Computerized analyses were performed on the movement of spermatozoa recorded with a high-speed camera. These provide evidence for active bending waves over the entire length of the flagellum and a single equation for waves in all cases examined. In the equation, the angular direction of the flagellum at any distance from the base is expressed by a sine function of time plus a constant, and thus flagellar waves are ‘sine-generated’. To explain the waves a model was proposed in which the active force required to generate sliding between peripheral microtubules is propagated along and around the flagellar axoneme.

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