Characteristics of Living Things Living things have six characteristics in common. All living things: • have cells. • sense and respond to change. • reproduce. • have DNA. • use energy. • grow and develop. All living things have cells. • Living things are composed of one or more cells • Smallest unit that can carry life. • Living things made of more than one cell have specialized cells. QUICK LAB Turn to page 55 in your books All living things sense and respond to change • Stimulus-a change that affects the activity of an organism. • Stimuli can be lights, sounds, hunger or anything that causes an organism to respond in some way. Living things reproduce • Sexual reproduction- reproduction in which sex cells from two parents unite to produce offspring that share traits from both parents. • Asexual reproduction- reproduction that does not involve the union of sex cells and in which one parent produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parent. All living things have DNA • deoxyribonucleic acid • DNA carries the instructions for an organisms traits. • Parents pass DNA to their organisms during reproduction. • The passing of traits is called heredity. All living things use energy. • Living things use energy to carry out the chemical activities of life. • For example;changing energy into food, breaking down food, moving materials into and out of the cell, growing, and building new cells. All living things grow and develop. • Single celled organismsthe cell gets bigger and divides making other organisms. • Mulitcellular organismsthe number of cells increase causing the organism to get bigger.