Web of Life
Concept: Interaction between Living and Non-living Things
We see so many things in our surroundings. Some are living, and some are non-living. We can identify them by their typical features.
Living things are those who—
- require food.
- can breathe.
- can feel.
- can move on their own.
- grow over a period of time.
- can give birth to young ones
Examples: Human beings, birds, animals, plants.
Living things are also natural things as they originate from nature.
Non-living things are those who—
- do non require food.
- do not breathe.
- cannot feel.
- cannot move on their own.
- do not grow over a period of time.
- cannot give birth to young ones
Examples: Tables, books, rocks, bottles, etc.
Non-living things may be either natural or artificial. Natural non-living things originate in nature (Examples: iron, copper, etc.), whereas artificial non-living things are made by man (Examples: pen, ink, etc.).
What is the ‘Web of Life’?
- All living things, including man, animals and plants, require many non-living things, such as air, food, water, houses, etc., to survive.
- So, we can say that all living things depend on certain living and non-living things in the environment.
Such inter-dependence among all living and non-living things is called the ‘Web of Life’.
How do living and non-livings interact with each other?
- We live in houses built with non-living things like stones, bricks, sand, water, glass, metal, cement, etc.
- We eat food that is produced by farmers who sow the seeds in the soil and add water and fertilisers. Here, the seed grows into a plant (a living thing) with the help of soil, air, sunlight, water and fertilisers (all of which are non-living things).
- The water we drink and use comes from rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. These waterbodies get filled with rainwater.
- Plants make their food using the non-living things of nature— sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and nutrients from the soil.
- Similarly, animals get their food from plants.
- Plants give us oxygen, food, wood and other important products. Animals breathe in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide, and plants use that for making their food. This way, plants, animals and other non-living components of nature interact with each other.
- Fertilisers: These are substances added to soil or sprayed on the plants to keep them nourished and free from diseases.
- Oxygen and Carbon dioxide: These are substances added to soil or sprayed on the plants to keep them nourished and free from diseases.
Are our fingernails and hairs dead or alive? The fingernails and hairs are not living, but the base of our nails (nail bed) and hairs (hair roots) are living, and these help our nails and hair to grow over time.