Recent analysis of the mechanism of the nephridial apparatus of Paramecium multimicronucleatum by high-speed cinematography (300 fps at x 250) confirms the observations by electron microscopy (Schneider, 1960) that once the pore is opened, the vesicle is invaginated by adjacent cytoplasm and is emptied by collapsing under pressure from that cytoplasm, aided perhaps by pressure of the fibrils which anchor the ampullae to the excretory canal. There is no indication of active contraction of the vesicle or its membrane. There is no permanent pore to the vesicle. The vesicle is closed by a sealing of the ruptured membrane where it is in contact with the pellicular excretory canal. At onset of expulsion of vesicular fluid the membrane across the basal opening of the excretory canal is ripped along one semicircular portion of the excretory pore and is driven up against the opposite wall as a flap while the water rushes out. A constriction of the vesicular and cell membranes at the base of the excretory canal reseals the opening.

This content is only available as a PDF.