"Paramecium" is the scientific name for the genus of at least eight species of microscopic single-celled organisms. These species, like others in phylum Ciliophora, are covered in hair-like filaments known as cilia.
Paramecia use their cilia to move through a fluid environment and to direct food towards their mouths. One differentiation between paramecia and other ciliophores is that paramecia typically have elongated bodies, described as cigar- or slipper-like in shape. Additionally, paramecia have furrowed membranes that create food packets, known as vacuoles. Members of this genus have both a large and small nuclei, known respectively as the macronucleus and the micronucleus. The macronucleus holds the cell materials responsible for everyday survival, while the micronucleus stores and transmits genetic material during reproduction.