Life's Organizational Hierarchy

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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So from our previous lesson videos, we already know that one of the eight characteristics of life that all living organisms share is organization. And so here in this video, we're going to talk about life's organizational hierarchy. Now, life actually consists of multiple parts that are organized into a hierarchal pattern and will be able to see this pattern down below in our image. Now, at the smallest scale of this organized pattern, all life is composed of Adams. And at the opposite end, at the largest scale of this organized pattern is the biosphere, which again will be able to define down below in our image. And so if we take a look at our image, noticed that we have this big table here in the middle and it has these three columns and the first column. What we have is the name of the level, the hierarchal level of organization in the middle. What we have is a description of the level and then on the far right. What we have is an image that complements the description. And so notice that over here on the far left, what we have is this scale and so you can see that we're starting at the smallest scale, which again we define as the atoms. And we're building our way up to the largest scale, which we have at the bottom, which again is going to be the biosphere, which we can go ahead and fill in here. But first, let's go ahead and start at the very top and work our way downwards and so again at the smallest scale, what we have, our Adams and all matter, all living things and non living things that take up space are made of atoms. Now, later, in our course, we'll talk mawr about Adams and talk about the basic chemistry that you guys need to know for this course. But for now, we're defining Adams as the smallest particle oven element, and here we have an image to represent an Adam. Now, if you take multiple atoms and you put them together, you can start to build an organizational hierarchy here. And so taking multiple atoms and linking them together can allow you to build molecules, and so molecules are defined as a combination of atoms. And so, for example, we have a water molecule over here, which is H 20 So we noticed we have these two hydrogen atoms and this one red oxygen atom. And by combining these three atoms together, we can build a molecule. And so we can have small molecules that are on Lee made up of three atoms. But we can also have very, very large molecules that are made up of thousands of atoms. Now, these molecules, if we take multiple molecules and we put together multiple molecules, we can build organelles and organelles, kind of sound like organs that air found in cells. And that's pretty much exactly what they are. They're tiny little organs that air found inside of cells, and so we can define them as specialized structures found within cells. And so, for example, we have these two organelles that we're showing you right here, and we'll talk a lot more about organelles later in our course. But just for you guys to know if you're curious, this is the Golgi apparatus and this is the mitochondria. And we'll talk about these organelles again later in our course in a different video. But if we take multiple organelles and we put all of these organelles together, we can actually build cells or a cell. And so we've already defined cell in our previous lesson videos as the smallest unit of life, it's the smallest thing that we can call a lot. And so notice here we're showing you an image of a cell which, you can see consists of these organelles that air found within a bunch of different types of organelles. Now, if you take multiple cells and you put these cells together, you can get tissues. And so tissues air just defined as a group of cells that perform a specific function. And so notice here in our image, we can see all of these, uh, cells are coming together to create tissues. Now, if you take multiple tissues and put multiple tissues together, you can build an organ, and so on. Oregon is going to be defined as a group of tissues, and these this group of tissues is going to perform a specific function. For example, our hearts or the heart of any organism is going to be an organ. Now, if you take multiple organs and put these multiple organs together, you can build an organ system. And so an organ system is going to be defined as a group of Oregon's that are working together to perform a specific function. For example, the circulatory system is an example of an organ system, and the circulatory system includes our hearts, our blood, our blood vessels and arteries. And so here, what we're showing you is the circulatory system within a deer. Now, if you take multiple organ systems such as the circulatory system, our digestive systems, the nervous systems and so on, you can actually build ah, multi cellular organism or just an organism. And so the organism, we also know it from our previous lesson Videos is defined as an individual form of life composed of many cells. And so here, what we're showing you is a deer, which would be a single organism. Now, if you take multiple organisms multiple of the same type of organisms and you put them together, you can get a population. And so population is defined as all of the organisms of the same species that are living in the same area. And so all of the deer that air found in the same area would be referred to as the deer population. Now, if you take populations of different species, then you could build yourself a community, and so a community would be defined as multiple populations but of different species living in the same area. So, for example, if we take the population of deer and the population of squirrels, then we are considering a community. And so they have to be different, uh, species, multiple populations of different species such as deer and squirrel. Now, if we consider the community along with the non living environment, then we can build ourselves an ecosystem. So the ecosystem is referring to the living community, which would be the biotic portion or with living portion, and it refers to the non living surroundings as well. So it also refers to the A biotics, um, components, and a biotic again is referring to non living. And so if we include not only the deer population and the squirrel population, but we also include the river. Um, like what we see here on, we also include the mountains and the rocks and things of that nature. Then we're including the non living surroundings as well, and that is what we refer to as an ecosystem. Now, if we take all of the ecosystems on our planet Earth, then what we have is the biosphere. And so the biosphere, because it has the prefix bio in it, is referring to the portions off, um, our planet that support life. And so it's referring to all of the different ecosystems on Earth that support life. And so here, what we have is a picture of our planet Earth where you can see the biosphere, which would be again all of the different regions of our planet Earth that support life. And so through getting some practice and reviewing this video, you'll be able to get this biological organization down in no problem. So as we move forward in our course, we'll be able to get some practice applying these concepts, and I'll see you guys in our next video.