Protozoa

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Protozoa are simple, single-celled animals. They are the smallest of all animals. Most protozoa are microscopic in size, and can only be seen under a microscope. However, they do breathe, move and reproduce like multicelled animals.

There are several types of protozoa. The amoebas are clear, shapeless cells. Flagellates have a body shape looking like a hair.

Although we can't see them, protozoa do a lot for us. Protozoa play a useful role in the food chain as a source of food for fish and other animals. Some protozoa are helpful to humans by eating dangerous bacteria. Unfortunately, other protozoa are parasites and can be harmful to humans by transmitting disease.

Tiny Protozoa

Protozoa eat tiny algae and bacteria. Some protozoa absorb food through their cell membrane. Others surround and engulf their food or have openings to collect food. They digest their food in stomach-like compartments called vacuoles.

Protozoa take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide through the cell membrane.

Protozoa reproduces by splitting in half.

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"Protozoa" from the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Glasgow

 
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