What Is the Function of Pseudopodia?

function-pseudopodia Credit: De Agostini Picture Library/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

Amoebae use their pseudopods for at least two purposes including locomotion and feeding. In each case, the pseudopod is extruded from the plasma membrane of the amoeba's body, extended in the direction of its objective, and either pulled back with prey or followed by the bulk of the amoeba's body.

When used for movement, the pseudopod reaches out and opens like a parachute to provide resistance as the amoeba pours its contents through the channel it creates. When used for feeding, the end of the pseudopod engulfs the prey item and wraps it inside a pocket called a vacuole, whereupon it is transported into the amoeba's body for digestion.