Difference Between Living and Non-living Things
Living vs Non-living Things
We come across both living and non-living things in our daily lives . Sometimes it is very easy to differentiate between the two, but at times it is difficult. There are many features and factors which make living things different from non-living things.
Living things, as the name suggests, are lively and active. They are made up of cells; exhibit characteristics of life, like growth, movement, reproduction, response to stimuli; they evolve, and require energy for daily activities. Some of the daily life examples of living things around us are human beings, animals, plants and micro organisms.
Non-livings things do not exhibit any characteristics of life. They do not grow, respire, need energy, move, reproduce, evolve, or maintain homeostasis. These things are made up of non-living materials. Some examples of non-living things are stones, paper, electronic goods, books, buildings, and automobiles.
All living things require energy for the sustenance of life. This can be achieved through various methods. For example, humans breathe in oxygen to release energy from the foods consumed. Plants trap the light energy for photosynthesis. Likewise, to protect our body from cold weather, we make use of heat energy, we maintain homeostasis, and require energy for our all activities. Non-livings things have no activities, and hence, do not require energy.
Living things grow and reproduce. Humans and animals produce young ones through various methods. Plants also have the ability to reproduce through seeds, stems, etc. After a period of time all living things mature and die. Non-living things do not grow, reproduce or die.
Movement is another characteristic of living things. They can move from one place to another. The method used for the movement can vary. Human beings have feet, animals have hands and feet, an amoeba has pseudopodia, and birds have wings and feet, etc. Even plants have their own limited movement. The stem moves towards the direction of sunlight. Non-living things have no methods for movement. They remain immobile.
Adapting to the environment is another quality of living things. They have senses, and respond to stimuli. For example, when we are pricked by a pin, we move our hand away. Chameleons change colors to adapt to the surroundings. Desert plants have spine-like leaves which are also a form of adaptation to the environment. Non-living things have no responses. If we put a stone in water it will sink to the bottom, if we put it in fire, it stays there and gets heated up. There is no response to the stimulus being applied.
1. Living things can move, but non-living things cannot.
2. Energy is required by living things, while non-livings do not require energy.
3. Living things are capable of growth, reproduction and death.
4. Non-living things are non-motile, but living things can move around.
5. Living things respire; non-living things do not respire.
6. Living things adapt to the surroundings and respond to stimulus.
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