What’s so special about these amoebae? | Natural History Museum


You might think
single-celled organisms are simple creatures but they can do
extraordinary things I study a group of microscopic
single-celled organisms called testate amoebae, which show some pretty
incredible behaviours. First of all, they build shells
that are unique to each species, with features like armoured plates,
spines and sometimes even teeth. Some species secrete these
by themselves while others use things
they find in their environments like grains of sediment,
skeletons of other microbes and sometimes even microplastics. They’re also predatory and some species even appear
to hunt in packs to take down larger organisms such as small worms,
which are known as nematodes. They are useful too
and are now helping us in fields like forensic science and studying how our environment
and climate has changed in the past.

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