ⓘ Habit (biology)

Habit (biology)

ⓘ Habit (biology)

Habit is equivalent to habitus in some applications in biology; the term refers variously to aspects of behaviour or structure, as follows:

  • In zoology particularly in ethology, habit usually refers to aspects of more or less predictable behaviour, instinctive or otherwise, though it also has broader application. Habitus refers to the characteristic form or morphology of a species.
  • In botany habit is the characteristic form in which a given species of plant grows see Glossary of plant morphology#Plant habit.

1. Behavior

In zoology, habit not to be confused with habitus as described below usually refers to a specific behavior pattern, either adopted, learned, pathological, innate, or directly related to physiology. For example:

  • The brittlestar has the habit of breaking off arms as a means of defense.
  • .the in order to gain admission.
  • The spider monkey has an arboreal habit and rarely ventures onto the forest floor.
  • If these sensitive parrots are kept in cages, they quickly take up the habit of feather plucking.

Mode of life or lifestyle, modus vivendi is a concept related to habit, and it sometimes is referred to as the habit of an animal. It may refer to the locomotor capabilities, as in ", feeding behaviour and mechanisms, nutrition mode, type of habitat, period of activity diurnal, nocturnal, types of ecological interaction, etc.

The habits of plants and animals often change in response to changes in their environment. For example: if a species develops a disease or there is a drastic change of habitat or local climate, or it is removed to a different region, then the normal habits may change. Such changes may be either pathological, or adaptive.


2. Structure

In botany, habit is the general appearance, growth form, or architecture. For example:

  • Certain alpine plants have been chosen for cultivation because of their dwarf habit.
  • Many species of maple have a shrubby habit and may form bushes or hedges rather than trees.

Plants may be woody or herbaceous. The main types of woody plants are trees, shrubs and lianas. Climbing plants vines can be woody lianas or herbaceous nonwoody vines. Plants can also be categorized in terms of their habit as subshrubs dwarf shrub, bush, cushion plants and succulents.

There is some overlap between the classifications of plants according to their habit and their life-form.

Other terms in biology refer similarly to various taxa; for example:

  • Animal structure is described by its body plan, which encompasses the body symmetry, the type of germ layers and of body cavities.
  • Bacteria are described by their morphology or shape.
  • Lichens structure is described their growth form: foliose, crustose, fruticose or gelatinous.
  • The structure of a given species of algae is referred to as its type or level of organization.
  • Fungi are described by their growth patterns: molds, yeasts, mushrooms and dimorphic fungi.
  • Bryophytes structure is described as foliose or thallose.

Since the distinction between the concepts – mode of behavior and morphological form – are significant in zoology, the term habitus from which the word habit derives is used to describe form as distinct from behaviour habit. The term habitus also occurs in botanical texts, but there it is used almost interchangeably with habit, because plant behaviour generally does not correspond closely to the concept of habits in the zoological sense.

  • theory and practical exposure to students develops the habit of research including the habit of scientific reading, research methodology, analytical
  • McIntosh is a mutation of the McIntosh apple that has a columnar growing habit meaning that it grows straight and upright, and is spur - bearing, without
  • While each of the three families differs in biology within each family, they are remarkably uniform in appearance and habits Tree of Life Evanioidea
  • While these snakes are often difficult to locate due to their burrowing habits they are more often seen above ground after rain due to flooding that occurs
  • stargazer also has a large, upward - facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey benthic

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