The infusoria slipper is the simplest single-celled organism about 0.1 mm in size. It is found in the same water bodies as euglena, and the amoeba is the simplest. It feeds mainly on bacteria and microscopic algae. It serves as food for larvae, small fish, crustaceans.
The appearance of ciliates shoes
For its resemblance to the sole of women's shoes, this type of ciliates acquired the second name - “slipper”. The form of this unicellular organism is constant and does not change with growth or other factors. The whole body is covered with the smallest cilia, similar to the flagella euglena. Surprisingly, these cilia on each individual, there are about 10 thousand! With their help, the cell moves in the water and captures food.
An infusorian shoe, the structure of which is so familiar from biology textbooks, is not visible to the naked eye. Ciliates are the smallest single-celled organisms, but with a large accumulation they can be seen without magnifying instruments. In muddy water, they will look like oblong white dots that are in constant motion.
The structure of the ciliates shoes
The features of the structure of the infusoria of the shoe are not only in its external similarity with the sole of the shoe. The internal organization of this simplest, at first glance, organism has always been of great interest to science. A single cell is covered with a dense membrane, inside which contains the cytoplasm. In this gelatinous fluid are placed two nuclei, large and small. Large is responsible for cell nutrition and secretion, small - for reproduction.
The hole that acts as the mouth is located on the wide side of the cell. It leads to the pharynx, at the end of which digestive vacuoles are formed.
The structure of the body of the ciliate shoe differs also a very interesting feature - the presence of trichocysts. These are special organs, more precisely, organelles that serve the cage for nourishment and protection. Having noticed the food, the infusoria throws out trichocystas and keeps them prey. She proposes them when she wants to protect herself from predators.
Nutrition Infusorian Slippers
Single-celled organisms feed on bacteria that live in large numbers in polluted muddy water. There is no exception to the ciliate shoe, the structure of the mouth of which allows you to capture the bacteria passing by and quickly send them to the digestive vacuole. The mouth of the ciliate is surrounded by cilia, which are longer in this place than on other parts of the body. They form a mouth funnel that allows you to grab as much food as possible. Vacuoles are formed in the cytoplasm as needed. At the same time, food can be digested in several vacuoles at once. Digestion time is about one hour.
The infusoria feeds almost continuously, if the water temperature is above 15 degrees. Feeding stops before reproduction begins.
Breathing and excretion of ciliate shoes
As for breathing, here the ciliate of a shoe has a structure similar to other protozoa. Breathing is carried out throughout the body. Two contractile vacuoles provide this process. Exhaust gas passes through special tubules and is released through one of the contractile vacuoles. The release of excess fluid, which is the result of life, occurs every 20-25 seconds, too, by means of reduction. Under unfavorable conditions, the ciliate ceases to feed, and the contractile movements of the vacuoles slow down significantly.
The multiplication of ciliates shoes
The ciliates shoe multiplies by division. About once a day, the nuclei, large and small, diverge in different directions, stretch and split in two. In each new individual, one nucleus and one contractile vacuole remain. The second is formed in a few hours. Each ciliate shoe structure is identical to the parent.
In ciliates that have undergone multiple divisions, there is such a phenomenon as sexual reproduction. Two individuals connect with each other. Inside the resulting large cell, nuclear fission and chromosome exchange occur. After the completion of such a complex chemical process, ciliates are disengaged. The number of individuals from this does not increase, but they become more viable in a changing external environment.
The structure and vital activity of the infusorian of the shoe does not depend much on external factors. All shoes look the same, have the same shape and size, regardless of conditions. Vital activity also proceeds according to one scenario. Only temperature and light factors matter. Infusoria is very sensitive to changes in light. You can conduct a small experiment: darken the vessel in which the ciliates live, leaving a small bright window. To this hole in a couple of hours all the individuals will be tied up. Infusoria also perceived temperature change. When it is lowered to 15 o C, the shoes stop feeding and multiply, falling into a kind of anabiosis.