Description - Amebas are one of the simplest organisms with animal characteristics. They consist of a single cell that is only about one hundredth of an inch long and it can only be seen through a microscope. The ameba's body is shapeless and is a jelly like mass of material called protoplasm. Its cytoplasm is transparent. The central area is called the endoplasm and it contains the nucleus. The endoplasm also contains contractile vacuoles, which look like clear bubbles. They move by amoeboid motion. Which is where the ameba expands and contracts it pseudopodia, or bulges in the ameba's body, in regular intervals. The rest of the body flows with the pseudopodia.
Habitat - Ameba live in most types of fresh water sources such as ponds, lakes, and streams. Plus sometimes they can live in moist soil. They can also live in dry condition by with drawing into a thick walled crystal, which it forms around its self.
Life cycle - Amebas reproduce when they are full grown. They do this by having their nucleus and protoplasm divide in to two daughter cells. The ameba can also live as long a two hours without a nucleus.
Importance - The ameba is on top of microscopic food chain so they eat smaller plants and animals or larger ones particles. They eat by surrounding their food with their pseudopodia. Then the food is absorbed through the cell wall of the ameba.
Bibliography - Charles B. Clauman, "Planet Ameba" (28-Mar-98), Yahoo, Windows 95, 2-11-99 [continues]
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