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NCERT Exemplars: The Living World - 2 | Biology Class 11 - NEET PDF Download

Long Answer Type Questions

Q.1. What is meant by living? Give any four defining features of life forms.
Ans.

Growth, reproduction, cellular organization, ability to sense the environment, and mount a suitable response, metabolism, self-replication, self-organisation, interaction, and emergence are unique features of living organisms.

Some other characteristics of living organisms are life-span, movements, adaptations, variations and homeostasis, etc. Living organisms are self-replicating, evolving and self-regulating interactive systems capable of responding to external stimuli.

NCERT Exemplars: The Living World - 2 | Biology Class 11 - NEET

(i) Metabolism: There are thousands of metabolic reactions occurring simultaneously inside all living organisms, be they unicellular or, multicellular. 

  • The sum total of all the chemical reactions occurring in our body is metabolism. 
  • All plants, animals, fungi and microbes exhibit metabolism. No non-living objects exhibit metabolism. 
  • Metabolic reactions can be demonstrated outside the body in cell-free system.
    An isolated metabolic reaction(s) outside the body of an organism performed in a test tube is neither living nor non-living. 
  • Hence, while metabolism is a defining feature of all living organisms without exception, isolated metabolic reactions in vitro are not living things but surely living reactions.

(ii) Cellular Organization: All living organisms are composed of cells and products of cells. Hence, the cellular organization of the body is the defining feature of life forms.

(iii) Consciousness: Perhaps, the most obvious and technically complicated feature of all living organisms is this ability to sense their surroundings or environment and respond to these environmental stimuli which could be physical, chemical or biological. 

  • All organisms, from the prokaryotes to the most complex eukaryotes can sense and respond to environmental cues.
  • All organisms handle chemicals entering their bodies. All organisms, therefore, are aware of their surroundings. 
  • Plants respond to external factors like light, water, temperature, other organisms, pollutants, etc. 
  • Photoperiod affects reproduction in seasonal breeders, both plants and animals. 
  • Consciousness, therefore, becomes the defining property of living organisms.

(iv) Interactions: All living phenomena are due to underlying interactions. Properties of tissues are not present in the constituent cells. Similarly, properties of cellular organelles are not present in the molecular constituents of the organelle but arise as a result of interactions among the molecular components comprising the organelle. These interactions result in emergent properties at a higher level of organization. This phenomenon is true in the hierarchy of organisational complexity at all levels.

Q.2. A scientist has come across a plant which he feels is a new species. How will he go about its identification, classification and nomenclature? 
Ans. If a scientist feels that they have discovered a new plant species, they will need to follow a systematic approach for its identification, classification, and nomenclature. 

Here are the steps they will likely take:

  • Characterization: The scientist will study the plant's morphological, anatomical, and other physical characteristics to describe its features in detail. They will also collect information on the plant's habitat, ecology, and distribution.
  • Identification: The scientist will compare the characteristics of the plant with those of known species to determine if it is similar to any already known taxa groups. They may use various identification keys and taxonomic literature for this purpose.
  • Classification: Based on the similarity of the plant's characteristics to known taxa, the scientist will classify the plant into a group or taxon. If the plant does not resemble any known taxa or groups, a new group or taxon may be created.
  • Nomenclature: Once the plant is classified into a group, its correct name is determined according to nomenclature rules and conventions. If the plant is a new species, it will be given a new name that follows the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN).

Q.3. Brassica campestris Linn
(a) Give the common name of the plant.
(b) What do the first two parts of the name denote?
(c) Why are they written in italics?
(d) What is the meaning of Linn written at the end of the name?
Ans. 
(a) Mustard.
(b) The first word in a biological name represents the genus while the second component denotes the specific epithet.
(c) Both word in a biological name, when handwritten, are separately underlined, or printed in italics to indicate their Latin origin.
(d) Name of the author appears after the specific epithet, i.e. at the end of the biological name and is written in an abbreviated form, Example Brassica campestris Linn. It indicates that this species was first described by Linnaeus.

Q.4. What are Taxonomical Aids? Give the importance of herbaria and museums. How are Botanical gardens and Zoological parks useful in conserving biodiversity?
Ans. 

Taxonomical Aids are the tools used by taxonomists to help them in the identification, classification, and nomenclature of living organisms. Some important taxonomical aids are:

(i) Botanical gardens are institutions that maintain collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, and education. They are important centers for the study of plant diversity, and provide opportunities for researchers to study and compare different plant species.

(ii) Zoological parks, also known as zoos, are institutions that maintain collections of live animals for the purposes of conservation, research, and education. They provide opportunities for researchers to study and compare different animal species, and can also be used to educate the public about the importance of animal conservation.
(iii) Herbarium is a storehouse of collected plant specimens that are dried, pressed and preserved on sheets. Further, these sheets are arranged according to a universally accepted system of classification.

(iv) Biological museums are generally set up in educational institutes such as schools and colleges. Museums have collections of preserved plant and animal specimens for study and reference. Specimens are preserved in the containers or jars in preservative solutions. Plant and animal specimens may also be preserved as dry specimens.

(v) Keys are important taxonomic aids that help in the identification and classification of different organisms. They are a set of instructions or a series of couplets that enable the user to identify an unknown organism based on its morphological or other characteristics.

Botanical gardens and Zoological parks are useful in conserving biodiversity

Both botanical gardens and zoological parks are important tools in conserving biodiversity. They help to maintain living collections of plants and animals, and provide opportunities for researchers to study and understand the diversity of life on Earth. In addition, they can be used to educate the public about the importance of biodiversity and the need to conserve it. By providing a window into the natural world, botanical gardens and zoological parks help to inspire people to take action to protect our planet's precious natural resources.

Importance of Herbaria and Museums

The importance of herbaria and museums lies in the fact that they provide a permanent record of the biodiversity of the planet. The herbarium sheets carry a label providing information about date and place of collection, English, local and botanical names, family, collector’s name, etc. They allow taxonomists to study and identify species, and they are also important for conservation efforts.


Q.5. Define a taxon. What is meant by the taxonomic hierarchy? Give a flow diagram from the lowest to the highest category for a plant and an animal. What happens to the number of individuals and number of shared characters as we go up the taxonomical hierarchy? 
Ans. 

A taxon is a taxonomic group of plants and animals with similar traits of any ranking. These taxonomic groups/categories are distinct biological entities and not merely morphological aggregates.

Classification is not a single step process but involves a hierarchy of steps in which each step represents a rank or category. Since the category is a part of the overall taxonomic arrangement, it is-called the taxonomic category, and all categories together constitute the taxonomic hierarchy.

NCERT Exemplars: The Living World - 2 | Biology Class 11 - NEET

  • As we go higher from species to kingdom, the number of common characteristics goes on decreasing. Lower the taxa, more are the characteristics that the members within the taxon share. Higher the category, greater is the difficulty of determining the relationship to other taxa at the same level. As we go higher from species to kingdom, the number of individuals goes on increasing.

Q.6. A student of taxonomy was puzzled when told by his professor to look for a key to identify a plant. He went to his friend to clarify what ‘Key’ the professor was referring to? What would the friend explain to him?
Ans.
In reference to this question, ‘Key’ stands for taxonomic keys. Key is the taxonomical aid used for identification of plants and animals based on the similarities and dissimilarities. The keys are based on the contrasting characters generally in a pair called a couplet. It represents the choice made between two opposite options. This results in the acceptance of only one and the rejection of the other.
Each statement in the key is called a lead. Separate taxonomic keys are required for each taxonomic category such as family, genus and species for identification purposes. Keys are generally analytical in nature.

Q.7. Metabolism is a defining feature of all living organisms without exception. Isolated metabolic reactions in vitro are not living things but surely living reactions. Comment.
Ans.
All living organisms are made of chemicals.
(i) There are thousands of metabolic reactions occurring simultaneously inside all living organisms, be they are unicellular or multicellular. The sum total of all the chemical reactions occurring in our body is metabolism. All plants, animals, fungi and microbes exhibit metabolism.
(ii) No non-living objects exhibit metabolism. Metabolic reactions can be demonstrated outside the body in a cell-free system. An isolated metabolic reaction(s) outside the body of an organism, performed in a test tube is neither living nor non-living.
Hence, while metabolism is a defining feature of all living organisms without exception, isolated metabolic reactions in vitro are not living things but surely living reactions.

Q.8. Do you consider a person in coma-living or dead?
Ans.
A human being is the only organism who is aware of himself, i.e. has self-consciousness. We sense our environment through our sense organs (like ear, nose, eye, etc.). When it comes to human beings, it is all the more difficult to define the living state.
We observe patients lying in coma in hospitals virtually supported by machines which replace the heart and lungs. The patient is otherwise brain- dead. The patient has no self-consciousness. So on this basis, the person is considered as dead, but there are thousands of metabolic reactions occurring in the body, hence on the basis of metabolism the person is considered as living. So we can say that the person that lying in coma is neither living nor dead.

Q.9. What is the similarity and dissimilarity between “whole moong daal” and “broken moong daal” in terms of respiration and growth? Based on these parameters, classify them into living or nonliving?
Ans.
 

Whole moong daal has intact embryo which respire at slow rate during dormancy phase. When whole moong daal absorbs water, it resumes growth and germinate to form a new plant.
Broken moong daal does not have an intact embryo, so it cannot respire and cannot germinate/grow. As whole moong daal can grow hence, it is living while broken moong daal cannot grow hence non-living.

Q.10. Some of the properties of tissues are not the constituents of its cells. Give three examples to support the statement.
Ans. 

There are several properties of tissues that are not directly related to the constituents of its cells. Here are three examples:

(i) Bone is a specialised connective tissue which is made up of osteocytes (bone cells). Bones provide mechanical support which is not provided by osteocytes.
(ii) Dry surface of the skin is a compound epithelium tissue that is made up of epithelial cells. Epithelial tissue protects the skin from chemical and mechanical stresses while this property is not found in epithelial cells.
(iii) Blood is a specialized connective tissue which is made up of RBCs, WBCs and Platelets. Blood helps in the transport of nutrients inside the body while blood cells do not play a role in the transport of nutrients.

The document NCERT Exemplars: The Living World - 2 | Biology Class 11 - NEET is a part of the NEET Course Biology Class 11.
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FAQs on NCERT Exemplars: The Living World - 2 - Biology Class 11 - NEET

1. What is the importance of biodiversity?
Ans. Biodiversity is important for several reasons. It helps maintain the balance of ecosystems, provides various ecosystem services such as clean air and water, supports food production, and contributes to the development of medicines. Biodiversity also enhances the resilience of ecosystems to environmental changes and promotes overall environmental sustainability.
2. How does human activity affect biodiversity?
Ans. Human activities have a significant impact on biodiversity. Deforestation, pollution, habitat destruction, overexploitation of resources, and climate change are some of the activities that contribute to the loss of biodiversity. These activities disrupt ecosystems, lead to the extinction of species, and result in imbalances in the natural systems.
3. What are the major threats to biodiversity?
Ans. There are several major threats to biodiversity, including habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, invasive species, overexploitation of resources, and climate change. These threats disrupt ecosystems, lead to the loss of species, and negatively impact the overall functioning of ecosystems.
4. How can we conserve biodiversity?
Ans. Biodiversity conservation can be achieved through various measures. These include the establishment and management of protected areas, sustainable use of natural resources, restoration of degraded ecosystems, implementation of biodiversity-friendly policies, and raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity among the general public. Additionally, international cooperation and collaboration are crucial for conserving biodiversity on a global scale.
5. What are the benefits of conserving biodiversity?
Ans. Conserving biodiversity brings numerous benefits. It helps maintain the balance of ecosystems, supports food production, provides sources for medicines and other natural products, contributes to the resilience of ecosystems, and enhances overall environmental sustainability. Biodiversity conservation also promotes cultural, aesthetic, and recreational values, and is essential for the well-being and survival of human populations.
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