Chapter 20 – Locomotion and Movement

Movement is one of the significant features of living beings. Animals and plants exhibit a wide range of movements.

Streaming of protoplasm in the unicellular organisms like Amoeba is a simple form of movement. Movement of cilia, flagella and tentacles are shown by many organisms.

Human beings can move limbs, jaws, eyelids, tongue, etc. Some of the movements result in a change of place or location. Such voluntary movements are called locomotion.

Walking, running, climbing, flying, swimming are all some forms of locomotory movements. Locomotory structures need not be different from those affecting other types of movements.

For example, in Paramoecium, cilia helps in the movement of food through cytopharynx and in locomotion as well. Hydra can use its tentacles for capturing its prey and also use them for locomotion.

We use limbs for changes in body postures and locomotion as well. The above observations suggest that movements and locomotion cannot be studied separately.

The two may be linked by stating that all locomotions are movements but all movements are not locomotions. Methods of locomotion performed by animals vary with their habitats and the demand of the situation.

However, locomotion is generally for search of food, shelter, mate, suitable breeding grounds, favourable climatic conditions or to escape from enemies/predators.

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