Important Notes For NEET Biology – The Living World


Life is a unique, complex organization of molecules, expressing through chemical reactions which lead to growth, development, responsiveness, adaptation & reproduction.

A living organism is self-replicating, evolving and self-regulating interactive system capable of responding to external stimuli.

Properties of living organisms

1. Growth

  • It is the increase in number & mass of cells by cell division.
  • In plants, growth continues throughout their lifespan.
  • In animals, growth is only up to a certain age. However, cell division occurs to replace lost cells.
  • Basically, growth is the increase in mass & size. Thus non-living objects also grow (surface accumulation of material). So growth is not a defining property of living organisms.
  • In living organisms, growth is from inside.

2. Reproduction

  • It is the production of progeny having features similar to those of parents.
  • Organisms reproduce asexually and sexually.
  • In unicellular organisms, growth & reproduction are same because they reproduce by cell division.
  • Many organisms do not reproduce (e.g. mules, worker bees, infertile human couples, etc). Hence, reproduction is not a perfect defining property of living organisms.

3. Metabolism

  • It is the sum total of all biochemical reactions taking place inside a living system.
  • It is the defining feature of living organisms.
  • Metabolic reactions can be demonstrated outside the body in cell-free systems. Isolated metabolic reactions in vitro are not living things but are living reactions.

4. Cellular organization

  • Organisms are made up of one or more cells.
  • It is the defining feature of living organisms.

5. Consciousness

  • It is the ability of organisms to sense their environment and respond to environmental stimuli (like light, water, temperature, other organisms, chemicals, pollutants, etc).
  • All organisms are ‘aware’ of their surroundings. So, it is the defining property of living organisms.
  • Human is the only organism having self-consciousness.

Diversity in the living world

  • The number and types of organisms present on earth refer to biodiversity.
  • Number of species described is 1.7-1.8 million.
  • Taxonomy is the study of identification, classification & nomenclature of organisms.
  • Systematics (Latin ‘systema’ = systematic arrangement) deals with evolutionary relationships among organisms.
  • Systema Naturae is the book written by Linnaeus.

Basic processes of taxonomy

  • Characterization: It is the understanding of characters of organisms such as external and internal structure, structure of cell, development process, ecological information etc.
  • Identification: It is the correct description of the organism so that the naming is possible.
  • Classification: It is the grouping of organisms into convenient categories (taxa) based on characters.
  • Nomenclature (naming): It is the standardization of names of the organisms such that an organism is known by the same name all over the world.
The system of naming with two components is called Binomial nomenclature. It is proposed by Linnaeus.
Botanical names are based on the rules in International Code for Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN).
Zoological names are based on International Code for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).

Universal rules of Binomial nomenclature

  • Scientific names are in Latin or Latinised and written in italics. When handwritten, they are underlined separately.
  • The first word is genus name (Generic name) and second word is the species name (specific epithet). E.g. Homo sapiens– Homo represents the genus name and sapiens represents the species name.
  • The Genus name starts with capital letter and the species name starts with small letter.
  • Name of the author (in abbreviated form) appears at the end of the biological name.
E.g., Mangifera indica Linn. It indicates that this species was first described by Linnaeus.

 Taxonomic categories

  • Classification involves hierarchy of steps in which each step represents a taxonomic category (rank).
  • All categories together constitute a taxonomic hierarchy.
  • A group of organisms occupying a particular category is called a taxon (pl. taxa). E.g. Class Mammalia.
  • Each category or taxon represents a unit of classification.


It is a group of closely related organisms capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring. It is the lowest category. E.g.



It is the aggregates of closely related species. E.g. Potato, tomato & brinjal are species of genus Solanum. Lion, leopard & tiger are species of genus Panthera. This genus differs from genus Felis (genus of cats).


It is a group of closely related genera. E.g. Family Solanaceae includes Genus Solanum, Genus Petunia and Genus Datura. Family Felidae includes Genus Panthera and Genus Felis.


It is the assemblage of related families. E.g. Order Polymoniales includes Family Convolvulaceae and Family Solanaceae. Order Carnivora includes Family Felidae & Family Canidae.


It is the assemblage of related orders. E.g.  Order Primata, Carnivora etc. is placed in class Mammalia. Phylum (Division in case of plants): It is the assemblage of related classes. E.g. Classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, Mammalia etc. come under phylum Chordata.


The assemblage of related phyla. It is the highest category. E.g. Kingdom Plantae, Kingdom Animalia etc.


Taxonomical aids

a. Herbarium

  • It is a store house (repository) of plant specimens that are dried, pressed and preserved on sheets and are arranged according to universally accepted classification.
  • Herbarium sheets are labelled with information about date and place of collection, English, local and botanical names, family, collector’s name etc.

b. Botanical gardens

  • These are specialized gardens having collections of living plants for reference and identification.
  • Each plant is labelled with its botanical name and family.
  • Famous botanical gardens:
    • Royal Botanical Garden at Kew (England).
    • Indian Botanical Garden, Howrah (India).
    • At National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow (India).

c. Biological Museum

  • It is a collection of preserved plants and animals for study and reference.
  • A museum contains
    • Specimens preserved in preservative solutions in containers or jars.
    • Preserved dry specimens of plants and animals.
    • Insects preserved in insect boxes after collecting, killing and pinning.
    • Stuffed larger animals like birds and mammals.
    • Collections of animal skeletons.

d. Zoological Parks (Zoos)

  • These are the places where live wild animals are kept in protected environments under human care.
  • It helps to learn about their food habits and behaviour.

e. Key

  • It is an analytical method of identification of organisms based on similarities and dissimilarities.
  • It is based on the contrasting characters generally in a pair called couplet.
  • Each couplet has two opposite options. Of these, only relevant option is accepted and other is rejected.
  • Each statement in the key is called a lead.

Flora, manuals, monographs & catalogues

  • Flora: Actual account of habitat and distribution of plant species of a given area.
  • Manuals: The record that contains information for identification of names of species found in an area.
  • Monographs: The records that contain information on any one taxon.
  • Catalogue: Alphabetical list of species.

Join our Telegram channel@learnave_NEET

Keywords and Searches —

  • class 11 biology chapter 1 notes
  • the living world class 11 notes
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 the living world notes
  • notes of biology class 11 chapter 1
  • chapter 1 biology class 11
  • the living world class 11 notes for neet pdf download
  • the living world class 11 notes for neet
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 notes for neet
  • the living world class 11 notes for neet pdf
  • chapter 1 biology class 11 notes
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 pdf notes
  • living world neet notes
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 notes for neet pdf download
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 notes unacademy
  • the living world notes for neet
  • living world notes for neet pdf
  • the living world class 11 ncert notes pdf
  • the living world neet notes
  • the living world class 11 notes pdf download
  • diversity in the living world notes
  • unacademy class 11 biology chapter 1 notes pdf
  • living world class 11 notes for neet
  • living world notes for neet
  • living world short notes for neet
  • class 11 biology chapter 1 neet notes
  • the living world notes for neet pdf
  • the living world short notes for neet
  • the living world class 11 notes pdf for neet
  • the living world class 11 short notes for neet
  • neet the living world class 11 notes
  • living world important notes for neet
  • living world neet notes pdf
Share your Friends

Leave a comment

List of Best Career Options After 12th in 2024 7 MOST POPULAR COURSES IN DELHI UNIVERSITY List Of Popular Colleges Of Delhi University AP SSC or Class 10th Supplementary Result 2023: How To Check Marks CBSE Compartment Result 2023 Class 10: How​​​​ to check Top CBSE Schools in Delhi Best Medical Courses After 12th Without Neet UPSC Declares Result of Civil Services Preliminary Exam Top 10 IITs for Chemical Engineering JEE Advanced 2023 Answer Key Released: Check Provisional Key and Results NEET UG Result 2023: NTA to Release Results This Week Top 10 NIT Colleges in india Top 10 Diploma Colleges in Mumbai for Computer Engineering Top 10 NIRF Ranking 2023 Medical colleges 10 BEST IT COURSES TO PURSUE AFTER CLASS 12 6 Top Mechanical Engineering Programmes in the World NEET UG Result 2023: OMR Sheets Released on Top 10 Delhi University Colleges and their Ranking