Difference Between Locomotion and Movement

Locomotion and movement are two important terms in the study of motion and the most important features in all living beings. All living organisms excluding plants move from one place to another in search of food, shelter, to escape predators and for a variety of reasons. Both Locomotion and movement are the same term which is related to the motion but are different from each other.

Let us known more about the Locomotion and Movement and their differences.

Difference Between Locomotion and Movement

While both locomotion and movement sound similar in their meaning, there are a few interesting differences between the two terms. Let us explore these concepts better by understanding the difference between locomotion and movement:

Locomotion Movement
Moving away from the original position of an organism is locomotion. Movement can happen with or without moving away from an organism’s original position.
It is always voluntary. It can either be voluntary or involuntary.
Locomotion takes place at the organism level. A movement takes place at the biological level.
Locomotion doesn’t necessarily require energy Movement requires energy.

Locomotion and Movement


The movement of an organism from one place to another is known as locomotion. In this process, there is the action of appendages such as limbs, wings, and flagella. In some animals, such as fish, whales, and shark, the locomotion results from a wave-like series of muscle contractions. Locomotion helps an organism to find food, avoid harsh weather conditions, escape from their predators, etc.

A few examples of locomotion are walking, running, swimming, etc. Movement, on the other hand, refers to any type of motion that need not be localized.


Movement is generally defined as a state of changing the position from rest to motion or vice-versa. Movement can be both voluntary and involuntary. Movement helps an organism to perform necessary functions, such as pumping of blood to the different parts of the body, and etc.

For example, walking is a voluntary movement, while breathing is an involuntary movement. 


Plants do not possess the ability to move from one place to another but various types of movement take place within plants, including phototropism, hydrotropism, geotropism, thigmotropism, etc.

Animals exhibit the most fascinating forms of movement and locomotion and this is evident from the plethora of behavioural and evolutionary traits exhibited.

For instance, one of the very first groups of organisms to take flight is the insects, which made the leap into the air roughly  412 million years ago. The very first vertebrates to take flight was the Pterosaurs, which evolved 320 million years ago. The ocean was a far more interesting place as organisms exhibited even more advanced forms of movement. Sharks, fish, whales and other aquatic species used their tails and flippers to propel themselves through the ocean, but one group of animals which includes squids and jellyfish use jet propulsion to move through the water.

Also, read Movement and its types

Learn more about locomotion and movement, its differences and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology

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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the different types of locomotion?

Locomotion is the ability of an organism to move. Walking, running, swimming, jumping are the different types of locomotion.


How is locomotion different from movement?

Locomotion is the displacement of a body from one place to another. On the contrary, movement is the displacement of a body or a part of the body from its original position.


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