UBC Undergraduate Research

The relationship between kinematic viscosity and the swimming speeds of Paramecium aurelia, Tetrahymena spp., and Euglena spp. Au, Linda; Shu, Jacelyn


The effects of viscosity on the swimming speeds of three different protists, Paramecium aurelia, Tetrahymena spp., and Euglena spp., were observed and recorded. Swimming speed was modelled against viscosity using the powerlaw s = kν – m , as suggested in literature. For Tetrahymena and Euglena, we found m to be 0.821 and 0.847 respectively. The data obtained from these two organisms fit the power-law models well, but with Paramecium, our proposed power-law model with m of 0.989 fits the data less closely. We suspect the presence of other factors unaccounted for in this study that significantly affected the swimming speed of Paramecium, although it is possible that the deviations from the model are simply due to statistical fluctuation.

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