What Is a Non-Living Organism?

A non-living organism is defined as an organism that lacks, or has stopped showing, signs of life. Non-living organisms are inanimate and have stopped displaying capabilities for growth, reproduction, respiration, metabolism and movement. These organisms also lack the ability to respond to stimuli and adapt to their environment. Non-living organisms do not require energy to continue in existence.

Non-living things are divided up into two groups: those that have never been living such as stones and gold, and those that were once living things, such as coal. Coal was formed when trees died, and sank into the ground. Accordingly, coal is a non-living organism that was once living.