Q:

What is the definition of living things?

A:

Quick Answer

Living things are organisms that display the key characteristics of life. These characteristics include the ability to grow, reproduce, take in and use energy, excrete waste, respond to the environment, and possess an organized structure more complex than that of non-living things.

Know More
What is the definition of living things?
Credit: Edwin Dalorzo CC-BY-SA 2.0

Full Answer

Sometimes movement is also listed as a key characteristic of life, but many living things, such as trees, mushrooms, barnacles and coral, are incapable of movement during some or all of their life stages. Viruses, on the other hand, are a special case of an organism that is not a living thing. Although viruses are unable to reproduce or take in energy on their own, they are classified as organisms because they still contain genetic data and have evolutionary lineages. Furthermore, viruses are capable of reproducing within host cells and exist independently of their hosts, even if they are inanimate outside of them. Viruses are only considered living by scientists who consider the only key characteristic of life as the ability to replicate.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is C. diff bacteria?

    A:

    Clostridium difficile bacteria are organisms that live in the human digestive tract. Normally, C. diff causes no problems; however, under certain circumstances, imbalances allow it to grow out of control. The bacteria then release toxins that attack the lining of the intestines, causing colitis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a consumer in biology?

    A:

    Consumers are organisms that receive all their energy by consuming other types of organisms or organic matter. Generally consumers prey on other organisms because they do not have the ability to produce their own energy or to obtain energy through inorganic sources.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a biology investigatory project?

    A:

    A biology investigatory project is a project involving a combination of research and scientific experimentation that relates to the study of living organisms. Investigatory projects typically lead to a final presentation at an exhibit or science fair, or a report.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What produces three-dimensional images of living organisms?

    A:

    According to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, a confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope produces three-dimensional images of living organisms. Laser scanning generates serial optical sections that are reconstructed into a three-dimensional picture.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore