Ciliary beating frequency in tissue culture from frog palate and isolated lung was optically examined using instrumentation that was adjusted to measure a fraction of the surface area of a single ciliary cell. Consecutive 1-s segments of the analogue signal were fast Fourier transformed (FFT) to obtain a power spectrum. At room temperature, these power spectra changed over time from 1 s to the next. Each spectrum contained several dominant frequencies of similar intensities. Cooling the preparation resulted in a single-peak spectrum that was constant over time. A mathematical model is proposed to simulate these findings. The results and the mathematical model support the hypothesis that ciliary beating frequency fluctuates over short periods of time.