Written by Eric Russell
Investigate the biology of these organisms by holding the cursor over each image. Scroll down for more information and links.
The Ciliated Protists - Phylum Ciliophora
This Gallery is about amazing story of the world's most complex cells - cells that are complete organisms - cells with fascinating behaviors including a unique type of sexual reproduction. Many ciliates are larger than a great number of multicellular organisms, such as rotifers, that share their watery environments. You can easily see species such as Stentor, Spirostomum or Bursaria if you have them in a jar of pondwater - even without the aid of a microscope.
In this gallery, we will explain how cilia work, and we'll demonstrate ciliate feeding and escape behaviors. We'll examine Ciliate anatomy and we'll show how one predator ciliate, Didinium, captures and engulfs another ciliate, Paramecium, even though the prey is larger than the predator. We'll explore the diversity of ciliates, and look at the behaviors and biology of many of the classic ciliated protists, including Stentor, Vorticella, Paramecium, Bursaria, Blepharisma , and Euplotes.Click here to learn about the diet of ciliates.