Characteristics Of Living And Non Living Things

Characteristics Of Living And Non Living Things

We can find many things around us. Some of them 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 a 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 breathe, eat, grow, move, reproduce and have senses.
  • Non-living things do not eat, grow, breathe, move and reproduce. They do not have senses.

Also, read about the Difference Between Living and Non-living things

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 as a human. It would not react when we hit it and it might not walk around. Since the signs of life displayed by them are least observable and do not make them 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 have 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 a few criteria for differentiating living things from nonliving things.

Here are some of them.

  1. Living beings can grow and develop.
  2. Living beings obtain and use energy.
  3. Living beings adapt to their environment.
  4. All living beings are made of one or more cells.
  5. Living beings respond to their environment or stimuli.
  6. All living things excrete to remove waste material from the body.
  7. Living beings have the ability to give birth to their young once through the process of reproduction.
  8. All living beings require energy to perform different metabolic activities and they gain energy from food/ nutrition.
  9. All living beings, apart from plants move from one place to another. This type of movement is called as the locomotion.
  10. All living beings, including humans, animals, plants,  birds, and insects require oxygen gas to breath and produce energy.

If something obeys just one or a 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 its 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 non-living things to carry out their life processes.

  Learn more about Living and Non-Living things, their characteristics, comparisons  and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology


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