The World Of Living Things
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1. Why is it difficult to define "Life"?
2. Why is it important to understand "Life"?
3. What is a "Community",Discribe it with your own words.
4. Is a "Community" important to living creatures?
5. Name 30 living things around your area.
Experience: 1 years
Supposed each member of your class were asked to prepare a list of one hundred living things.You probably would begin by naming plants and animals near your home and school.Then you might complete your list by thinking of forms of life that live in other environments.Your classmates list would most likely include many plants and animals that you did not think of.That is not surprising since there are nearly two million known kinds of organisms(living things)on our world today!
Making your list of living things was an easy task.But what is meant by the phrase"living thing"?Just think of the many differences which exist among two million plants and animals!This makes a single difenition seem like a difficult job.However ,the solution can be made easier by learning about the similarities among organisms.There are certain features and patterns which apply to all forms of life.You will learn about this common features as we proceed further on our lessons in Biology,the study of life.By the time we finish our course yuo will be able to answer the easy yet difficult question,"What is a living thing".
L1:1 The Community
Have you ever had the chance to spend a day out exploring your natural surroundings?Perhaps you live in an area near a forest.Imagine you were about to walk through the forest.As you walk in youwill observe the living things there. As you approach the edge of the forest,you see many kinds of plant life such as grasses,weeds,shrubs and other flowering plants.As you enter the forest,you are aware of the most striking forms of life,the trees.
But you see so much more.There are other kinds of plants such as ferns and mosses growing on the forest floor.Leaves and fallen branches litter the earth.You look under them and find many kinds of animal life.Insects are plentiful .Ants scurry about,each doing its special job.You see spiders,worms and many legged creatures.Other animal life also plentiful.Birds sings their songs and a rabbit bounds quickly out of sight.Perhaps you see a deer nibling leaves of a snake sliding off into the undergrowth.You look closely at the tree and finds many other living things.Bee swarm around their hive.A small butterfly clings to the trunk of a tree.Because its almost the same color as the bark,its less visible to its enemies.You also see a caterpillar moving silently across a leaf,eating as it goes.
Your trip has been an eventful one.Yet you saw only a fraction of the living things in such a community.A community is a naturally occuring group of plants and animals living in a certain area.You missed microscopic creatures that live in the soil,in the puddle of water and inside other plants and animals.Had you taken a sample of soil and water,you would have found that it supports a vast amount of life.With a microscope,you would see many bacteria,very small living things.You might also have seen many creatures,larger than bacteria and more complex.These include microscopic mites and insects and very small worms.
Maybe your surroundings are different.Instead of a forest,there might be others such as a grassland or desert.Perhaps you can study an aquatic community such as pond,lake or stream.Each type of community has its own living things.
From your study,one common feature of life becomes evident.In nature,living things do not exist by themselves but in communities.Can you suggest some reasons?As these reasons are explored,some other common features of living things will become evident and how humans affect their community?