The Swimming of Unicellular Flagellate Organisms.
Article first published online: 21 AUG 2009
1944 The Zoological Society of London
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London
Volume A113, Issue 3-4, pages 99–107, February 1944
How to Cite
Lowndes, A. G. (1944), The Swimming of Unicellular Flagellate Organisms. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, A113: 99–107. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.1944.tb00071.x
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 21 AUG 2009
- Received June 7, 1943
- 1The primary function of the flagellum in a monoflagellate organism is to produce both rotation and gyration of the organism about a certain axis which constitutes the main direction in which the organism is swimming.
- 2The mechanical principle by which the organism is propelled is simply that of the inclined plane which is caused to rotate. In other words it is that of the screw or propeller.
- 3Since the disturbances or waves pass down the flagellum in the form of a spiral they produce two distinct components. It is the resultant of these two components which causes the tip of the organism both to rotate and gyrate.
- 4So long as this rotation and gyration is maintained it will supply the necessary force for the propulsion of the organism.
- 5The flagellum itself may or may not produce a forward component. If it is more or less swung out at right angles, as in Menoidium, it will produce no forward component but if it is swung back, as in Euglena, it will do so.
- 6A large amount of gyration would be normally a disadvantage to the propulsion of the organism. One way of reducing gyration would be to increase the number of flagella.
- 7There is no evidence that the waves or impulses ever start at the tip of the flagellum and thus constitute a tractellum.