What Are Examples of Motile Organisms?

Some examples of motile organisms are sharks, birds and humans. "Motile" simply means that an organism can move under its own power. Most so-called higher animals are motile, using all sorts of locomotion to move.

The distinction between motility and its opposite, sessility, is more important in creatures such as bacteria, as many species cannot move on their own.

One species of motile bacteria is Rhodospirillum rubrum. This creature is photosynthetic, like plants, but it can move about with a spiralling motion using a thread-like structure that wraps around the whole cell, called an axial filament.

Cnidarians, a group of soft-bodied animals that live in the sea, also have many species that are motile and many that are sessile. An example of a motile cnidrian is the lion's mane jellyfish.