Microtubules attached to the pellicle at the tips of tentacles pivot through about 140° on these attachments, splay apart, and bend along their longitudinal axes when feeding occurs. The tubules could be bending in response to pellicular contractions; active bending, sliding, or contraction of the tubules may not be involved. Intertubule links apparently prevent tubules from splaying apart at certain levels. These links are probably under tension during feeding. They stretch; they sometimes become half as thick and eight times as long as they are before feeding. Often, tubules joined together by these links also change in shape; they become slightly flattened and elliptical in cross section.
Cytoplasm from the ciliate Tetrahymena is drawn down a feeding tentacle inside an invagination of the Tokophrya cell membrane from the tentacle tip. The positions of arm-bearing microtubules around such invaginations indicate that arms are involved in moving invaginations along. The edges of the perforated Tetrahymena cell membrane are "sealed" to the cell membrane of Tokophrya around each feeding tentacle tip.