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  Paramecium caudatum

Lab_2b-08a

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1. Macronucleus

2. Micronucleus

3. Contractile vacuoles

Photographs of Living  Paramecia

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This is a slide of the large and complex ciliate Paramecium caudatum, which is often found in water containing bacteria and decaying organic matter.  Note the large, kidney-shaped macronucleus that controls most of the metabolic functions of the organism.  Located close to and often within a depression on the macronucleus is the much smaller micronucleus, which is involved in reproduction.  As in other freshwater protozoans, contractile vacuoles are used to remove excess water that is constantly entering the organism by osmosis.

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