Hey Ken! Amoeba here. What's this one thinking?

Post your images made through a compound microscope or made with a stereo/dissecting microscope in this gallery. Images may be of any subject natural or unnatural, living or non-living.

Moderators: MacroMike, nzmacro, Ken Ramos, twebster, S. Alden

Charles Krebs
Posts: 1200
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:50 am
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

Hey Ken! Amoeba here. What's this one thinking?

Post by Charles Krebs »

I watched a couple of these amoeba approach a paramecium bursaria and start to wrap around them (just starting in this top picture). Don't know what it was thinking! After awhile, it moved off. Perhaps it finally realized the size of the paramecium.

It made me think of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons... Two spiders in a childrens playground. One has spun an elaborate web at the base of the slide. He looks at the other spider and says "If we pull this off, we'll be eating like kings!"


I just thought the amoeba in these other two pictures were pretty neat looking. The top one, with the "filose" pseudopodia is, I think, a pamphagus. I have no idea what the bottom one is.


40X objective, 2.5X photoeyepiece, Canon 20D, Phase contrast with electronic flash.

User avatar
Ken Ramos
Site Admin
Posts: 4809
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 7:58 pm
Location: Western North Carolina

Post by Ken Ramos »

The top image is that of Mayorella, very common in putrid plant infusions, and if I am not mistaken (and I very well could be mistaken because there are so many species but....) Mayorella may, I said "may" form an "amoebostome." Much like the image you posted here while back of one Vahlkampfia ingesting what appears to be bacteria. (I still think that amoeba was a pathogen, possibly N. fowleri) This is just probably a close encounter with the paramecium but it, the amoeba, could have possibly formed an amoebostome and began feeding on the organism.

*"Amoebostome,"(ref to cytostome=mouth) is new to my vocabulary and was recently introduced while reading up on the genome and reviewing a discussion of small subunit rRNA/SSUrRNA. It was very interesting as to how these particular ameba feed and I found it surprising to be included in the discussion of the genome since it deals with the comlete genetic make up of the cell nucleus, Ah...!now it just came to mind, I was studying on the species Acanthamoeba. A very nasty little amoeba, of course and far from being asso. with Mayorella. The discussion went into a generalization of the organisms make up and habits before breaking down to specifics. These organisms are extreamly fascinating for just a small blob of protoplasm.

I have observed Mayorella for hours on end and into days of study by the microscope but have yet to observe the process of phagocytosis in that particular species or to observe the formation of a endocytic vesicle (food vacuole).

Very beautiful shots by the way, I always enjoy your ameba pics Charlie, the details are just great :D
Site Admin.
Kenneth Ramos
Rutherfordton, North Carolina
Kens Microscopy
Reposts of my images within the galleries are welcome, as are constructive critical critiques.