Are Lima beans alive?

There are seven features that define living things; they can grow, move, respire, absorb nutrients, reproduce, excrete and use sensory information. We observed some Lima beans that were sold ready to cook and eat. Our observations concluded that they were not alive, as they were not demonstrating ANY of the seven features required. However we then applied our knowledge of what things need in order to grow and decided that we should provide the beans with sunlight, water and the right temperature, before reaching a conclusion.


We observed the beans closely for any changes and were astonished to find that they had germinated! But how, had they been alive the whole time? Our enquiry revealed that the beans contain a dormant seed that will come to life when provided with optimal conditions.