Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
- Additional Readings
Any living organism which possesses certain characteristics that distinguish it from plants is a member of the animal kingdom. There is no single criterion that can be used to distinguish all animals from all plants. Animals usually lack chlorophyll and the ability to manufacture foods from raw materials available in the soil, water, and atmosphere. Animal cells are usually delimited by a flexible plasma or cell membrane rather than a cell wall composed either of cellulose or chitin, as are the cells of most plants. Animals generally are limited in their growth and most have the ability to move in their environment at some stage in their life history, whereas plants are usually not restricted in their growth and the majority are stationary.
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