The ciliates insects Paramecium is surrpunded by a tough coating with numerous cilia. It also has a distinct furrow leading to the cytostome, or cell mouth Length about 0.02 inches (0.5 mm).
Common name: Ciliates
Scientific name: Ciliophora
Number of species: About 8,000 known, with many more yet to be described
Size: Generally microscopic, from a few microns to 0.1 in (3 mm) in length
Key Features: Single-celled organisms with two distinct types of nuclei and external cilia; internal structure may be very complex
Habits: Mostly Free living;occasionally parasitic; many have resistant cyst phase
Breeding: Mostly asexual by binary fission; no males or females sexual reproduction involves conjugation of compatible cell types
Diet: Mostly bacteria thar are engulfed and digested in cell vacuoles
Habitat: mainly fresh water and distribution worldwide
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