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We can find many things around us, from mountains and oceans to plants and animals.

We can find many things around us, from mountains and oceans to plants and animals. The earth in which we live is made up of several things.  These “things” can be categorized into two different types – Living and Non-living Things.

Living things have “life,” though some might not show its evident signs. For instance, a tree would probably not react the same way a human would. It would not react when we hit it, and it might not be able to walk around. Though the signs of life displayed by them are not very observable, it does not make them non-living.

Let us have a detailed look at the important characteristics of living and non-living things and the difference between the two.

Living things exist and are alive and are made of microscopic structures called cells. They grow and exhibit movement or locomotion. They experience metabolism, which includes anabolic and catabolic reactions.

Living things are capable of producing a new life which is of their own kind through the process of reproduction. Living things have a particular life span and are not immortal.

Cellular Respiration   enables living organisms to acquire energy which is used by cells to perform their functions. They digest food for energy and also excrete waste from the body. Their life cycle can be summarised as follows – birth, growth, reproduction and death.

Examples of living things are animals, birds, insects, human beings.

Characteristics of Living Things Following are the important characteristics of living things:

Non-living things are not alive. They do not possess life. They do not have cells and do not grow or show locomotion/movement. They do not undergo metabolism with anabolic and catabolic reactions. They do not reproduce.

Non-living things do not have a life span. They do not respire as they do not require food for energy and hence do not excrete. They do not fall into any cycle of birth, growth or death. They are created and destroyed by external forces.

Examples of non-living things include stone, pen, book, cycle, bottle, etc.

The important characteristics of non-living things are mentioned below:

Here are some of the major differences between living and non-living things:

For easy differentiation between living things and non-living 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.

Things which have no life in it are considered as non-living. For example– stone, mountain, watch, etc. Scientists have discovered a few criteria for differentiating living things from non-living things. Here are some of them:

If something obeys a few of the rules, it cannot be categorized as a living thing. It has to follow all the given rules stringently. For example, an icicle, although it grows (increase its mass or length), is still a non-living thing since it cannot reproduce, or respond to stimuli.

Non-living things do not have any of the  life processes , unlike living beings.

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Living things are capable of giving birth to their young one.

Non-living things do not reproduce.

For survival, living things depend on water, air and food.

Non-living things have no such requirements

Living things are sensitive and responsive to stimuli.

Non-living things are not sensitive and do not respond to stimuli.

Metabolic reactions constantly occur in all living things.

There are no metabolic reactions in Non-living things.

Living organisms undergo growth and development.

Non-living things do not grow or develop.

They have a lifespan and are not immortal.

They have no lifespan and are immortal.

Living things move from one place to another.

Non-living things cannot move by themselves.

They respire and exchange of gases takes place in their cells.

Example: Humans, animals, plants, insects.

Example: Rock, pen, buildings, gadgets.