Copyright

Living Organisms: Organization, Functions & Structure

Living Organisms: Organization, Functions & Structure
Coming up next: Environmental Changes & Adaptation in Organisms

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 How Are Living…
  • 2:17 Structure and Function
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

In this lesson, you'll learn about living organisms and how they're structured and organized. You'll also discover how the larger functions of organisms are spread into smaller parts. Then, take a quiz to test what you've learned.

How Are Living Organisms Organized?

You are a living organism, but so is every other animal and plant on Earth. An organism is a living system that can respond to stimuli, grow, reproduce, and maintain a consistent state (homeostasis). Or at least that's our current definition of a living organism; there is definitely room for debate. But we're pretty sure we know a living organism when we see it in most cases. Living organisms include animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms.

But how are living organisms structured? What makes them up? Living organisms have lots of parts and those parts combine together to form a whole that works seemingly as one. It's an amazing system, especially in the case of plants and animals. Plants and animals are structured into cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Those organ systems together form the whole organism.

Cells are the basic unit of life - they are the smallest functional units of an organism and are microscopic objects which contain cytoplasm and a nucleus surrounded by a cell membrane. Microscopic organisms are often just a single cell: in that case that's the whole organism. But humans have trillions of cells.

Tissues are groups of cells of the same type or from the same place that accomplish a particular task. For example, humans have muscle tissue, connective tissue, nervous tissue and others.

Organs are part of an organism that's usually self-contained and has a specific purpose or function. For example, the human heart is an organ with the function of pumping blood around the body.

An organ system is a group of organs that collectively do a particular job or function. For example, the digestive system contains the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, rectum, and anus. An organ can be part of multiple organ systems.

So that's how organisms are organized. But how those individual parts structured? And how are the functions of organisms achieved?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support