Habit in biology is about the shape or behaviour of animals and plants.
The way plants grow makes their shape of habit. This is the way we can tell trees apart even at a distance. The shape of a willow tree or a poplar is very distinct. It is made during growth. Bacteria and fungi also have very distinct types of growth.
Trees are also examples of a life style when compared to shrubs and annual plants. To be a tree is to occupy a different space in the ecosystem from shrubs or climbers.
In zoology, habit often refers to a specific behaviour of a species. For example:
- ...the [cat] was in the habit of springing upon the [door knocker] in order to gain admission...
- The spider monkey has an arboreal habit and rarely ventures onto the forest floor.
- The brittlestar has the habit of breaking off arms as a means of defence.
The 'mode of life' (or 'lifestyle') is sometimes referred to as the 'habit of an animal. Terms like motile or sessile, sedentary, free-living, parasitic, saprophyte, terrestrial, arboreal, aquatic, pelagic, diurnal, nocturnal, are all modes of life or habits.
- ↑ William Chambers; Robert Chambers (1835). Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. W. Orr. pp. 69–.