Living and Nonliving Things

The world is made up of many different things. Some of the things are living and others are non-living. A dog, swing set, car, tree, flowers, and a book are some of the things that make up the world.

There are two different kinds of things in the world. One kind is called living things. Living things eat, breathe, grow, move, reproduce and have senses. The other kind is called nonliving things. Nonliving things do not eat, breathe, grow, move and reproduce. They do not have senses.

An example of a living thing in the world is a dog. A dog is an animal, and dogs need food, water, space, and shelter. The dog is a living thing. A tree or flower is a plant, and trees and flowers need air, nutrients, water, and sunlight. A flower and tree are also living things. Plants are living things and they need air, nutrients, water, and sunlight. Other living things are animals, and they need food, water, space, and shelter. A dog eats food, breathes in air, and grows from a puppy to a dog. A dog reproduces. Reproduce means to make one of its own kind. A dog also has senses. Senses are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling.

Other living things include people, cats, rabbits, bugs, lions, and many others. There are many different kinds of plants, too. Plants can include dandelions, grass, corn, tomatoes and much more.

Non-living things include things that do not need food, eat, reproduce, or breathe. A car does not eat or grow. It does not move unless a person is driving it. It does not need air to breathe and it has no sense. It is a non-living thing. A swing set does not use food. A book does not move. The swing set and book do not grow and they do not need air to breathe. They are non-living things. Nonliving things do not need air, food, nutrients, water, sunlight, or shelter. Other non-living things in the world include pencils, rocks, footballs, toys, hats, and many others.

One more example of a living thing is a bird. A bird eats seeds or worms. It breathes in air. It comes from an egg and grows. It moves by flying. It lays eggs and reproduces. It smells and sees because it has senses. A bird is a living thing.

One more example of a non-living things is a ball. A ball does not eat anything. It does not need to breathe. It never grows. It never moves unless a person throws or rolls it. The ball does not reproduce. It cannot hear or feel and it has no senses. A ball is a non-living thing.

In summary, everything in the world is a living thing or a non-living thing. Living things can be plants which need air, water, nutrients, and sunlight. Living things can be animals which need food, water, space, and shelter. There are living things and nonliving things everywhere. Living things eat, breathe, grow, move, reproduce and have senses. Reproduce means to make one of its own kind. The senses are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. Nonliving things do not eat, breathe, grow, move and reproduce. They do not have senses. A dog and tree are living things. A book and a car are nonliving things.

Living Thing and Nonliving Thing

Living thing is any organism or a living form that possesses or show the characteristics of life. Thus, they have an organized structure being made up of a cell or cells, which requires energy to survive, ability to reproduce, grow, metabolize, respond to stimuli, move, respire and to adapt to the environment.

Examples of living things include; the bacteria, protozoa, plants, fungi, animals, humans, etc. Viruses are not absolutely living or non-living. When outside their host, viruses are inactive and seemingly inanimate. When inside their host, they become active and alive, capable of utilizing the host cell‘s structures and replicate.

A non-living thing is one that lacks or has stopped displaying the characteristics of life. Thus, they lack or no longer display the capability for growth, reproduction, respiration, metabolism, and movement. They are not capable of responding to stimuli and adapting to their environment. They also do not require energy to continue existing. Examples of non-living things are rock, water, and sun.

Characteristics of Living Things

1.Feeding: All living organisms need to take substances from their environment to obtain energy, to grow and to stay healthy.

2.Movement: All living organisms show movement of one kind or another. All living organisms have internal movement, which means that they have the ability of moving substances from one part of their body to another. Some living organisms show external movement as well – they can move from place to place by walking, flying or swimming.

3.Breathing or Respiration: All living things exchange gases with their environment. Animals take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

4.Excretion: Excretion is the removal of waste from the body. If this waste was allowed to remain in the body, it could be poisonous. Humans produce liquid waste called urine. We also excrete waste when we breathe out. All living things need to remove waste from their bodies.

5.Growth: When living things feed they gain energy. Some of this energy is used in growth. Living things become larger and more complicated as they grow.

6.Sensitivity or Irritability: Living things react to changes around them. We react to touch, light, heat, cold and sound, as other living things do.

7. Reproduction: All living things produce young ones. Humans make babies, cats produce kittens and pigeons lay eggs. Plants also reproduce. Many make seeds which can germinate and grow into new plants.

Differences between Plants and Animals

1) Plants generally are rooted in one place and do not move on their own (locomotion). Most animals have the ability to move freely.
2) Plants contain chlorophyll and can make their own food, this is called Photosynthesis. Animals cannot make their own food and are dependent on plants and other animals for food.
3) Plants give off oxygen and take in carbon dioxide given off by animals. Animals give off carbon dioxide which plants need to make food and take in oxygen which they need to breathe.
4) Plants cells have cell walls and other structures differ from those of animals. Animal cells do not have cell walls and have different structures than plant cells.
5) Plants have either no or very basic ability to sense. Animals have a much more highly developed sensory and nervous system.
6) Growth is apical. Growth occurs equally on all parts.

Living Things in an Ecosystem

An ecosystem community is defined by all the different populations of species co-existing in the same habitat.

The living creatures in a biological community include microscopic living organisms to all classes and sizes of animals. In a pond, for example, living organisms range in size from the algae and zooplankton in a drop of pond water to the larger fish, amphibians, lilies and cattails that make their homes in the pond. All the different populations of species co-existing and thriving within that same environment define the inhabitants of an ecosystem. The resilience of the community hinges on a cycle — or chain of events and processes — that creates food and energy for all the organisms within the community. The ecosystem’s cycle encompasses the producers, consumers and decomposers who cycle energy through the food web so that there is constant productivity, decomposition and nutrient cycling.

Rocks, Dirt, Sunlight and Water

Sunlight and soil are some of the nonliving aspects of an ecosystem.

The nonliving things in an ecosystem create and define the ecosystem’s environment and include sunlight, temperature, precipitation, weather, landscape, soil chemistry, water chemistry and even base nutrient supply. These abiotic components — nonliving — remain vital to the ecosystem’s health because they are keystones in its energy flow and nutrient cycle.
Energy from sunlight is transformed into chemical energy through photosynthesis by plants, which define the base producers in most ecosystems. Essential nutrients and elements — such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen — that are necessary for the biochemical processes of life are obtained from the surrounding atmosphere, soil, water and the physical environment. Energy and elements are endlessly cycled within the ecosystem because of the interaction between its biotic or living and abiotic, non-living elements.

Biotic and Abiotic Relationships

A healthy ecosystem is sustainable, resilient, and stable over time.

The biotic and abiotic elements of an ecosystem interact in cycles defined by daily life, time and the seasons. Nonliving factors determine what living things can be supported in an ecosystem. The living creatures in a habitat affect the nonliving elements within the community. For example, plants can affect soil chemistry or certain algae can influence water chemistry. An ideal ecosystem remains naturally balanced among its parts, both biotic and abiotic, so that energy flow and nutrient cycling stay stable enough for all organisms to reproduce and thrive. Any disruption to the ecosystem — like the removal or addition of an abiotic or biotic factor — often impacts numerous aspects of the community’s organization. Introducing an invasive species or a toxic pollutant can throw the ecosystem’s structural organization off-kilter, often with domino-like effects.
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