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What is the function of amoeba?

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Quick Answer

An amoeba functions as a part of the food web as a consumer and scavenger. This organism feeds on dead matter as well as other small organisms such as algae and protozoans. The amoeba in turn provides food for water fleas and mussels.

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Full Answer

The amoeba is a single-celled organism called a protozoan that usually lives in water or inside other organisms as a parasite. This organism doesn't have a rigid shape, but it is made of a flexible material that changes shape as needed. An amoeba is made of protoplasm, a viscous, clear material with a cell membrane separating the ectoplasm and the endoplasm, or the outer and inner parts of the cell. The endoplasm contains the nucleus of the cell.

While most amoebas are too small to see with the naked eye, some of the common and giant species grow large enough to see without the aid of a microscope. While most species are harmless, including the parasitic ones, a few can cause real damage. The Entamoeba histolytica causes fatal dysentery in living organisms. The Naegleria fowleri is a deadly amoeba that finds its way to the brain and uses it as a food source. It is found in warm or hot water such as lakes, untreated swimming pools, hot springs and aquariums.

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