The single flagellum projects straight forward, and a rapid rotation of its extreme end pulls the Peranema smoothly through the water. The body of the Peranema can undergo extreme contraction and distortion as it moves.
Peranema have been seen inside the bodies of dead rotifers and are said to absorb nutrients through their outer pellicle. In addition, they can ingest quantities of detritus, bacteria, algae and even large organisms by expansion of the cytostome — a cavity which lies at the base of the flagellum. Each culture is enough for 30 students.