bell animalcule


Animalcule ("little animal", from Latin animal + the diminutive suffix -culum) is an older term for a microscopic animal or protozoan. Some better-known animalcules include:

The term was used by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the 17th-century preformationist and discoverer of microorganisms, to describe spermatozoa and the homunculi he believed they contained.

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