Paramecium

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Paramecium'

Paramecium Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    paramecium n : any member of the genus Paramecium [syn: paramecia] [also: paramecia (pl)]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Paramecium'


Paramecium aurelia Paramecium bursaria Paramecium caudatum Paramecium tarantella

Paramecium is a group of unicellular ciliate protozoa, which are commonly studied as a representative of the ciliate group, and range from about 50 to 350 μm in length. Simple cilia cover the body, which allow the cell to move with a synchronous motion (like a caterpillar) at speeds of approximately 2,700μm/second (12 body lengths per second). There is also a deep oral groove containing inconspicuous compound oral cilia (as found in other peniculids) used to draw food inside. They generally feed on bacteria and other small cells. Osmoregulation is carried out by a pair of contractile vacuoles, which actively expel water from the cell absorbed by osmosis from their surroundings.

Paramecia are widespread in freshwater environments, and are especially common in scums. Recently, some new species of Paramecia have been discovered in the oceans.

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