How are plants different from animals?

Plants and animals make up almost all of the living things in the world. They are alike in a lot of ways. Both are made up of cells, tiny building blocks of life that produce chemicals that control growth and activity. Often these cells become specialized in a plant or animal, with different types of cells doing particular jobs. In addition, both plants and animals use gases, water, and minerals to carry on life processes. Both experience life cycles in which they are created, grow, reproduce, and die.

But plants are very different from animals in one big way: most do not move around and thus cannot go and get food. Because they are rooted to one spot, plants are able to perform a special process called photosynthesis. For this remarkable process, plants use energy from sunlight, a gas in the air called carbon dioxide, and water and minerals from soil to produce their own food. Animals cannot do this. They must look for food, eating plants or other animals in order to get the energy they need to live.


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