Class 6 Biology Living Organisms and Surroundings How are living beings different from non-living things

How are living beings different from non-living things ?

Certain criteria’s can differentiate living beings from non living things-

1. Need of food

  • Like all animals; plants also need food for growth and development which they prepare by photosynthesis.
  • But non-living things do not grow and thus do not need food.

Fig. Plants prepare food by photosynthesis in the presence of sunlight


2. Growth-

  • All livings beings grow and showdifferent stages of growth.
  • Young ones of animals grow into adults. For example- Pups of a dog grow into adults,chicken from a hatched egg grows into a hen or a cock.

Fig. Young ones of a hen grows into adult

3. Respiration

  • The process of breathe in oxygen and using by the body to obtain energy and releasing carbon di oxide produced in this process is called respiration.
  • Breathing is a part of respiration.
  • Different organisms use different ways to exchange gases. For example- earthworms breathe through air, fishes through gills , plants by the tiny pores present in the leaves.
  • In sunlight, plants take carbon di oxide to produce food and release oxygen. This process is called photosynthesis.
  • Photosynthesis in plants take place only during day time but respiration takes place day and night.
  • Non living things do not breathe and hence do not respire.

Fig. Breathing and respiration of a sea animal  


4. Response to stimulus-

  • Any change in the external environment is called stimuli andreaction of organisms against the stimulus is called response. 
  • Examples- Shut down of eyes in bright light, Running away of wild animals in response to bright light, Blooming of plants only after sunset, Folding of touch me not plants when touched
  • But non-living things do not show any response against stimulus.

Fig. Blooming of plants at night 

5. All living organisms excrete-

  • Digestion of food takes place inside the body and used by the cells but  undigested food remains as waste.
  • The process of  removal of waste from the body is called excretion.
  • Excretion is shown by all plants and animals, some  plants  can store the waste as harmless products and some plants use the method of secretion to excrete the waste.

6. Reproduction-

  •  The process of giving rise to the young ones is called reproduction.
  •  Some animals produce young ones through eggs and some give birth.
  • Some plants reproduce from seed which germinates and grow into a new plant.
  •  Some plants reproduce through other parts of the plant body. For example, a part of a potato with bud can give rise to a new plant.
  • Some plants reproduce through cuttings in the plant body.
  •  All non-living things are manmade and thus cannot give rise to the new one.

Fig. Reproduction gives rise to similar young ones of human and monkey

7. Movement-

  • All living beings can move from one place to another except plants.
  • Plants cannot move from one place to another because these are anchored in soil by roots, but minerals, water and foods present in the    plant move from one part to other parts of the plant.
  • Closing and opening of flowers of a plant is another phenomenon which shows that plants can move.
  • Non-living things are constant in their places where they are kept and hence cannot move.

Fig. Running of a cat, flying of birds show movement of living beings.

  • Bus, clocks, clouds can also move but these do not show other characteristics of living beings so these are non living.

Fig. A tiger, flowers, a cat represent living beings

Fig. A clock, a car, a monument represent non-living things 

  • A moong seed can stay in a shop for months but do not show characteristics of life. Afterplanting and watering it turns into a whole plant. This shows that in some cases a thing has all characteristics of living being but we cannot easily say it living.

Fig.Moong seeds  

  • Deeping hand inside a sack of wheat gives a feeling of heat production which is due to respiration but other criteria’s to become a living being are not found.
  • Cloud shows movement and also grows in size but other features to become a living being are absent.

Deciding living or non living is really difficult but seeing at the diversities of life it can be concluded that life is beautiful.

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