Videos of moving microbes

The prasinophyte Pyramimonas sp. showing four flagella:
A gamete of Pyramimonas sp. moving with a forward facing flagellum:
A small flagellate moving with a long trailing flagellum:
A small flagellate moving with a corkscrew motion:
A dinoflagellate showing its transverse flagellum:
Movement by cilia. Ciliate attempts to catch particles:
Movement by cilia: the ciliate Strombidium sp.
Movement by cilia. Ciliate draws particles toward it:
Happy ciliate:
Movement by deformation: amoeboid
Movement by cellular deformation: Euglenoid:

Movement by microorganisms in water is very different from that of humans and other large animals due to the overwhelming effects of viscosity at small size scales.

Microbial swimming (equivalent to humans swimming in molasses) requires special techniques. Successful techniques are the ‘flexible oar’ (cilium), the ‘corkscrew’ (forward facing flagellum) and cellular deformation.

(All images by Harvey Marchant)