Difference between Living and Non-Living Things

Key Difference: Living things show the characteristics of life like respiration, reproduction, growth, movement and environmental adaptation and response whereas, non-living things are exact opposite of living things. Non-living things do not show characteristics of a living thing.

The entities around us can be classified into either living or non-living. Living, as is depicted from its name, defines the characteristics of life and a non-living thing do not exhibit any feature like that of a living thing. Human beings, animals and plants are all living entities. There are many characteristics that define a living thing and in absence of these characteristics it becomes a non-living thing.

To describe Living entities the most appropriate definition would be that all living things are made of cells. Cell is the basic unit of life. Amoeba is also categorized into living thing as it is made up from a single cell. Living things respond or we can say that they can sense the change.  DNA is the genetic blueprint for making all living things; DNA is always present in a living thing. Living things also make use of energy; as living thing must take in food or produce their own. This food is broken down to be used for generating energy. All living things respire and excrete. Excretion is important to get rid of the waste products. Another important characteristic of living thing is that it can reproduce or bear an offspring. Food, air and water are necessities of life. Some examples of living organisms are grass, trees, humans, monkeys, fish, birds, and insects.

A thing can be either living or non-living so all the things which do not fall in the category of a living thing is a non-living thing for example a table, book, a stone, water etc. Non-living things may exhibit one or two characteristics of a living thing but life displays all the characteristics of a living thing.  A non-living thing does not show any growth. A non-living thing cannot reproduce and is unable to respond to any forms of stimuli. Thus, we can summarise the definition of a non-living thing by saying that a non-living object does not grow, eat, breathe, reproduce or respond to stimuli. Some examples of nonliving objects are rocks, volcanoes, soil, tables, chairs, and toy cars.

Thus, we can conclude by saying that both are just opposite to each other. It is important to mention that few non-living things like cloud, fire and water may exhibit one or two properties on living things but, this do not make them a living thing. Living things are complex in nature and in attributes than compared to non-living things.

Image Courtesy: weed-science-classes.wikispaces.com, woostermiddle.stratfordk12.org 

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