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What is life? Seven Characteristics of Living Organisms All living things are made of cells Cells are the smallest living unit Organisms can be Single celled (unicellular) Example: bacteria Multi-celled Example: Humans All living things use energy All organisms do chemical reactions to stay alive- aka METABOLISM Plants create their own energy through photosynthesis Animals get energy from other organisms All living things maintain a stable internal environment Maintaining a stable internal environment is HOMEOSTASIS Example: warm blooded organisms maintain stable internal temperature by sweating All living things must respond to their external environment Living things respond to immediate and long term changes in their environment Example: humans shiver when cold, animals may change fur color, plants bend toward light All living things reproduce Living things must be able to make more of their own kind Reproduction is essential for a species to survive Can be Sexual Asexual All living things grow or develop Living things grow bigger Growing means they must add more cells Living things also develop Means they mature All living things have DNA DNA provides instructions for making an organism DNA carries the genetic material from parents to the offspring This allows organisms to pass traits to their offspring-- heredity