moomoomath logo header
lime green horizontal line
Welcome to MooMooMath
study skills A teachers secret guide to your best grades
Master the 7 pillars of school success

Improve your grades and lower your stress
A-Z Video List
Characteristics of Living Things

How can you tell if something is living or nonliving? Sometimes it can be a challenge to determine if something is alive.For an organism to be considered alive it must have all of these 7 characteristics.

  • The organism must be made of cells.
  • Have the ability to grow and develop.
  • Have the ability to reproduce and produce offspring.
  • The living organism must contain DNA.
  • The organism must use energy for daily activities.
  • The living object must have the ability to respond to stimuli.
  • Finally, the organism must have levels of organization.

If an object does not contain one of these traits or abilities, the object is considered nonliving.

In Biology a living object can be described as a biotic factor. 

Examples include,

  •  plants
  • animals
  •  bacteria
  • fungi
  • protists

All of the objects are different than nonliving objects because they have all of the characteristics of living objects.

Abiotic factors on the other hand do not have all of the living characteristics and are considered nonliving.
For example, a rock does not use energy nor reproduce.

Common examples of abiotic factors are,

  • air
  • water
  • rocks
  • sand
  • ice
  • sunlight 
An object that is not alive is described as an abiotic factor.

Keywords |science | characteristics living things| alive or not | life science

Difference between Living and Nonliving Things

Characteristics Living Things

What do all living things have in common?