Comparing the Ameba and Paramecium

microscopeComparing the Ameba to the Paramecium

Objective: In this lab you will observe a living ameba and a living paramecium. Both belong to the Kingdom Protista and are also sometimes called protozoa. Each specimen moves in a unique way. Your task is to analyze and compare the protozoan movements.

Materials: Paramecium culture, Ameba culture, microscope slides, cover slips, cotton, microscopes; (optional preserved slides)

Viewing the Ameba

1. Obtain a slide of ameba.
2. Do NOT use a coverslip
3. Focus under scanning power and then low power. Do NOT use high power.

Viewing the Ameba

Over a 10-15 minute period, draw the ameba four times. Pay special attention to the shape.



1. Describe in your own words how the ameba moves.


2. Draw the ameba and label the: Endoplasm, Ectoplasm, Cell Membrane, Pseudopodia



Viewing the Paramecium

1. Obtain a slide of paramecium (no cover slip)
2. Focus under scanning and low power.
3. Add a few strands of cotton and a cover slip. (The cotton will help slow the paramecium down)
4. Refocus using High Power.


Over a 10-15 minute period, draw the paramecium four times.


3. Describe how the paramecium responds to the cotton fiber on the slide.



4. Estimate how many paramecium are on your slide.


5. Draw your paramecium. Label: Nucleus, Oral Groove, Cell Membrane, Cilia, Contractile Vacuole





6. Compare the movement of the paramecium to the movement of the ameba.




7. How are the paramecium and the ameba alike?



8. How are the paramecium and the ameba different?