Didinium

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Notice the threadlike trichocyst

The Didinium  belongs to the Phyllum Ciliophora.   They are from 80-200 um long.

Didinium are fast moving carnivorous protozoans that feed almost exclusively on live Paramecium.

When its "nose" (shown at top) strikes a Paramecium it latches on with a threadlike trichocyst.  Once captured and paralyzed, the didinium devours the Paramecium whole.

The "C"-shaped structure inside the body is a band shaped nucleus and can sometimes be seen with a regular light microscope.

Didinium will encyst when the food source is depleted and excyst when the food returns.

Like it just caught a huge fish, the Didinium reels in the Paramecium.  Amazingly, it will stuff this entire Paramecium totally inside its body!

 
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