During the anaphase stage of mitosis, a motility force transports genetic material in the form of chromosomes to the poles of the cell. Chromosome deformations during anaphase transport have largely been attributed to viscous drag force, however LaFountain et. al. found that a physical tether connects separating chromosome ends in crane-fly spermatocytes such that a backwards tethering force elongates the separating chromosomes. In the presented study laser microsurgery was used to deduce the mechanistic basis of chromosome elongation in rat-kangaroo cells. In half of tested chromosome pairs, laser microsurgery between separating chromosome ends reduced elongation by 7±3% suggesting a source of chromosome strain independent of viscous drag. When microsurgery was used to sever chromosomes during transport, kinetochore attached fragments continued poleward travel while half of end fragments traveled towards the opposite pole and the remaining fragments either did not move or segregated to the proper pole. Microsurgery directed between chromosome ends always ceased cross-polar fragment travel suggesting the laser severed a physical tether transferring force to the fragment. Optical trapping of fragments moving towards the opposite pole estimates an upper boundary on the tethering force of 1.5 pN.