Locomotion

Definition

noun

The ability of cells or organisms to move and propel itself from place to place


Supplement

Locomotion in biology pertains to the various movements of organisms (single-celled or multicellular organisms) to propel themselves from one place to another. In multicellular animals, these movements include walking, running, jumping, crawling, climbing, swimming, flying, galloping, slithering, and so on. The movements may vary depending on the habitat of the animal. For instance, terrestrial animals are capable of terrestrial locomotion since they have special adaptations for it such as feet and strong limbs for running and walking. For limbless animals, such as snakes, they are capable of slithering over a surface. Animals with longer hind limbs enable them to jump high. In an aquatic habitat, animals, such as fish, move using their fins. Single-celled organisms, such as ciliates and flagellates, move using their locomotory organs, cilia and flagella, respectively. Animals, such as tree snails, bats, and leopards that can climb and stay on trees, and move from one tree to another display arboreal locomotion.


Word origin: Latin loco (from a place), locus (place) + motionem (motio), motion (a moving)

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