Plants vs. Animals

The major difference between plants and animals is that plants prepare their own food in the form of glucose using CO2, water, and sunlight in the presence of chlorophyll while animals cannot prepare their own food. They get their food from plants.

Plants vs. Animals
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Plants and animals are two major forms of life on earth. Although they contain cells which is the unit of life, both have many differences from each other. Plants synthesize their own food using carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll while animals cannot synthesize their own food. They get it from plants or other animals. Apart from this, plants cannot move while animals are motile because their roots are deep in the ground. But very few numbers of plant species are motile like Volvox and Chlamydomonas.

Animals have many well-developed systems like the reproductive system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, urinary system, and genital system while plants do not have a number of well-developed systems.

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Animals are highly sensitive to a stimulus while plants are less sensitive to stimuli.

Although plants synthesize their own food, they do not have the ability to store the food because they do not have a digestive system. But the animals can store food for some hours because of the presence of a well developed digestive system. The time of storage depends upon the nature of food.

In the process of respiration, plants take CO2 in and release free oxygen in the environment during the day time while during the night, they take oxygen in and release CO2 in the environment just like animals. The mode of respiration of animals is different from plants. They always inhale oxygen and exhale CO2 in the environment.

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In the cell of plants, the cell wall is present  while in animal cells it is absent. Plants cell also have chloroplast for the synthesis of food which is not present in the animal cells.

The growth of the plants takes place during the whole time period of their life while the growth of animals occurs during a defined period of time.

Reproduction of plants takes place by an asexual method like vegetative methods, winds, spores, budding or through insects while in animals, higher animals reproduce by sexual methods and lower animals like algae reproduce asexually.

Comparison Chart

Basis Plants Animals
Definition Plants are the organisms which are green in color due to the presence of green pigment, chlorophyll and synthesize their own food by using CO2 and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. Animals are the organisms which do not have food synthesizing pigment and thus cannot prepare their own food. They get their food from plants directly or indirectly.
Motility or locomotion They cannot move because they are deeply rooted in the ground. They have the ability of locomotion from one place to another. They have the ability of locomotion.
Cell structure Plants cell contain cell wall which makes it rigid and chloroplast for food synthesis. Animal cells do not have cell wall and chloroplast. The animal cell is thus not rigid like plant cell.
Systems Plants have only two systems, i.e., a vascular system containing xylem and phloem and respiratory system. Animals have many well-developed systems respiratory system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, reproductive system, and genitourinary system.
Respiration In the respiration, plants take CO2 in and release pure oxygen during day time while during the night, they take oxygen in and release oxygen out. Animals have a well developed respiratory system. They take in oxygen which goes to the lungs and supplied to the whole body cells via blood. Then animals exhale CO2 out.
Growth The growth of plants continues to take place during the whole life of plants. The growth of animals occurs only for a defined period of time after which they do not grow.
Storage of food  Plants cannot store food because they do not have a well developed digestive system and food storing organs. Animals can store food in the stomach for some time. They also store energy in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. Fat cell store energy in the form of lipids.
Reproduction Plants reproduce by asexual methods like budding, wind, spores and vegetative methods. Higher animals reproduce by sexual reproduction while lower animals reproduce by asexual methods.

What are Plants?

Plants are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that have the ability to prepare their food by the process of photosynthesis, and they are kept under the kingdom Plantae. Plants are in fact the primary producers in the food chain in the ecosystem of the earth. They synthesize their food using CO2 and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. The compound formed by the process of photosynthesis is C6H12O6 (glucose) . Plants use this compound as the source of energy, but they cannot store food or energy. Plants have only two systems, i.e., a vascular system containing xylem and phloem for the distribution of water and nutrients and a respiratory system for the exchange of gases with the environment. A plant contains three types of organs, i.e., stem, root, and leaves. During the process of respiration, plants take in CO2 from the air for the synthesis of glucose and release pure oxygen which is used by animals for respiration. But this is altered at night when there is no sunlight and photosynthesis does not take place. Thus at night, plants take in oxygen and release CO2 just like animals.

The branch of science in which plants are studied is called botany, and the persons who study plants in detail is called as a botanist. Plants are very important for medicines, food, respiration, and cultivation. The economy of many countries depends upon the plant’s cultivation. They occupy the producer level in the food chain. All the animals are dependant upon plants for their food.

What are Animals?

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms, but they do not have the ability to synthesize their own food, and thus they are kept in the category of kingdom Animalia. Animals are further divided into many categories like vertebrates or invertebrates, oviparous, viviparous or ovoviviparous or cold blooded and warm blooded animals.

Animals require water, air food, and shelter from their environment for survival. They are dependant upon plants directly or indirectly for food because they do not have chlorophyll necessary for food production. Animals have the ability of locomotion. They have the ability to move from one place to another place with the help of limbs. Animals have many well-developed organs and systems in their bodies. They have a vascular system for blood supply, a genitourinary system for urination, a respiratory system for the gaseous exchange with air, nervous system for the coordination of the body and digestive system for food absorption and digestion. Higher animals reproduce sexually while lower animals reproduce asexually. In the process of respiration, animals inhale oxygen which is supplied to the whole body cells via blood, and then they exhale CO2 which is used by plants in photosynthesis. Animals occupy the consumer level in the food chain.

Key Differences between Plants and Animals

  1. Plants have the ability to synthesize their own food while animals do not prepare their food. They get it from plants.
  2. Plants do not have the ability to move from one place to another while animals can move.
  3. Plants take CO2 in and release oxygen during the process of respiration while animals release CO2 and inhale
  4. Plants do not have well-developed organ systems while animals have.
  5. Plants reproduce by the asexual method, but higher animals reproduce via sexual reproduction.

Conclusion

Plants and animals are two broad classifications of life present on earth. Both are dependant upon each other for survival. Both have many differences in their structure, function, systems, and methods of food production. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between plants and animals.

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