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Difference Between Living and Non-living Things


Understanding the difference between living and non-living things is a fundamental aspect of biology. This knowledge goes beyond the classroom, It helps us understand the world. It explains surroundings’ delicate ecosystem and how we play our role in it. “Why does it matter?” Because knowing the distinction between living and nonliving objects helps us responsibly manage our environment. It alters our views on sustainability, conservation, and decision ethics. Understanding these contrasts helps us appreciate life and the complicated network of relationships that keep our planet together in a world of living and non living objects. Explore this fascinating distinctions between living and non living creatures to discover concepts that may impact our worldview.

What is a Living Thing?


We explore the nature of life to define the unique characters that distinguish living organisms from non-living ones. Living things are characterized by having unique features such as growth, reproduction, metabolism, and responsiveness. 


Growth: Living organisms simply grow, their sizes increase by using nutrients from the environment, regulating intake autonomously to support development.

Reproduction: Whether it is sexual or non-sexual, reproduction is a fundamental process for life. 

Metabolism: The complex biochemical reactions necessary for energy production and forming cellular constituents. 

Living things are affected by the surrounding factors whether they are chemical, physical or biological.

Examples to illustrate living things

Examples of Living Things to Illustrate: From microscopic bacteria to towering sequoias and cognitively complex humans, We can see the huge spectrum illustrating the diversity of life. The quick reproduction and mutation of bacteria, the photosynthetic response of plants to light, and the environment-adaptive behaviors of animals are examples of this. These illustrations of Earth’s biodiversity shows the similarities and differences that run throughout the framework of life, enhancing our knowledge of biological diversity and connectivity.

What is a Non-living Thing?

Definition and characteristics

Non-living things lack the unique processes of life that differentiate living from non-living things. They do not grow, reproduce, do metabolic reactions or respond to stimuli. Though, they are very important to maintain life and environmental balance.


Lack of Growth: Inanimate objects do not undergo internal growth mechanisms; yet, they may alter their shapes by the effect of external physical processes like erosion or melting. 

Lack of Reproduction Capacity: Non-living things do not undergo physiological reproduction processes, in contrast to live things. However, Rather than using physiological mechanisms, humans replicate or manufacture non-living objects by mechanical or chemical techniques. 

Absence of Metabolism: Because they lack biological processes, non-living entities do not need energy to develop or operate, so they are not involved in metabolic activities. 

Non-responsiveness: Non-living materials do not actively react to external stimuli. 

Examples to illustrate living things

Classic non-living examples things are rocks, water, and air. 

Possible Similarities Between Living and Non-living Things

Physical existence in the environment. 

Living and nonliving things take up room and have mass, which makes the world we live in look the way it does. There is a real presence to both, whether it is a tall tree or a huge mountain. 

Effects on the Area Around Them: 

Both have an effect on their surroundings; All living things from the smallest bacteria to the biggest whales change and interact with their surroundings in many ways, such as by eating, moving around, and making trash. Things that are not alive also change the world around them. For example, rivers carve through landscapes, rocks provide cover, and buildings change the skyline and affect local ecosystems.

Differences Between Living and Non-living Things

The main differences between living and nonliving things help us understand how complicated life is and what role things play in our surroundings. Here’s what makes them different:

Differences in Biological Process:

Living things grow reproduce and have metabolic activities to produce energy. As cells divide and grow, organisms reproduce sexually or asexually, and their metabolism turns food into energy. In contrast, in non-living, things there is no metabolism, growth, or reproduction processes. They do not have the biological components to do these things.

Difference in Response to Stimuli: 

Living things react to stimuli such as light, sound and warmth. They need such reactions to find food, escape danger, and breed. Things that are not alive can not respond on purpose. External physical factors, not internal biological responses, are what change an object’s state or position.

Differences in the structure of cells: 

Living Things: Cells are the building blocks of life. It is possible for cells to be complex and have structures that process life. Non- living things do not have a biological structure. The building blocks of these things are simple molecules and complicated mixtures, but they do not have organized, functional units like living things do.

Difference between life span and decay: 

Things that are alive die and break down when their biological processes stop. Things that are not alive do not have organic lives. It is possible for the environment to wear them down, which is not the same as biological deterioration.

Effects on the environment: 

There are both constructive and destructive ways for living things to connect with their surroundings. They can change environments by their existence and doing their activities. Things that are not alive: Their physical presence and outside forces change the environment. Even though they do not have biological work, they change the environment and keep ecological balances.

Living Vs Non-living Things


It is important to tell the difference between living and nonliving things so that you can focus on the things that only living things have, like growth, reproduction, metabolism, response, and complex cellular architecture. This information isn’t just interesting for academics; it’s necessary to protect and raise understanding about the environment. It tells us how to care for the earth and shows us how important every living thing is to the ecosystem. People who understand these differences are more aware of how short life is and how important it is to protect Earth’s wildlife for future generations.


What are the 10 living and nonliving things?

Living Things: Humans, Animals, Trees, Flowers, Birds, Fish, Insects, Bacteria, Fungi, Algae

Nonliving Things: Rocks, Water, Air, Mountains, Clouds, Buildings, Plastic, items, Furniture, Electronics, Clothes

What are the 7 main characteristics of living things?

  1. Growth and Development: Living things grow and develop according to specific instructions coded in their DNA.
  2. Reproduction: Living organisms can reproduce themselves to create offspring.
  3. Metabolism: They convert food and water into energy through metabolic processes to sustain life.
  4. Cellular Organization: All living things are composed of one or more cells, which are considered the basic units of life.
  5. Response to Stimuli: Living things respond to environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, and sound.
  6. Homeostasis: They maintain a stable internal environment through homeostasis, despite changes in the external environment.
  7. Evolution: Living organisms undergo evolution, leading to changes in their genetic makeup over generations, driven by natural selection and adaptation.

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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

  20. How will you use it? Living or non living things?

  21. Thanks it helped pls put more characteristics tnx

  22. Non-living becomes living,living organisams are created from non-living organisams,example:our human body consists of lot of minerals and protein,they all came from earth,non-living needs more time to became a living cell(this only happening after our death,if all living destroyed,it takes billions and billions of year to became a single cell created from the earth through the help of all non-living organisams,as same as diamond creation if human body decays and became carbon it needs billions and billions of years to become diamond crystal,same for non-living carbon to became living it’s the beauty of our nature,if we change(destroy) our nature we also destroyed

  23. It is really good. ..

  24. I find that science is basically saying ….that life can come from death when it implies that life can come from non living things …..all that says is after death we are non living …….and life can come from non living matter ….

  25. thanks for the solution

  26. Fire is living or non-living thing???

  27. Iam really enjoyed, very nice math.

  28. On the summary its not that good all it is telling you is what living things can do that non-living things cannot it needs more detail in it so that it has more texual information.

  29. Okay guys tell me
    How to verify a living organism

    Answer this question please

  30. I like that is interesting

  31. I like this website because they can give me a good advice.

  32. What about extrinsic growth?

  33. Using the concept of build-up and disintegration differentiate living things from non-living things
    Pls someone should answer this

  34. i love evolution especially the part where i become human 2

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References :

[0]Legaspi, B., & Straits, W. (2011). Living or Nonliving?. Science and Children, 48(8), 27.

[1]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[2]Legaspi, B., & Straits, W. (2011). Living or Nonliving?. Science and Children, 48(8), 27.

[3]Legaspi, B., & Straits, W. (2011). Living or Nonliving?. Science and Children, 48(8), 27.

[4]Legaspi, B., & Straits, W. (2011). Living or Nonliving?. Science and Children, 48(8), 27.

[5]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[6]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[7]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[8]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[9]Funnell, E., & Sheridan, J. (1992). Categories of knowledge? Unfamiliar aspects of living and nonliving things. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 9(2), 135-153.

[10]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADL5Jkuyq0-a-living-thing/

[11]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADCEe3J1ik-river-rock/

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