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Introduction to Classification of Living and Non-Living Things

Living things

Living things exist and are alive, sustaining life. They own life. Living things have structures known as 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:

  1. Living things exhibit locomotory motion, they move. Animals are able to move as they possess specialized locomotory organs, for example – Earthworms move through the soil surface through longitudinal and circular muscles.  Plants respond to the movement of the sun.
  2. Living things respire. Respiration is a chemical reaction that occurs inside cells to release energy from the food. Transport of gases takes place. The food that is ingested through the process of digestion is broken down to release energy that is utilized by the body to produce water and carbon dioxide as by-products.
  3. Living things are sensitive to touch and have the capability to sense changes in their ambiance
  4. They grow. Living things mature and grow through different stages of development.
  5. One of the striking features is that living things are capable to produce offsprings of their own kind through the process of reproduction wherein genetic information is passed from the parents to the offsprings.
  6. They acquire and fulfill their nutritional requirements to survive through the process of nutrition and digestion, which involves engulfing and digesting the food.
  7. The digested food is eliminated from the body through the process of excretion.

Non Living things

Non-living things are not alive. They do not possess life. They do not have cells and don’t grow or show locomotion/movement. They don’t 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 – born, grow, reproduce, and die. They are destroyed or broken down by external forces.

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

Characteristics Of Non-living Things

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

  1. Non-living things are lifeless. They do not have cells, there is no protoplasm which forms the basis for life to exist.
  2. Lack of protoplasm leads to absolutely no metabolic activities
  3. They do not have a definite and certain size of their own. They take the shape of the substance they are contained in, for example, a liquid takes the shape of its container. The change in the state of a non-living thing is due to an external influence.
  4. Non-living things grow by accretion. It occurs through adding materials externally. For example, A snowball may increase in size due to the accumulation of smaller units of its own to its outer surface.
  5. Non-living things never die. They exist eternally. Immortality is a distinguishing factor
  6. Absence of fundamental life processes such as reproduction, nutrition, excretion, etc are the features of non-living things.


Introduction to Living and Non-Living Things 2

Length: 13 minutesAuthor: RextorialComplexity: Standard

Introduction to Living and Non-Living Things Living things Living things exist and are alive, sustaining life. They own life. Living things have structures known as cells, they grow and exhibit…