Blepharisma ciliate protozoa, SEM

Blepharisma ciliate protozoa, SEM

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Credit: MANFRED KAGE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blepharisma ciliate protozoa. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of 3 ciliate protozoa (Blepharisma americanum). These tiny single- celled organisms are found in freshwater. They feed on bacteria and decaying organic matter, which they filter through membranelles in their primitive mouth, known as a buccal cavity (lower right). The membranelles, rows of fused cilia (short microscopic hairs), are also used for locomotion. When feeding conditions are good these protozoa can grow to an enormous size and the giant Bleparismas are sometimes seen to feed on their normal sized relatives.

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Keywords: aquatic, biological, biology, blepharisma americanum, buccal cavity, ciliate, coloured, false-colour, false-coloured, filter feeder, freshwater, heterotrich, invertebrate, invertebrates, membranelles, microbiological, microbiology, motile, nature, protist, protozoa, protozoan, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, single-cell, single-celled, three, trio, zoological, zoology

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