Plants and animals are two of the most important groups of the kingdom of living things. Both plants and animals are highly complex multi-cellular entities. There are millions of species of plants and animals with incredible features across habitats. Although both plants and animals are living entities, there is innumerable diversity amongst both these entities. While plants are autotrophs, the primary source of food for all the living entities, animals depend upon plants for their food requirements, either directly or indirectly.
Animals are known to possess an extremely well-developed body with distinct organ system such as the reproductive, nervous, digestive, respiratory system, etc. They are also deemed to be extremely sensitive to any stimulus. Listed below are the key differences between plants and animals.
- One of the key difference between plants and animals is that plants possess chlorophyll and are able to synthesize their own food with the help of sunlight, air, and water. They provide oxygen to the atmosphere which is consumed by animals. Animals feed on the organic matter and have specialized, distinct systems and sense organs to carry out digestive functions to consume and digest food.
- Plants are immobile. They are stationary and do not have the ability to move from one place to another, as they stay rooted to the ground. Animals, on the other hand, can move around freely with the help of locomotory organs except for Corals and Sponges who cannot move.
- Plants grow from distinct zones in the stem and the root and divide continuously and hence expand. Animals, unlike plants, grow as an entire entity on the whole. Every organ of the individual grows in size and develops, maintaining balance in the body.
- Plants can grow endlessly, as they have the potential to eventually increase in size and can live for much longer. This is the reason why they continue to grow for hundreds of years and only get bigger with time. Animals, on the contrary, grow in size up to a certain extent and then stop growing. After reaching a particular stage in life, the body starts to decline and shrink. The reason being, numerous body cells stop dividing and lose their ability to multiply.
- While plants are sensitive and respond to stimuli such as light and touch(touch-me-not plant), they are less sensitive as compared to animals due to the absence of sense organs. Animals have a distinguished nervous system and sense organs to respond to stimuli within a fraction of a second. Hence they are regarded as extremely sensitive living entities.
Both plants and animals form the biotic components of the ecosystem. Apart from the plants and animals living in an ecosystem, it is also important to understand the various other abiotic factors of a habitat which helps in learning and comprehending the interactions between biotic and abiotic components in a geographical region. The factors that make up for the abiotic components are temperature, sunlight, water, soil, air and naturally occurring phenomena such as fires, rains, storms, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, etc. Both components determine the success of a species’ existence. As each of these factors impacts each other, a combination of both is required for the survival of an ecosystem.
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