12 Difference Between Growth And Development In Biology

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What Is Growth?          

Growth is the increase in the cell size and number that take place during the life history of an organism. The increase in size and changes in shape of a developing organism depend on the increase in the number and size of cells that make up the individual.  Increase in size resulting from cell multiplication, cell expansion as well as maturation of tissues occurs by a precise cellular reproductive mechanism referred to as mitosis.

Growth may be restricted to special regions of the organisms such as the layers of cells that divide and increase in size near the tip of the plant shoot. Or the cells engaged in growth may be widely distributed throughout the body of the organism, as in human embryo.  In this regard, the rates of cell division and of the increase in cell size differ in different parts.

The rate of growth of various components of an organism may have important effect in its ability to adapt to the environment and hence may play a role in evolution. Thus, growth is an incredibly complex phenomenon which involves changes in the body form, metabolism and body processes.

Growth occurs throughout the life history but not uniformly. It occurs at a faster rate until a plant or animal attains maturity. After this stage, gradually growth slows down and stops after a particular time.

What You Need To Know About Growth

  1. Growth is the increase in the cell size and number that take place during the life history of an organism.
  2. Growth is the increase in size and mass over a period of time.
  3. Growth brings changes in the size, shape, form and structure of the body.
  4. Growth is quantitative.
  5. Growth occurs at the cellular level.
  6. Growth is measurable. It is measured by different methods such as the rise in dry weight, the number of cells, volume, and increase in fresh weight or volume.
  7. Growth stops at the maturation.
  8. Growth is an irreversible process
  9. The pattern of growth is predetermined and regular in plants and animals
  10. Growth does not have any specific stages.
  11. Depending on various factors growth can be slow or rapid.
  12. Growth may be restricted to special regions of the organism such as the layer of cells that divide and increase in size near the tip of the plant.

What Is Development?

Development is the progressive changes in size, shape and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potentials (genotype) are translated into functioning mature systems (phenotype). In other words, development is the increase in complexity of an organism as it grows. As the number of cells increases, they become differentiated (specialized for different tasks).

An organism like animals are made up of different important organ systems like the respiratory system, reproductive system, circulatory system, digestive system, etc. all these systems form part of the developmental process. The interactions of the environment and the genetic instructions inherited by the cells determine how the plant develops.

Development involves the differentiation of cells within a period of time, these cells can be highly specialized and perform their specific functions. Every organism has its own stage of development. For example, humans can be pregnant and give birth when they reach the stage of puberty or adulthood.

Some organisms also undergo several developmental changes after being hatched i.e metamorphosis. Metamorphosis has different stages like an egg to larva, larva to pupa and pupa to adult. Metamorphosis is common in insects, frogs, spiders, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, scorpions etc.

What You Need To Know About Development

  1. Development is the progressive changes in size, shape and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potentials (genotype) are translated into functioning mature systems (phenotype).
  2. Development is the transformation of an organism into a more complex form in terms of function and organization.
  3. Development brings changes in the organization, function, size along with other abilities.
  4. Development is both qualitative and quantitative.
  5. Development occurs at the organization level.
  6. Development cannot be measured, it is a subjective interpretation.
  7. Development continues throughout life.
  8. Development is also an irreversible process.
  9. The pattern of development is indeterminate and irregular in plants and animals
  10. The process of development is divided into specific stages.
  11. Quantitative development can be rapid whereas qualitative development takes some time.
  12. Development is general and not necessarily restricted to special regions of the organism.

Also Read: Difference Between Artificial And Natural Selection

Difference Between Growth And Development In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON GROWTH DEVELOPMENT
Description Growth is the increase in the cell size and number that take place during the life history of an organism.   Development is the progressive changes in size, shape and function during the life of an organism by which its genetic potentials (genotype) are translated into functioning mature systems (phenotype).  
Entails It entails the increase in size and mass over a period of time.   It entails the transformation of an organism into a more complex form in terms of function and organization.  
Changes It brings changes in the size, shape, form and structure of the body.   It brings changes in the organization, function, size along with other abilities.  
Nature It is quantitative.   It is both qualitative and quantitative.  
Occurrence It occurs at the cellular level.   It occurs at the organization level.  
Measurement It is measurable. It is measured by different methods such as the rise in dry weight, the number of cells, volume, and increase in fresh weight or volume.   It cannot be measured, it is a subjective interpretation.  
Continuity It stops at the maturation.   It continues throughout life.  
Reversibility It is an irreversible process   It is also an irreversible process.  
Pattern The pattern of growth is predetermined and regular in plants and animals.   The pattern of development is indeterminate and irregular in plants and animals  
Stages It does not have any specific stages.   The process of development is divided into specific stages.  
Speed Depending on various factors growth can be slow or rapid.   Quantitative development can be rapid whereas qualitative development takes some time.  
Occurrence It may be restricted to special regions of the organism such as the layer of cells that divide and increase in size near the tip of the plant.   It is general and not necessarily restricted to special regions of the organism.