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Stentor Coeruleus Feeding (with vibrating cilia) under microscope

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Uploaded on Jan 29, 2012

Stentor coeruleus is a protist of the Stentor genus. It belongs to the Stentoridae family which is characterized by being a very large ciliate that measures 0.5 to 2 millimetres when fully extended.
Stentor coeruleus specifically appears as a very large trumpet. It contains a macronucleus that looks like a string of beads that are contained within a ciliate that is blue to blue-green in color. Being that it has many myonemes, it has the ability to contract into a ball. It has the ability to swim while both fully extended or contracted.
Eating is accomplished using cilia that carry food into the ciliate's gullet.
Stentor Coeruleus is known to habituate to its environment.

Stentor, sometimes called trumpet animalcules, are a genus of filter-feeding, heterotrophic ciliate protists, representative of the heterotrichs. They are usually horn-shaped, and reaching lengths of 2 millimeters, they are among the biggest known unicellular organisms. The body, or cortex, is generally horn-shaped, hence the association with the Greek herald and the former name "trumpet animalcule", with a ring of prominent cilia around the anterior "bell" that sweep in food and aid in swimming. Some reach several millimeters in length, making them among the largest single celled organisms. Stentor can come in different colors. As in many freshwater protozoans, the Stentor has a contractile vacuole. Because the concentration of salt inside the cell and in the surrounding freshwater is different, Stentor must store water that enters it by osmosis and then discharge it from the vacuole. They can regenerate, and small fragments can grow into full organisms. Each cell has one (often elongated) macronucleus and several micronuclei.

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