Difference Between Locomotion and Movement

Locomotion and Movement

  • To perform the daily activities, we need to change body positions or move our body parts as well as we need to displace from one place to another.

  • Depending upon whether the place is changed or not, these processes are termed as Locomotion and Movement.

  • Movement is the displacement of the body or body parts from its original position to a state of rest or motion. Whereas when the entire body displaces from one place to another in a specific direction, it is called Locomotion.

  • In case of movement change of place does not take place.

  • For both activities, we need to use muscles and joints. To understand Locomotion and Movement better, first, we need to know about muscles and joints.

Muscles and Joints


  • Around 40 to 50% of our body weight is because of the muscles.

  • These are made up of cells, called muscle fibres. Muscular fibres/ tissues are mesodermal in origin.

  • There are three types of muscles in the body. They are

  1. Skeletal Muscles- They are also known as striated muscles. These muscles are responsible for carrying out the Movement of the posture of the organism.

  2. Cardiac Muscles- These muscles are present in the heart. They possess the ability of contraction and relaxation in a rhythmic pattern.

  3. Smooth Muscles- These muscles are mainly found in the digestive tract. The Movement of these muscles is under the control of the nervous system.

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  • Our skeletal system comprises cartilages and bones. 

  • The human body has 206 bones. These bones are interconnected. 

  • The place where two or more bones adjoin with each other to perform activities called a Joint. Depending on the nature of the Movement, they perform, joints are divided into three types.

  1. Fixed Joints-Due to the presence of durable cartilaginous fibres, these joints do not show any Movement. E.g. joints between skull bones, joints in tooth sockets

  2. Moveable Joints- The function of these types of joints is to perform Locomotion and other movements. Examples of moveable joints are knee joint, wrist joint, a joint between the humerus and pectoral girdle.

  3. Slightly Movable Joints- In this type of joint, bones are linked together because of the presence of cartilages. These joints are somewhat movable—E.g. The joint between adjacent vertebrae in the vertebral column.


  • Locomotion is the displacement of the entire body from one place to another in a specific direction.

  • It requires a driving force that is acting against the supporting structure of the body.

  • Well-coordinated and balanced activities of neural, muscular and skeletal systems execute Locomotion.

  • It takes place by the Movement of limbs, flagella and wings.

  • It helps organisms to find food and to escape from the predators.

  • Walking, running, flying, swimming, jumping, hopping, creeping, crawling, are some of the examples of Locomotion.

Types of Locomotion

There are three types of Locomotion

  1. Air locomotion

  2. Land Locomotion

  3. Aquatic Locomotion


  • Movement is the process in which the organism moves the body part from one position to another without changing the place.

  • It is observed in all living organisms (vertebrates and invertebrates), including plants.

  • In some organisms, Movement is carried out with the help of external body parts, and in some organisms, it is performed by internal body parts.

  • Purpose of the movements are

  1. Locomotion

  2. Breathing

  3. Maintaining the equilibrium of the body

  4. Blood circulation

  5. Information collection

  6. Capture and ingestion of food

  7. Passage of food and urine

  8. Exchange of gaseous and many more.

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Types of Movements

There are three types of movements of the human body,

  1. Ciliary Movements- It occurred in internal tubular organs and carried out my hair-like extensions of the epithelium, Cilia. Passage of ova in the female reproductive system is the example of this type of Movement.

  2. Amoeboid Movements- It arises with the help of pseudopodia (temporary protoplasmic outgrowth within a cell). E.g. movements in Amoeba, leukocytes.

  3. Muscular Movements- It occurs due to the virtue of contractility of muscles. It is observed in higher vertebrates—E.g. Movement of tongue, jaws, limbs.

Difference between Locomotion and Movement

Following are the significant differences between Locomotion and Movement,

  1. In the case of Locomotion, the body moves away from one position to another, whereas in the case of Movement, change of place does not take place.

  2. Locomotion is an entirely voluntary act. On the other hand, Movement can be voluntary or involuntary.

  3. Locomotion is the crucial virtue of organisms only while Movement takes place in all living things.

  4. Locomotion requires more energy than the Movement. But due to many movements in the body, energy is produced.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How does Locomotion take place in different Organisms?

Ans- Various organisms and their means of Locomotion are  listed below,

  • Protozoa- Locomotion takes place with the help of flagella, cilia and pseudopodia.

  • Porifera- They are sedentary organisms and are always attached to the substratum. Thus, Locomotion does not take place.

  • Helminths- In these types of organisms, Locomotion takes place by cilia, cuticle fibre.

  • Coelenterates- in this category of organisms, Locomotion takes place due to contraction-relaxation of epidermal muscle fibres.

  • Annelids- Leech, Nereis and earthworm, fall under this category of organisms. With the help of well-developed muscles such as Setae, Parapodia Locomotion takes place.

  • Arthropods- Cockroaches, housefly are examples of Arthropods. With the help of legs and wings, Locomotion occurs.

  • Echinodermata- Starfish is an example of this category of organisms. Locomotion takes place with the help of tube feet.

  • Vertebrates- In all vertebrates, Locomotion takes place by a pair of legs (using skeletal muscles).

Q2. What are the types of movement in Plants?

Ans- There are three types of plant movements.

  • The type of Movements of a plant in which a plant part (stem or root) grows towards the direction of stimulants(water, light, soil).

  • The plant movements in which Movement occurs due to variance in water latent in different parts is known as Turgor Movements. E.g. Insectivorous plant Venus flytrap.

  • Nastic movements are the movements that are caused due to contact(touch), change in temperature, change in day length. Flowers of Portulaca