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Identifying a new organism as a plant or as an animal

A newly found organism is still to be identified if it is a slow-moving animal or a plant which responds to light and to touch. It would be difficult to distinguish the organism just by its appearance because some animals look like plants and some plants may look like animals. There are ways to which we could differentiate a plant from an animal. There are many physiological differences between the two. Animals have nervous systems. This allows them to respond more quickly to stimuli.

The newly found organism might be a slow-moving animal or it could also be a plant which responds to light and touch. There are plants which are sensitive to light just like the sunflower and there is a species of a plant which leaves closes when it is touched. Movement doesn’t guarantee that the organism is an animal. However, the response of an animal is relatively fast. Other way to distinguish the plant from an animal is to look at the cellular level.

Plants do have cell wall while animals lack cell wall. Plants may also have numerous organs but, for animals, there is a definite number of organs. One simple way to distinguish the two based from appearance would be the presence of a feeding structure. Animals have digestive tract and have mouth. Further observation may answer if the organism relies on photosynthesis for food or if they prey on other organism. This could lead us to know if the organism is a plant or an animal.

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