CLASS 5 EVS PLANTS AND ANIMALS
We go out to the park and see so many trees and flowers. Some trees are tall, while some plants don’t even reach your knees. While we are there, we also spot birds in trees, dogs on the grass, sometimes a cat peeking from behind the bushes and lots of ants and butterflies around grass and flowers.
These pretty things in green are plants, while dogs, cats, birds, butterflies and ants are all called animals.
So let’s understand the unique characteristics of plants and animals today.
What are plants?
Plants are a large group of living things that provide us with good air to breathe, lots of fruits and vegetables, tea and coffee, and other utilities like wood, fibre and rubber.
They are autotrophic, meaning that they can also make their food to live.
The different types of plants are trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. There are around 390,880 plant species discovered so far, with more on the way.
Plants vary across locations, climate, and so on. For example, deserts have cactuses because of the water shortage in deserts, and cactus is a plant that does not require a lot of water. But sunflowers usually grow in warm places where they get sufficient heat and sunlight.
Plants are crucial to maintaining the Earth’s ecosystem. They work as a source of food and supply oxygen to the atmosphere. They are also valuable for medical usage, economic benefits, and scientific experiments.
STRUCTURE OF A PLANT
The parts of a plant are roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds.
While looking at the overall structure of a plant, it has a root system and a shoot system.
The root system involves the plant root located below the ground. It grows downward towards the force of gravity and absorbs water and mineral nutrients from the soil.
There are four different types of roots –
- Tap Roots – Such roots have a main root growing downwards from which lateral roots develop.
- Lateral Roots – Lateral roots are smaller roots coming horizontally from the taproot. The carrot plant is an example of a plant having a lateral root.
- Fibrous Roots – Such roots are formed by thin, moderately branching roots growing from the stem. The roots grow downward and outward from the stem to a mass of roots. An example of plants having fibrous roots is lilies.
- Modified Roots – Some plants have modified roots that work towards a unique purpose. Some examples include storage roots and aquatic roots.
The shoot system contains the part of the plant above the ground, such as flowers, fruits, stems or trunks, leaves, buds, and branches. The shoot system enables the plant to grow taller to absorb light and prepare food. The parts of the shoot system are as follows –
- Stem – The upper part of plants gets supported by the stem. It carries water and nutrients from roots to leaves and the food produced by the leaves to other parts of plants.
- Leaves – Leaves are the food making factories of green plants. They do so by the process of photosynthesis. Leaves can have different shapes and sizes.
- Flowers – A flower is a part of the plant that blossoms and they usually look very pretty. There are thousands of flower types with different scents, physical structures, and colours.
What are animals?
Another large group of living things is made up of animals.
Animals, like us, can move, breathe, eat and reproduce. And like plants, they differ depending on whether they live in water, the air, or on land. Animals can differ depending on where they live, what they eat, how they live, how they live, and so on.
Animals require food, air, water, and shelter to survive. They also require a suitable habitat to live and reproduce. Habitats are the living conditions that an animal needs to live in. The habitats can be deserts, meadows, rainforests, and arctic tundra, but it is up to the animal to determine which habitat is best for them. An animal’s home can be found within a habitat.
For example, Lion’s house is called a den. The den is the home, while the den exists within a jungle. Therefore, the jungle is a lion’s habitat.
The different bases for differentiating animals are –
- Structural Differences
|Animals that have backbones.||Animals that do not have backbones.|
|Example – Birds, Humans, Snakes||Examples – Flatworms, Insects|
- Diet Differences
|Animals that only feed on plants.||Animals that only feed on other animals.||Animals that feed on both plants and other animals|
|Example – Cows||Example – Lions||Example – Bears|
- Outer Layer of the body
|Fur or hair on the body||Scales on the body||Feathers on the body||Body divided into 3 parts – head, thorax and abdomen|
|Have backbones||Have backbones||Have backbones||Do not have backbones|
|Do not lay eggs||Lay eggs||Lay eggs||Lay eggs|
|Examples – Humans, Elephants||Examples – Lizards, Crocodiles||Examples – Pigeon, Crow||Examples – Bees, Mosquitoes|
|Animals that mostly live on land||Animals that live on both land and in water||Animals that only live in water|
|Example – Cows, Dogs||Example – Crabs, Frogs||Example – Shark, Starfish|
So now that we know about so many living things around us, let us try to also conserve all living things around us and enjoy the bounties of nature.
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