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Difference Between Living and Non-living Things

tree-of-knowledgeLiving 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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  1. that was helpfull nd please try to give me more nd more info abt sci on my contact…….

  2. vry nice..n helpful..

  3. i noticed that u said “Living things can move, but non-living things cannot” but fire is not living and it can move. You stand corrected.


    • Nonliving organisms don’t eat, poop,have babies, grow, have senses(touch,smell,sight,taste,hear), breathe or move (though they can be moved by other things. E.g. water,blood.)

  5. i hate apples >:(

  6. Thanks for your teaching about living and non living things. I have a doubt: I sorted first the flower-vase in the non livings .in the checking means : it is objected. then I kept it in livings. even then it is once again objected. let me know the real answer .

  7. The information was very helpful!

  8. just cut to the point and yes this is your sci teacher and I give it a F- for failuer i’m calling the police =(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  9. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! creepy picture

  10. So, when science and biology say they have created life from non-living matter, does that mean the same as, they have created life from nothing?
    Because that seems like a lie… non-living matter is still exsisting matter. They can never create life or non living matter from nothing right? Only God can do that! why do scientists lie and deceive in order to promote their beliefs? Noone can create life or non living matter from nothing. They always have to use exsisting matter. end of story!

  11. “Energy is required by living things, while non-livings do not require energy.” what about electronic appliances, in order to work properly they require energy right? Be more specific.

  12. Thanks a lot for information now I can make my project

  13. True!…..

  14. i want to know what is the properties of living and non living things

  15. Some non-living things can grow such as crystals.

  16. Thanks! This really helped. :)

  17. Viruses are non-living and have many characteristics of a living thing.

  18. people are living but they can not grow when they reach adulthood. They cant get bigger or anything anymore.

  19. Really like it, its helpful and impactful thanks

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