We can find many things around us. Some of the things are living and others are non-living. The earth in which we all are living is made up of several things. A dog, cat, birds, bench, soil, mountains, air, water, car, tree, flowers, rock , minerals, and lot more things that make up the ecosystem.
There are two different types of things in the ecosystem – Living and Nonliving Things.
- All living things present on the planet earth, breathe, eat, grow, move, reproduce and have senses.
- Non-living things do not eat, grow, breathe, move and reproduce. They do not have senses.
Some objects do possess that elusive thing called life although they might not show the evident signs of life like a human. A tree would probably not react the same way a human would when you hit it or it might not walk around. Since the signs of life displayed by them are least observable does not make them any less alive or non-living. For easy differentiation between living things and nonliving things, scientists have come up with traits or characteristics that are unique to them.
The criterion for classification is necessary to avoid the wrong grouping. Hence science developed a basis for classification. Anything that has life is considered as living beings. For example: humans, trees, dogs, etc.
While things which has no life in it are considered as non-living. For example: stone, mountain, watch, etc.
Criteria for differentiating living things from nonliving things
Scientists have discovered few criteria for differentiating living things from nonliving things. Listed below are some of them.
- Living beings reproduce.
- Living beings grow and develop.
- Living beings are made of cells.
- Living beings obtain and use energy.
- Living beings adapt to their environment.
- Living beings respond to their environment or stimuli.
If something obeys just one or few of the rules, it cannot be categorized as a living thing. It has to stringently follow all the given rules. For example, an icicle, although it grows (increase it mass or length) it is still a non-living thing since it cannot reproduce, or respond to stimuli. Non-living things do not follow any life processes as in living beings. Living beings use the non-living things to carry out their life processes.
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