In biology , motility is the ability to move spontaneously and actively, consuming energy in the process.  It is not to be confused with mobility , which describes the ability of an object to be moved. Motility is genetically determined  (see genetic determinism ) but may be affected by environmental factors. For instance, muscles give animals motility but the consumption of hydrogen cyanide (the environmental factor in this case) would adversely affect muscle physiology causing them to stiffen leading to rigor mortis .    Most animals are motile but the term applies to unicellular and simple multicellular organisms , as well as to some mechanisms of fluid flow in multicellular organs, in addition to animal locomotion . Motile marine animals are commonly called free-swimming .