What Criteria Do We Use to Decide Whether Something is Alive?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Any movement like growing, breathing and walking is used to decide if something is alive. Living things are made up of a cell or cells. They obtain and use energy to survive.

The general rule for determining whether something is alive or not is to look for any discernible movement, such as walking, breathing, or growing. A living thing, however, may also move in ways that are invisible to the unaided eye. In order to determine if something is alive or not, a basic requirement is the presence of life processes.

On a few specific processes and functions, life as we know it exists on earth. An organism must maintain some fundamental physiological functions in order to sustain its health and the efficient operation of its organ systems. They are required to survive. Life processes are the fundamental tasks carried out by an organism.


Nutrition is the process through which a living thing uses food as fuel. It is an essential biological mechanism that enables living things to derive their energy from a variety of sources.


The modes of transportation and the systems used by plants and animals are completely different. Animals’ circulatory systems are used to carry out transportation. The heart, blood, and blood-carrying blood arteries are all part of this system.


The chemical process known as metabolism involves a variety of chemical processes to regulate the living state of an organism’s cells. It can be divided broadly into catabolism and anabolism.


Along with the exchange of gases, food is also burned during respiration. Animals have a distinct respiratory system that they use to breathe.


The biological process of having their own progeny reproduced influences a species’ ability to exist for many generations. Sexual and asexual reproduction are the two primary types of reproduction.


Excretion is the process through which harmful waste products are removed from the body. There are numerous excretion methods, and they often vary depending on the type of living species.


What Criteria Do We Use to Decide Whether Something is Alive?

To determine whether something is alive, any motion is considered, including growing, breathing, and walking. A cell or cells make up all living things. To exist, they acquire energy and use it.

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