Download Animal Diversity by Diana R. Kershaw (auth.) PDF

By Diana R. Kershaw (auth.)

ISBN-10: 041253200X

ISBN-13: 9780412532009

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At this stage the trophozoites are known as gamonts, and the cyst as a game to cyst. Fusion does not occur and instead each gamont undergoes subdivision to form large numbers of nucleolated amoeboid gametes. The gamont nuclei each divide into two, four, and so on until as many as sixty-four small nuclei are produced. These migrate to the edge of the gamont where each becomes surrounded by a little cytoplasm so that the gamont becomes somewhat blackberry-like in appearance. Finally the gametes become separated from the rest of the cytoplasm.

Paramecium swims through water at a speed of about 60 mm per hour. In absolute terms this may seem rather slow, but expressed as the number of times the length of its body is traversed in unit time (four times its body length/ sec) it compares favourably with that of subsonic aircraft. The direction of the waves of movement is slightly oblique, taking a spiral course along the body and this causes Paramecium to move forwards in a spiral path about a straight line, at the same time continually rotating about its own axis.

In some cases the presence of the intruder is not harmful and may even be advantageous, in which case the alliance is commensalism. However the most common relationship between animal and animal is parasitism in which the intruder lives at the expense of the host and is harmful to it to a greater or lesser degree. A parasitic mode of life is reflected in both the structure and the life history of the animals which adopt it and makes an interesting contrast to that of the free-living forms already described.

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