• Movement is an essential feature of all living beings. Protoplasmic streaming, ciliary movements, movements of fins, limbs, wings, etc., are some forms exhibited by animals.
  • A voluntary movement which causes the animal to change its place, is called locomotion.
  • Animals move generally in search of food, shelter, mate, breeding ground, better climate or to protect themselves.
  • The cells of the human body exhibit amoeboid, ciliary and muscular movements. Locomotion and many other movements require coordinated muscular activities.
  • Three types of muscles are present in our body. Skeletal muscles are attached to skeletal elements.
  • They appear striated and are voluntary in nature. Visceral muscles, present in the inner walls of visceral organs are nonstriated and involuntary.
  • Cardiac muscles are the muscles of the heart. They are striated, branched and involuntary. Muscles possess excitability, contractility, extensibility and elasticity. Muscle fibre is the anatomical unit of muscle.
  • Each muscle fibre has many parallelly arranged myofibrils. Each myofibril contains many serially arranged units called sarcomere which are the functional units.
  • Each sarcomere has a central ‘A’ band made of thick myosin filaments, and two half ‘I’ bands made of thin actin filaments on either side of it marked by ‘Z’ lines.
  • Actin and myosin are polymerised proteins with contractility. The active sites for myosin on resting actin filament are masked by a protein-troponin.
  • Myosin head contains ATPase and has ATP binding sites and active sites for actin. A motor neuron carries signal to the muscle fibre which generates an action potential in it.
  • This causes the release of Ca++ from sarcoplasmic reticulum. Ca++ activates actin which binds to the myosin head to form a cross bridge.
  • These cross bridges pull the actin filaments causing them to slide over the myosin filaments and thereby causing contraction.
  • Ca++ are then returned to sarcoplasmic reticulum which inactivate the actin.
  • Cross bridges are broken and the muscles relax. Repeated stimulation of muscles leads to fatigue.
  • Muscles are classified as Red and White fibres based primarily on the amount of red coloured myoglobin pigment in them.
  • Bones and cartilages constitute our skeletal system. The skeletal system is divisible into axial and appendicular. Skull, vertebral column, ribs and sternum constitute the axial skeleton. Limb bones and girdles form the appendicular skeleton.
  • Three types of joints are formed between bones or between bone and cartilage – fibrous, cartilaginous and synovial. Synovial joints allow considerable movements and therefore, play a significant role in locomotion.

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