The first thing which clicks on one’s mind while discussing plants is that they have the ability to prepare their food with the help of sunlight, water and air, along with the support of the green pigment known as chlorophyll which is found in all green plants. On the other hand, animals are known for their well-developed body and it’s organ system like nervous, reproductive, digestive, respiratory, etc. Animals are also considered to be immensely susceptible or sensitive to any stimulus.
Plants and animals are falling under the category multicellular, eukaryotes and are estimated to be around seven million species on earth till date, excluding bacteria, mushrooms, and lichens.
Both plants and animals are easy to differentiate, but there are certain characters which makes them unique in themselves. But apart from that, the few basic things shares by them is the ecosystem, the surrounding and their dependability on each other.
There are many factors on which plants and animals can be distinguished, not at the physical level but at cellular level too. They also have their own importance too in many ways. On the way of focussing the point of differentiation among the two terms, we will also provide a brief summary on them through this content.
Content: Plants Vs Animals
|Basis for Comparison||Plants||Animals|
|Meaning||Plants are green in colour due to the presence of the chlorophyll and are able to prepare their own food with the help of sunlight, water and air. They are known for providing oxygen to the atmosphere.||Animals are the living organisms which feed on the organic material and are known to have a specialized system in their body like the nervous system, reproductive system, sense organs, which make them unique from the other forms of life.|
|Movement||Plants do not have the ability to move from one place to another, as plants are rooted into the ground, exceptions are Volvox and Chlamydomonas.||Animals can move from one place to another freely, and exceptions are Sponges and Corals.|
|Mode of nutrition||Plants have chlorophyll, due to which they have the capability to prepare their own food and are known as autotrophs. ||Animals are the heterotrophs, as they depend on plants for their food, either directly or indirectly.|
|Storage of food ||Plants do not have the digestive system, and the storage of food (carbohydrate) takes place in the form of starch.||Animals have the proper digestive system which support the food in digesting and absorbing nutrition from it, the food (carbohydrate) is stored in the form of glycogen.|
|Respiration ||Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, exchange of gases occurs through stomata.||Animals take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which occurs through lungs, gills, skin, etc.|
|Cellular structure ||The cellular structure of plants contains the cell wall, chloroplast, plasmodesmata, plastids and other different organelles.||The cellular structure of animals does not have cell walls, though other organelles like the tight junction, cilia are present.|
|Growth ||The growth of the plants takes place throughout the life, the meristematic system present in the tip of roots and stems supports the growth.||The organs and organ system supports the growth and is definite.|
|Reproduction||Reproduction of plants takes place asexually like by budding, vegetative methods, spores, wind, or through insects.||Some lower animals like algae reproduce asexually while higher animals reproduce sexually.|
|Response||Plants show the response to stimuli like touch, light, though are less sensitive due to the absence of the sense organs.||They have proper nervous system and response to any stimuli in a fraction of seconds, so they are regarded as highly sensitive.|
Definition of Plants
Plants fall under kingdom Plantae and are kept under multicellular, photosynthetic eukaryotes category. The range of the plants varies from one place to other, one climate to other, etc., which includes the angiosperms, gymnosperms, ferns, conifers, mosses, liverworts, hornworts and of course the green algae.
Plants are regarded as the primary producer on the ecosystem of Earth. They are said as autotrophic, which means they can produce their own food by the process of photosynthesis. If we look at the general structure of a plant, it has a proper root system, and the shoot system.
The root system includes the part of the plant which is found below the ground, while the shoot system comprises the part like stem or trunk, leaves, buds, flowers, fruits and branches and these are found above the ground. The basic development starts from the cell, which develops into the tissues, these tissues can be ground, dermal or vascular.
Ground tissues are composed of the essential part of the plant. Dermal tissue supports the outer layer of the plant, which has a waxy coat to prevent the loss of water. Maximum plants have the vascular system, which acts as the carrier for transporting of the nutrients, water and hormones from one part of the plants to other, green algae do not have this system.
Plants can be angiosperms or gymnosperms; angiosperms are the plants where seeds are found inside the fruit, while gymnosperms are the naked seeds, further there are many subdivisions on the basis of the cotyledons which can be as monocots or dicots. It is estimated that there are around 390,880species of the plants found till date and there are more in counting.
The study of the plant is called as botany, and the person who studies botany is known as a botanist. The plants are important in many ways, as they are medicinally used, cultivation of many plants is economically important for many countries, they are scientifically important, major food source, etc. Most important is that they play a critical role in providing oxygen to the atmosphere.
Definition of Animals
Animals fall under the category of multicellular, eukaryotes but under the kingdom of the Animalia. Likewise the plants, animals also vary from place to place, whether living in water, air or on land. The maximum number of species of animals have bilaterally symmetric body plan or called as Bilateria. There are many subdivisions of the animals like they can be vertebrates or invertebrates, can be oviparous or viviparous, can be cold-blooded or warm-blooded.
Aristotle, Carl Linnaeus, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Ernst Haeckel played an important role in creating the hierarchical classification of the animals. The six common groups of animals are Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals, and Insects.
Till date there are about 80, 500 species of the vertebrates found, and 6, 755, 830 invertebrates are there, it is also said that there five million species of insects, among the total number of plants and animals found yet. Rest invertebrates acquire for 1,75 million, and vertebrates are 80,000. The mammals account for the lesser number of only 5,500.
Animals need food, air, water, and shelter for their survival; also they need a proper habitat or environment where they can spend their life and can increase their population. The habitats include the deserts, grasslands, rainforest and arctic tundra, though it depends on the animal that which suits best to them. Animals may variate on the basis of place they live, the food they eat, their living habits, etc.
There are many common characteristics which make the animals unique from other living things. Firstly they are motile; they have many organs and organs to perform various functions of the body like they have well developed respiratory system, digestive system, excretory system, reproductive system and nervous system. Their sense organs are also the critical characters which make them exclusive; these sense organs give special power to animals so that they can smell, taste, hear, visualize and respond to the stimulus.
Key Differences Between Plants and Animals
Given below points will present the main features on which plants and animals vary:
- The ability of the plants of preparing their food with the help of sunlight, water and the air is what makes them unique, the green colour pigment called as chlorophyll, and the capacity of providing oxygen, food to the living beings are the characteristics of the plants. The exclusive characters present in animals are different types of organs and organ systems, like nervous, reproductive, digestive, etc. They are sensitive and show the quick response to the stimuli. They entirely depend on plants, directly or indirectly for their food.
- Animals show movement, which can be on the ground through legs, underwater through fins or in air through wings, on the contrary plants cannot move from one place to another, as plants are rooted into the ground, an exception is Volvox and Chlamydomonas. Animals have exceptions like Sponges and Corals.
- Plants have chlorophyll, due to which they can prepare their food in the presence of air, water and sunlight, and due to this feature, they are termed as autotrophs. On other hands, animals are termed as heterotrophs, as they depend on plants for their food, either directly or indirectly for their nutrition.
- Storage of food (carbohydrate) is in the form of starch in plants, while in animals the food is stored in the form of glycogen, the animals have the proper digestive system which supports in digesting the food materials.
- In plants exchange of gases occurs through stomata where the plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere, whereas in case of animals it is just opposite as animals take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, this process occurs through lungs, gills, skin, etc.
- As plants and animals are eukaryotic, so they have almost similar cellular structure, but few organelles like chloroplast, plasmodesmata, cell wall, plastids, etc. are only found in the plant cell, while in there is no cell wall in the animal cell; instead they have cilia, the tight junction for other functionality.
- The growth of the plants is not restricted and takes place through life in their meristematic regions like roots, stems, the tip of leaves, etc. Animals are confined to grow up to the certain period, and their organs and organ system support the growth.
- Reproduction of plants takes place asexually like by budding, vegetative methods, spores, wind, or through insects, whereas some lower animals like algae reproduce asexually while higher animals reproduce sexually and give birth to the young ones.
- Plants response to stimuli like touch, light, though are less sensitive due to the absence of the sense organs, animals have the proper nervous system and the sense organs too due to which they respond to any stimuli in a fraction of seconds.
- They respond to stimuli.
- They breathe, reproduce, grow.
- They try to adapt according to changes in the environment.
- The basic unit of their structure is the eukaryotic cell.
- They both require air and water to survive.
- They proper grow and develop.
In this content, we studied the ground points on which the plants differ from the animal. We can say that, after having a few characters similar, both plants and animals show a lot of variations. Another thing is that they both have a mutual relationship to maintain the ecosystem. So they are equally important and play a significant role in the environment.