The key difference between amoeba and paramecium is that the amoeba moves using pseudopodia while the paramecium moves using cilia.
Amoeba and paramecium are two very important unicellular eukaryotes. They are protozoans belonging to kingdom Protista. They live in aquatic environments, and they are heterotrophs. Both amoeba and paramecium are motile. They move using two different structures. Being microscopic, they both have many similarities, but it is very important to understand the difference between amoeba and paramecium.
What is Amoeba?
Amoeba is one of the well-known unicellular protozoans. Amoeba is the generic name, and one of its main characteristics is the lack of a particular shape for the body or the cell. This shapeless creature can change the density of its body contents so that the shape varies accordingly. The entire cell content encloses by a cell membrane and each cell organelle covers by a membrane. At the anterior end of the cell, amoeba can form a tubular pseudopod by controlling the density of the cytoplasm. In addition, there are few secondary pseudopods branching from the main one.
Also, amoeba is a heterotrophic organism that shows both anabolic and catabolic functions inside the cell. Although they do not have a specific mouth, they can feed through phagocytosis. They are able to encase food particles into small vacuoles and digest them. Furthermore, there may be one or more nuclei inside the cell, and the contractile vacuole is helpful to maintain the ionic and osmotic balance of the entire cell. Moreover, they show asexual reproduction, which takes place through mitosis and cytokinesis.
Amoeba could sometimes cause problems for other animals including humans with amoebic diarrhoea. Thus, it is evident that despite their small microscopic size amoebae could be significant for the economy of people.
What is Paramecium?
Paramecium is a well-known and well-studied protozoan similar to an amoeba. This unicellular creature has a characteristic body cover with cilia. Hence, it is a ciliate. Paramecium is the scientific, generic name, and it is a common name as well. Furthermore, paramecium is well known for its characteristic shape that resembles the sole of a shoe, which is anteriorly rounded and posteriorly pointed. The stiff but elastic pellicle membrane maintains this definite shape of a paramecium.
Also, it can move through the water body by moving its cilia. In addition, they have a mouth in their cell and using their cilia, they sweep up the food along with some water into their cell mouth, and then transfer into the oral groove. The main food items of paramecium are bacteria, algae, and yeast cells.
Moreover, they are predatory microorganisms found in the freshwaters. They are very important ecological units, especially their symbiotic relationship with some bacteria. Also, they show sexual reproduction through conjugation to exchange their genetic material.
What are the Similarities Between Amoeba and Paramecium?
- Amoeba and Paramecium are single cell organisms.
- They are eukaryotic.
- Also, both belong to the group protozoa in kingdom Protista.
- Both live in water.
- Furthermore, they are heterotrophs.
- And, both are motile.
What is the Difference Between Amoeba and Paramecium?
Amoeba and paramecium are unicellular organisms described under different genera. But they are protozoans that come under kingdom Protista. Furthermore, they are eukaryotes and heterotrophs. The main difference between amoeba and paramecium is the structure that they use for locomotion. Amoeba moves using pseudopodia while paramecium moves using cilia. Another difference between amoeba and paramecium is the shape. Amoeba does not have a definite shape while paramecium has a definite shape, which resembles a shoe. Furthermore, another significant difference between amoeba and paramecium is their reproduction. That is, amoeba reproduces asexually while paramecium reproduces sexually.
Summary – Amoeba vs Paramecium
Amoeba and paramecium are single-celled organisms live in water. Both are belonging to kingdom Protista. The difference between amoeba and paramecium is the structure that helps in locomotion. Amoeba uses pseudopodia to move while paramecium uses cilia to move. Amoeba does not have a definite shape. But paramecium has a definite shape which cannot change. Hence, this is also a difference between amoeba and paramecium.