Common name: Paramecium

Scientific name (genus and species): species not determined

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Characteristics:  Paramecium are oval in shape with pointed ends.  They are known as slipper animalcules because of their slipper like shape.  The pellicle is stiff and elastic allowing for it to keep its shape. Covering the pellicle are many tiny hairs known as cilia.  They are 50 ro 350 micrometers in length depending on which species it is.  They are single celled protazoa organisms. 

Habitat:  Paramecium can be found in freshwater.  They are also attracted to acidic conditions. 

Range: They can be found all over the world.

Description:  The cilia on this organism allow the creature to move.  The hairs beat down on an angle backwards which pushes the paramecium foreward.  To go backward, the cilia beat down at a foreward angle.  So, paaramecium simply spiral through the water on an invisible axis in order to move.  When it runs into something, it will use the cilia to back up and change direction.  Cilia also allow for the paramecium to eat.  Hairs sweep food into its "mouth" after it reaches the oral groove.  The food goes into the cell mouth and when enough food has accumulated it creates a vacuole.  It then travels through the body and waste is excreted.  Paramecium feed on things like bacteria, algea, and yeasts. 

Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Protista
(unranked) Alveolata
Phylum: Ciliophora
Class: Oligohymenophorea
Order: Peniculida
Family: Parameciidae
Genus: Paramecium

Created by:  Alexis Dunker July 10, 1008

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