Euglena are a genus of diverse unicellular (single-celled) organisms. There have been 800-1000 different species, which have both plant and animal features, including several species without chloroplasts.
The Euglena is a protist and is one of the longer looking cells. It contains an ectosarc and an endosarc as well as an outer membrane known as the cuticle. Close to the middle of the front of the Euglena is a long, skinny, whip like structure called the flagellum, which comes out of the organ called the mouth. The mouth then extends to the gullet which then moves to a permanent vesicle otherwise known as the reservoir and then to some contractile vacuoles which then get rid of their contents. Near the reservoir is a protoplasmic mass which contains the granules of red coloring matter known as stigma or eye-spot which is especially sensitive to light.
In the middle of the body is the [nucleus]which is the "control center" for the euglena, and spread out all around in the protoplasm of the euglena are green looking structures called chromatophores. The euglenas main way of transporting itself is by swimming, the flagellum is made up of four part known as contractile fibrils. It uses these four fibrils to bend back and forth moving the creature to wherever it needs to go. .
The reproduction that takes place in the euglena takes place by binary longitudinal division. The euglena reproduces asexually which means within itself.. The euglenas nucleus separates into two pieces. The flagellum which is located on the anterior end splits into two parts and a new flagellum begins to grow from the part not used by the euglena. Sometimes the euglenas become almost in the shape of a sphere and create a gelatinous covering otherwise. Survive periods of drought; this period is very similar to the butterfly’s cocoon stage or a bear’s hibernation. The highest recording number of flagellated euglenae is 32.
The euglena is very sensitive to light and spend most of its life in the water. It can be found living amongst many other water animals but in order to see it you would have to put it under a microscope. It does not need to hunt for other food but some of the organic substances that’s it eats are absorbed through the skin. Instead of taking time to hunt for its food it just makes its own food with the help of chlorophyll which is found in the chromatophores. Just like you may see in plants the chlorophyll breaks down the carbon dioxide in the air which then gets rid of all the unneeded oxygen which then combines the carbon and the water in the euglena. The food that the euglena creates is known as paramylum.
- College Books Robert W. Hagner. Macmillan & CO.
- Protista Lesson Tim Lynch. No Info.
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