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Section 3: The Diversity of Living Things

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Section 3: The Diversity of Living Things Preview Classroom Catalyst Objectives The Diversity of Living Things Archaea and Bacteria Bacteria and the Environment Fungi Protists Section 3: The Diversity
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Section 3: The Diversity of Living Things Preview Classroom Catalyst Objectives The Diversity of Living Things Archaea and Bacteria Bacteria and the Environment Fungi Protists Section 3: The Diversity of Living Things Preview, continued Plants Gymnosperms Angiosperms Animals Invertebrates Vertebrates Classroom Catalyst Objectives Name the three domains and four kingdoms of organisms and list characteristics of each. Explain the importance of bacteria and fungi in the environment. Describe the role of protists in the ocean environment. Describe how organisms interact and depend on each other for survival. The Diversity of Living Things Most scientists classify organisms into three domains and four kingdoms based on different characteristics. Members of the three domains get their food in different ways and are made up of different types of cells, the smallest unit of biological organization. The cells of animals, plants, fungi, and protists all contain a nucleus. While cells of bacteria, fungi, and plants all have cell walls. Levels of Classification Archaea and Bacteria Archaea differ from bacteria in their genetics and the makeup of their cell wall. Bacteria are microscopic, unicellular organisms that usually have a cell wall and reproduce by cell division. Unlike all other organisms, bacteria and archaea lack nuclei. Bacteria and archaea live in every habitat on Earth, from hot springs to the bodies of animals. Bacteria and the Environment Some kinds of bacteria break down the remains and wastes of other organisms and return the nutrients to the soil. Others recycle nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Certain bacteria can convert nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use. This conversion is important because nitrogen is the main component of proteins and genetic material. Bacteria and the Environment Bacteria also allow many organisms, including humans, to extract certain nutrients from their food. The bacterium, Escherichia coli or E. coli, is found in the intestines of humans and other animals and helps digest food and release vitamins that humans need. Fungi A fungus is an organism whose cells have nuclei, rigid cell walls, and no chlorophyll and that belongs to the kingdom Fungi. Cell walls act like mini-skeletons that allow fungi to stand up right. A mushroom is the reproductive structure of a fungus. The rest of the fungus is an underground network of fibers that absorb food from decaying organisms in the soil. Fungi Fungi get their food by releasing chemicals that help break down organic matter, and then absorbing the nutrients. The bodies of most fungi are huge networks of threads that grow through the soil, dead wood, or other material on which the fungus is feeding. Like bacteria, fungi play an important role in breaking down the bodies of dead organisms. Fungi Some fungi, like some bacteria, cause disease. Athlete s foot is an example of a condition caused by fungi. Other fungi add flavor to food as in blue cheese. The fungus gives the cheese both its blue color and strong flavor. Yeasts are fungi that produce the gas that makes bread rise. Protists Protists are diverse organisms that belong to the kingdom Protista. Some, like amoebas, are animal-like. Others are plantlike, such as kelp, and some resemble fungi. Most protists are unicellular, microscopic organisms, including diatoms, which float on the ocean surface. Another protist, Plasmodium, is the unicellular organism that causes the disease malaria. Protists From an environmental standpoint, the most important protists are algae. Algae are plantlike protists that can make their own food using light energy from the sun. They range in size from the giant kelp to the unicellular phytoplankton, which are the initial source of food in most ocean and freshwater ecosystems. Plants Plants are multicellular organisms that make their own food using light energy from the sun and have cell walls. Most plants live on land where they use their leaves to get sunlight, oxygen, and carbon dioxide from the air. While absorbing nutrients and water from the soil using their roots. Leaves and roots are connected by vascular tissue, which has thick cell walls and serves is system of tubes that carries water and food. Plants Plants with no vascular tissue are called nonvascular plants. Nonvascular plants lack specialized conducting tissues, roots, stems, and leaves, so water must move from the environment throughout the plant. Nonvascular plants such as mosses, live in damp places. Gymnosperms Gymnosperms are woody vascular seed plants whose seeds are not enclosed by an ovary or fruit. Conifers, such as pine trees, are gymnosperms that bear cones. Much of our lumber and paper comes form gymnosperms. Gymnosperms Gymnosperms have several adaptations that allow them to live in dry conditions. They can produce pollen, which protects and moves sperm between plants. These plants also produce seeds, which protect developing plants from drying out. A conifer s needle-like leaves also lose little water. Angiosperms Angiosperms are flowering plants that produce seeds within fruit. Most land plants are angiosperms. The flower is the reproductive structure of the plant. Some angiosperms, like grasses, have small flowers, that use wind to disperse their pollen. Other angiosperms have large flowers to attract insects and birds. Many flowering plants depend on animals to disperse their seeds and carry their pollen. Angiosperms Most land animals are dependent on flowering plants. Most of the food we eat, such as wheat, rice, beans, oranges, and lettuce comes from flowering plants. Building materials and fibers, such as oak and cotton, also come from flowering plants. Animals Animals cannot make their own food. They must take it in from the environment. Animal cells have no cell walls, so their bodies are soft and flexible. Although, some animals have evolved hard skeletons against which their muscles can pull to move their bodies. As a result, animals are much more mobile than plants. All animals move around in their environment during at least one stage in their lives. Invertebrates Invertebrates are animals that do not have backbones. Many live attached to hard surfaces in the ocean and filter their food out of the water, such as corals, various worms, and mollusks. These organisms are only mobile when they are larvae. At this early stage in their life they are part of the ocean s plankton. Invertebrates Other invertebrates, including squid in the ocean and insects on land, actively move in search of food. More insects exist on Earth than any other type of animal. Insects are successful for many reasons: they have a waterproof external skeleton, can move and reproduce quickly, most insects can fly, and their small size allows them to live on little food and to hide from enemies in small places. Invertebrates Many insects and plants have evolved together and depend on each other to survive. Insects carry pollen from male fruit parts to fertilize a plant s egg, which develops into fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples. Insects are also valuable because they eat other insects that we consider to be pests. Invertebrates However, insects and humans are often enemies. Bloodsucking insects transmit human diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, and West Nile virus. Insects do most damage indirectly by eating our crops. Vertebrates Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone, and includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The first vertebrates were fish, but today most vertebrates live on land. The first land vertebrates were reptiles. These animals were successful because they have an almost waterproof egg which allows the egg to hatch on land, away from predators in the water. Vertebrates Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates with feathers. They keep their hard-shelled eggs and young warm until they have developed insulating layers of fat and feathers. Mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates that have fur and feed their young milk. Birds and mammals have the ability to maintain a high body temperature which allows them to live in cold areas, where other animals cannot live.
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