How does the shape of an amoeba differ from the shape of a paramecium?

Amoeba and paramecium are single-celled eukaryotes which belong to the Kingdom Protista. Both amoeba and paramecium are heterotrophs , which exhibit unique feeding mechanisms. Amoeba cell contains a membrane-bound nucleus, food vacuoles and contractile vacuoles in its single-celled body. The propagation of amoeba occurs by forwarding its cytoplasm . The formation of pseudopodium allows amoeba to move slowly. The pseudopodium is also called a false foot. Amoeba reproduces asexually by binary fission and formation of spores . Under favourable conditions, binary fission produces daughter cells by mitotic cell divisions of a parent cell. Spores are formed in dry conditions and during insufficiency of food and those spores are germinated under favourable conditions.

Paramecium is another unicellular eukaryote, which lives in fresh water and decaying organic matter. It has a slipper-like shape with a length of 0.3 mm. The outer surface of the paramecium is covered by cilia. A paramecium cell contains a large macronucleus and a micronucleus with food vacuole and contractile vacuoles. Paramecium asexually reproduces by binary fission under favourable conditions. Under unfavourable conditions, paramecium reproduces sexually by conjugation. Paramecium is also sensitive to changes in the environment such as temperature, light, chemicals, as well as touch.

Similarities of amoeba and paramecium

  • Both of them are heterotrophs.
  • Both amoeba and paramecium reproduce asexually by binary fission in favourable conditions.
  • Both amoeba and paramecium are sensitive to external stimuli such as light, temperature, chemicals, and touch.
  • Amino acids are used in the synthesis of the protoplasm in amoeba and paramecium.
  • Respiration occurs through the cell membrane of both organisms by diffusion.
  • The movement of water into both organisms occur by osmosis

Differences between amoeba and paramecium

  • Amoeba is a unicellular protozoan which moves by temporary projections called pseudopodia whereas paramecium is a single-celled freshwater animal with a characteristic slipper-like shape.
  • Amoeba can be found in freshwater ponds, wet soil and as parasites whereas paramecium can be found in fresh water and in decaying organic matter.

  • Amoeba moves by forming pseudopodia whereas paramecium moves by beating the cilia.

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