Flagella and cilia are long hairlike structures that have a tail-like appearance that helps them move the cell. Flagella are longer, but cilia appear in larger groups.
In most smaller, living structures cilia and flagella are present. They are most commonly found on cells and can be used for many different things. Cilia generally aid in the movement of the cell throughout the environment and can help create the necessary components for respiration. While flagella are equally important, they generally only aid in the movement of the cell throughout an area.
These structure function much like arms and legs on humans and animals. They are able to propel the cell for respiration, as well as locomotion, and work in combination with the cell to ensure that it is able to move and breathe. The biggest physical difference in cilia and flagella, other than the duties they perform individually, is their appearance. Cilia are generally grouped together, and the cell contains many cilia in one place. These work together and most commonly look like the legs that are found on centipedes and millipedes. The flagella is longer than the cilia, and there is usually only one flagella per cell. The flagella is more powerful on its own and does not require the use of multiple structures.