NCERT Class 11 Biology The living World Important Notes

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Study Material for Class 11 Biology Chapter 1 The Living World

Class 11 Biology students should refer to the following Pdf for Chapter 1 The Living World in standard 11. These notes and test paper with questions and answers for Grade 11 Biology will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks

Class 11 Biology Chapter 1 The Living World

Characteristics of Living Beings

Growth: Growth is an important feature of living beings. Growth can be seen in some non-living things; like a cloud. But the growth in non-living things happens because of accumulation of matter from outside. On the other hand, the growth in a living being happens because of internal processes, i.e. cell division. Most of the plants show indeterminate growth, while the growth in animals is definite.

Reproduction: All living beings produce their offspring through the process of reproduction. Reproduction is important for continuing the lineage of a species. There are two main types of reproduction, viz. sexual and asexual.

Metabolism: The chemicals within a living organism undergo a continuous change. This process is called metabolism. Metabolism is composed of two processes, viz. anabolism and catabolism.

a. Anabolism: The process of synthesis of any substance is called anabolism, e.g. photosynthesis.

b. Catabolism: The process of breaking up of a substance is called catabolism, e.g. respiration. 

Response to External Stimuli: All living organisms respond to external stimuli. Light, heat, chemicals, other organisms, etc. are examples of external stimuli. Response to external stimuli is important for the survival of an organism.

Nomenclature and Identification:

An organism is known by different names in different languages. It would be impossible for any person to remember the names of an organism in all the languages. Hence, there is need for a uniform system of nomenclature of organisms. A uniform system of nomenclature and identification helps the scientists in systematic study of living beings. ICBN (International Code for Botanical Nomenclature) applies to the plants and ICZN (International Code for Zoological Nomenclature) applies to the animals.

General Rules for Nomenclature:

• Biological names are usually written in Latin. They are written in italics.

• A biological name usually contains two terms. The first term shows the genus, while the second term shows the species.

• Biological name is underlined, when it is handwritten.

• The first term of the biological name begins with a capital letter. The second and the subsequent terms begin with the small letter. 

Taxonomic Categories

Various steps of the classification hierarchy are called taxonomic categories. Each category represents a particular rank and is usually called the taxon.

Species: A group of individuals in which the individuals can interbreed among themselves is called species. Members of a species have a large number of similar characters. For example; all the tigers are called Panthera tigris. Since all of them can interbreed hence, they are kept under one species.

Genus: A group of closely related species is called genus. Example; Lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus) and tiger (Panthera tigris) are members of the genus Panthera. Similarly, potato, tomato and brinjal belong to the genus Solanum.

Family: A group of closely related genera is called a family. For example; potato and chili belong the family Solanaceae. Similarly, the genus Panthera and the genus Felis belong to the family Felidae.

Order: A group of closely related families is called order. For example; Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae are plant families which belong to the order Polymoniales. Similarly, Felidae and Concidae belong the order Carnivora.

Class: The group of closely related orders is called class. For example; orders Primata and Carnivora belong to the class Mammalia.

Phylum: A group of closely related classes is called phylum. In the Plant Kingdom; the term phylum has been replaced with division. For example; pisces, amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammalia belong to the Phylum Chordata.

Kingdom: The group of all the related phyla is called the Kingdom. For example; all autotrophic organisms which are eukaryotic and contain chloroplast are kept under the Plant Kingdom. Similarly, all heterotrophic organisms which are eukaryotic and lack a cell wall are kept under Animal Kingdom.

NCERT Solution Class 11 Biology The living World 

Question – 1- Why are living organisms classified?

Answer: There is a huge diversity among living beings. This makes it a challenge to systematically study them. Classification helps in systematic study of the living beings. Systematic study of living beings not only helps the scientists but also the common people; because new scientific discoveries finally benefit the humankind.

Question – 2 - Why are the classification systems changing every now and then?

Answer: Any scientific theory evolves over a period of time. When a new theory disproves an existing theory, it takes the place of the existing theory. Classification system has also evolved through various stages. When scientists could identify some new attributes; they incorporated in the classification system and thus system could be changed.

Question – 3 - What different criteria would you choose to classify people that you meet often?

Answer: We can classify people on the basis of their education, profession, hobbies, native place, gender, etc.

Question – 4 - What do we learn from identification of individuals and populations?

Answer: Through identification of individuals and populations; we can learn about the native place, mother tongue, costumes, food habit, religion, caste, etc.

Question – 5 - Given below is the scientific name of Mango. Identify the correctly written name.

• Mangifera Indica

• Mangifera indica

• Answer: Mangifera indica 

Question – 6 - Define a taxon. Give some examples of taxa at different hierarchical levels.

Answer: A particular level of hierarchy in the classification of living beings is called a taxon. Following is the representation of taxa at different levels:

NCERT Class 11 Biology The living World Important Notes

Question – 7 - Can you specify the correct sequence of taxonomic categories?

a. Species , Order, Phylum, Kingdom

b. Genus, Species, Order, Kingdom

c. Species, Genus, Order, Phylum 

Answer: (a) and (c) show the correct order.

Question – 8 - Define the following terms:

(a) Phylum

Answer: A group of closely related classes is called phylum. In the Plant Kingdom; the term phylum has been replaced with division. For example; pisces, amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammalia belong to the Phylum Chordata.

(b) Class

Answer: The group of closely related orders is called class. For example; orders Primata and Carnivora belong to the class Mammalia.

(c) Family

Answer: A group of closely related genera is called a family. For example; potato and chili belong the family Solanaceae. Similarly, the genus Panthera and the genus Felis belong to the family Felidae.

(d) Order

Answer: A group of closely related families is called order. For example; Convolvulaceae and Solanaceae are plant families which belong to the order Polymoniales. Similarly, Felidae and Concidae belong the order Carnivora.

(e) Genus

Answer: A group of closely related species is called genus. Example; Lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus) and tiger (Panthera tigris) are members of the genus Panthera. Similarly, potato, tomato and brinjal belong to the genus Solanum.

Question – 9 - How is a key helpful in the identification and classification of an organism?

Answer: A pair of two contrasting characters is called key. While identifying a particular species or any other taxon; we need to select one of the characters and reject another. For example; presence or absence of notochord indicates if the animal belongs to chordata or not.

Question – 10 - Illustrate the taxonomical hierarchy with suitable examples of a plant and an animal.

Answer: Following two examples of show taxonomical hierarchy:

Classification of Human

• Phylum: Chordata

• Class: Mammalia

• Order: Primata

• Family: Hominidae

• Genus: Homo

• Species: Homo sapiens 

Classification of Mango

• Phylum: Angiosperm

• Class: Dicotyledons

• Order: Sapindales

• Family: Anacardiaceae

• Genus: Mangifera

• Species: Mangifera indica


Important Questions for NCERT Class 11 Biology The Living World


Ques. Which one of the following animals is correctly matched with its particular taxonomic category?
(a) Tiger - tigris, species
(b) Cuttlefish - mollusca, class
(c) Humans - primata, family
(d) Housefly - Musca, order

Answer: A

Ques. Species are considered as
(a) real basic units of classification
(b) the lowest units of classification
(c) artificial concept of human mind which cannot be defined in absolute terms
(d) real units of classification devised by taxonomists.

Answer: A

Ques. Which of the following is less general in characters as compared to genus?
(a) Species    (b) Division
(c) Class        (d) Family 

Answer: A

Ques. ‘Taxon’ is the unit of a group of
(a) order       (b) taxonomy
(c) species    (d) genes.

Answer: B

Ques. Sequence of taxonomic categories is
(a) class–phylum–tribe–order–family–genus–species
(b) division–class–family–tribe–order–genus–species
(c) division–class–order–family–tribe–genus–species.
(d) phylum–order–class–tribe–family–genus–species. 

Answer: C

Ques. The term phylum was given by
(a) Cuvier             (b) Haeckel
(c) Theophrastus   (d) Linnaeus. 

Answer: B

Ques. A group of plants or animals with similar traits of any rank is
(a) species      (b) genus
(c) order         (d) taxon.

Answer: D

Ques. A taxon is
(a) a group of related families
(b) a group of related species
(c) a type of living organisms
(d) a taxonomic group of any ranking.

Answer: D

Ques. Basic unit or smallest taxon of taxonomy/classification is
(a) species     (b) kingdom
(c) family       (d) variety. 

Answer: A

Ques. Static concept of species was put forward by
(a) de Candolle       (b) Linnaeus
(c) Theophrastus     (d) Darwin.

Answer: B

Ques. Match the items given in

Column I             Column II
A. Herbarium       (i) It is a place having a collection of preserved plants and animals.
B. Key                 (ii) A list that enumerates methodically all the species found in an area with brief description aiding identification.
C. Museum          (iii) Is a place where dried and pressed plant specimens mounted on sheets are kept.
D. Catalogue        (iv) A booklet containing a list of characters and their alternates which are helpful in identification of various taxa.


      A   B    C    D
(a) (i) (iv) (iii) (ii)
(b) (iii) (ii) (i) (iv)
(c) (ii) (iv) (iii) (i)
(d) (iii) (iv) (i) (ii) 

Answer: D

Ques. The label of a herbarium sheet does not carry information on
(a) date of collection      (b) name of collector
(c) local names              (d) height of the plant.

Answer: D

Ques. Which one of the following is not a correct statement?
(a) A museum has collection of photographs of plants and animals.
(b) Key is a taxonomic aid for identification of specimens.
(c) Herbarium houses dried, pressed and preserved plant specimens.
(d) Botanical gardens have collection of living plants for reference.

Answer: A

Ques. One of the most important functions of botanical gardens is that
(a) they provide a beautiful area for recreation
(b) one can observe tropical plants there
(c) they allow ex situ conservation of germplasm
(d) they provide the natural habitat for wild life.

Answer: C

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