeding does not go through the fusion stage of the two se**xes. For example, the living being of the kingdom protozoa is Amoeba. The creature breeds by splitting itself. Another example is plants that breed by cuttings, grafted, sticking, and bending.

Removing Residual Substances (Excretion)

Any living being will secrete residual substances that may be dangerous and poison its body. Excretory organs play a role in the production of residual substances of living beings. Human excretion organs consist of skin, kidneys, lungs and anus. The kidneys function in removing residual substances in the form of urine while the skin secretes residual substances in the form of lightness composed of water, salt and urea.

Residual substances in the form of carbon dioxide and water vapor are released from the body through the lungs. While the anus serves to secrete the remaining digestive substances in the form of feces. Animals also perform excretion in the same way as humans.

Plants as one of the living creatures of course also do the excretion process. The remaining substances in plants in the form of oxygen are released through the part of the plant organ that is the stomata on the leaves and lenticels in the stem of the plant.

Sensitivity to stimuli

The ability to feel stimuli or irritability is a characteristic of living creatures. Stimuli can be sounds, light waves, physical touches, aromas, and temperature.

For example, in animals, roosters will crow in the morning. The shy princess plant will lower its leaves when touched. Then, the rat will be sensitive to its nose when smelling food.

Adjusting to the environment (adaptation)

The sense of adaptation is the ability of living creatures to adapt to the environment in order to survive in their habitat. For a living creature that can adapt then it can last longer and the population will grow.

Examples of adaptation processes in animals, for example, animals in polar regions and cold climates have thick fur. Or chameleons that can adjust the skin of the body according to its environment in order to prey on its food.

While an example of animal adaptation is a cactus that has thorn-shaped leaves to reduce water evaporation because it lives in desert areas as well as teak trees that shed their leaves during the dry season.

Thank you very much for reading What Are The 8 Characteristics of Life?, hopefully useful.

Last Updated on August 31, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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