characteristics of living things


There are only two categories of things on earth, they are living things and non-living things. Living things includes plants and animals.

Non-living thing are those things that doesn’t have life in them of living things includes man, rabbit, dogs, monkeys, lizards, cattle and grasses etc, while non-living things are tables, chairs, iron, glass, plates etc.

characteristics of living things


ALL LIVING THINGS ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM NON-LIVING THINGS BY A WHOLE LOT OF DIFFERENCES. This distinguishing factors are what is known as the characteristics of living things.
So the following are generally considered as the characteristics of living things.


  1. MOVEMENT: movement is defined as the ability of an organism, either in part or whole from place to place in search of food or comfort, reproduction and as a means of escape from danger. Generally most animal can move from place to place in search of food, while most plant can only move part of their body in response to stimuli unless for a few microscopic plants which are capable of complete movement.
  2. NUTRITION. Nutrition is defined as the ability of living things or organism to feed. The major reason for feeding in living things is to enable them carry out life process like growth, reproduction, respiration and movement.
Although most green plants can manufacture their own food through a process known as photosynthesis, known also as autotrophic nor holophytic nutrition.
Animals cannot manufacture their own food hence depends on food manufactured by plants, and this type of feeding is known as heterotrophic or holozoic nutrition.3. RESPIRATION. Respiration is defined as the exchange of gases between organisms and their environment. The main purpose of respiration is to break down/burn down or oxidize food substances in order to release energy that is used for all their life processes.

4. EXCRETION. Excretion is defined as the removal of metabolic wastes from the body of any living thing. The purpose of excretion is to remove the metabolic waste products from the system, e.g. water and carbon dioxide in animals, which are toxic to the body.
So the process of getting rid of these waste materials from the body is called excretion as characteristics of living things

5. IRRITABILITY. Irritability is defined as the ability of an organism to respond to stimuli. All living thing exhibit sensitivity in order to enable them survive in their environment. In clear terms, stimuli means the ability of any living thing to respond to changes that occurs within their environment.

6. GROWTH. Growth is defined as the irreversible or permanent increase in size, mass, or weight of an organism. It is most known as the increase or addition living proton plasmic materials within the cell of the organism. The purpose of growth is to enable the organism to repair or rebuild worn out tissues in their body..

Characteristics of living things
There are seven main activities which makes living organisms different from non-living things. These are the seven characteristics of living things.

1 Nutrition characteristics of living things
Living things take in nutrient materials from their surroundings by a process called feeding that they use for growth or to provide energy as a major characteristics of living things. Nutrition is the process by which organisms obtain energy and raw materials from nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

2 Respiration characteristics of living things
Respiration is the release of energy or used air components from food substances in all living cells which is known as metabolism. Living things break down food within their cells to release energy for carrying out life processes.

  1. Growth characteristics of living things
    Growth is seen in all living things. It involves using food to produce new cells. The permanent increase in cell number and size is called growth. There are two types growth, plant growth and animal growth type. Animals increase in size all over the body while plant species growth at the apex
  1. Reproduction characteristics of living things
    All living organisms have the ability to produce offspring.
  2. Sensitivity characteristics of living things
    All living things are able to sense and respond to stimuli around them such as light, temperature, water, gravity and chemical substances. This another word for irritability of living things
  1. Movement  as characteristics of living things
    All living things move and this is known as locomotion. It is very obvious that a Plant too moves in various different ways not just the animals alone. The movement may be so slow that it is very difficult to see. The movement of plant can be seen in Hydra
  2. Excretion characteristics of living things
    All living things excrete. As a result of the many chemical reactions occurring in cells, they have to get rid of waste products which might poison the cells. Excretion is defined as the removal of toxic materials, the waste products of metabolism and substances in excess from the body of an organism.

So to differentiate living  things from non-living things is to take into account the above characteristics of living things

  1. economic tools for nation building
  2. budgeting
  3. factors affecting the expansion of industries
  4. mineral resources and the mining industries
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    161. LIVER FLUKE
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7. REPRODUCTION. This is defined as the ability of living organism to produce or give birth to offspring or young ones after its kind in order to enable continuity of life. So in practical terms, reproduction occurs in two forms. They are

i. ASEXUAL REPRODUCTION. This takes only one organism to reproduce its kind or another offspring.

ii. SEXUAL REPRODUCTION. This process of reproduction involves two organism coming together for the purpose reproduction.
8. ADAPTATION. This is simply the way living things interact with their environment. Or better known as survival process of living things.
9. DEATH. All living things must die. Which means they are limited to a certain number of years to live before they die.
10. COMPETITION. This is the ability of living things to struggle or compete for life necessities in order to survive. Living things compete for food, water, air, space, mates and light.
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1 thought on “characteristics of living things”

  1. Thank you for the valuable information. This is the grate post for all the students and all the general user also