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.

Examples of living things includes man, rabbit, dogs, monkeys, lizards, cattle and grasses etc, while non-living things are tables, chairs, iron, glass, plates etc.

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 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. 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.
5. 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..
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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