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Microbes: Protozoans

Microbes: Protozoans

Author: Nathan Lampson
This lesson explains the existence and importance protozoans.
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Protozoans are single celled organisms that are able to move from place to place in order to obtain food.


Protozoans use a variety of adaptations to move throughout their environment.  Some protozoans use a structure called a pseudopod to move.  Pseudopods are temporary bulges in the cell that allow the protozoan to push itself from one place to another.


Another method of movement used by protozoans are cilia.  Cilia are tiny hair-like projections that move together like oars on a ship.  Cilia can propel protozoans and also work to sweep food into the organism.


The last type of movement used by protozoans is a structure called a flagella.  A flagella is a single whip-like structure that a protozoan can use to propel itself.


Protozoans can form relationships with other organisms that are either beneficial or harmful.  Some protozoans are parasites that cause disease in humans.  An example of a disease caused by protozoans is malaria.  Malaria is caused by a protozoan that is transferred to humans by mosquito bites.