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Differences Between Taxis And Kinesis

Taxis vs Kinesis

In biology, there exist two types of motions when responding to a stimulus. These two types are called taxis and kinesis. Taxis has a specific and directed motion while kinesis has a random and undirected motion. These two are usually found in the behavior of animals and insects around us. The only characteristic that they both share is that they are both classified as movements when one reacts to a stimuli.

Taxis and Kinesis

Taxis moves either in the direction of the stimulus or away from it. It becomes positive when it comes closer and it becomes negative when it goes away from the stimulus. There are many examples of taxis – the significant ones are menotaxis, magnetotaxis, telotaxis and mnemotaxis.

First is the menotaxis. It is a kind of taxis that involves animals that maintain a constant angle to a stimulus. For example, honeybees imprinting on the arc of the sun. To be able to locate the sun, which is the stimulus in this example, they utilize the polarized light the sun gives, helping them to locate the sun’s position at any time of the day. Next is the magnetotaxis. It involves the orientation that is in response to magnetic cues – and a wide variety of animals use magnetic cues to be able to navigate. A good example of this type of taxis is the aquaspirillum bacteria – they burrow themselves in the mud and they use the magnetic field of the earth in determining their path. When they are in the north pole, which is a magnetic south pole, they will prefer to move north but when they are in the south pole, which is a magnetic north pole, they will prefer to move south.

Third is telotaxis, which involves describing the motion of visual predators who are able to see distant visual signals so they can move to attack. And lastly is mnemotaxis – it involves the navigation through the use of landmarks. Birds usually use this kind of taxis – they remember street signs and familiar buildings. In simple terms, mnemotaxis is basically moving by memory.

On the other hand, kinesis moves randomly. Instead of the organism moving towards or away the stimulus, the stimulus causes it to bolt in random directions. There are two types of kinesis: orthokinesis and klinokinesis. Orthokinesis involves the dependence of stimulus to the movement of the individual. An example could be the movement of a woodlice in relation to the temperature around it. When its humidity increases, the position of the woodlice is more likely to remain stationary. Klinokinesis involves the frequency or rate of turning proportional to the intensity of the stimulus.

Main Differences

The main difference that these two movements have is that in kinesis, no movement happens toward or away the stimulus, but in a random direction. The stimulus may be an action that makes sure that the animal will spend more time in an environment. However, in taxis, the approach to the stimuli is more active. In favorable conditions, the organism will either move close or move away from the stimulus.

Summary:

  1. Taxis has a specific and directed motion while kinesis has a random and undirected motion.  These two are usually found in the behavior of animals and insects around us.

  2. Taxis moves either in the direction of the stimulus or away from it. It becomes positive when it comes closer and it becomes negative when it goes away from the stimulus. There are many examples of taxis – the significant ones are menotaxis, magnetotaxis, telotaxis and mnemotaxis.

  3. On the other hand, kinesis moves randomly. Instead of the organism moving towards or away the stimulus, the stimulus causes it to bolt in random directions. There are two types of kinesis: orthokinesis and klinokinesis.


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