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  1. What Is the Largest Unicellular Organism?
  2. World's Best Unicellular Organism Stock Pictures, Photos, and Images - Getty Images
  3. Unicellular
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However, there are many super-sized one-celled creatures. The largest single cell is usually said to be an ostrich egg. Before fertilization, the average ostrich egg is 15 cm 5. While it is true the ostrich egg may be the heaviest single cell, it is not the largest!

Colossal squid nerve cells can be up to 12 m 39 ft in length. Even human nerve cells can reach 1. The egg only contains half the genetic material needed to form an ostrich. In contrast, a single-celled or unicellular organism is a creature that consists of one cell and is capable of reproduction. These large entities are called macroscopic unicellular organisms. They include certain species of amoeba, bacteria, foraminiferans, and algae.

Caulerpa looks like a plant, but it consists of a single large cell. Caulerpa Algae : Caulerpa is a type of algal seaweed that resembles a plant. Even though a single Caulerpa organism may grow to 3 m 10 ft in length and have up to fronds, it only consists of a single cell. However, each Caulerpa cell is multinucleate, meaning it contains multiple cell nuclei to direct tasks within the gigantic cell.

Parts of the cell serve different functions, acting much like photosynthetic leaves, stems, and roots.

What Is the Largest Unicellular Organism?

The largest specimen of this algae is lives in the Mediterranean. Other species are round and green.

It is sometimes considered to be the largest single-celled organism, reaching a size of 20 cm 8 in across. It is certainly the largest protozoan and some might say the largest single-celled animal. A single cell consists of hundreds of branched tubes. As the amoeba grows, it secretes an organic cement that glues the tubes together to form the test.

World's Best Unicellular Organism Stock Pictures, Photos, and Images - Getty Images

As the test grows, the amoeba withdraws inward. Like Caulerpa , each cell contains multiple nuclei. Syringammina lives on the seabed. Syringammina is the largest known foraminiferan, but other members of the subphylum also reach great size. Each Acetabularia cell resembles a collection of green cups or umbrellas. Albert Kok. Acetabularia Algae : Acetabularia is another type of unicellular green algae.

A single cell ranges from 0. Like Caulerpa , this species displays a complex form. These tiny organisms are sometimes referred to as trumpet animalcules due to their distinctive shape. While 2 millimeters might not sound very large, most protozoa cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope , so this level of visibility is actually impressive for a unicellular creature!

Algae or Phytoplankton

This aquatic organism prefers slow-moving or stagnant water to flowing waters. Trumpet animalcules have a strand of multiple nuclei much like a string of pearls, rather than a single nucleus as many single cells have.


While this fascinating unicellular organism generally stops growing at around 4 mm in length, it can sometimes grow even larger and has been described as looking like a tiny worm while swimming. The Spirostomum tends to forage among aquatic debris for its food , using its proportionately short cilia to move through the water.

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The strange trails that you can see in the photo are much like the very thing that made researcher Mikhail Matz double-take during an excursion in the Bahamas. Gromia Sphaerica move themselves across the seabed by rolling, and are built something like a thick-walled water balloon of cell organelles.

Bubble Algae is notorious as a pest among aquarium enthusiasts.

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These fascinating unicellular organisms were originally mistaken for carnivorous sponges when they were first spotted by divers off the coast of Spain. Spiculosiphon oceana does indeed mimic the habits of these sponges, feeding by anchoring one end to the seabed and extending its cluster of pseudopod tentacles to filter plankton out of the water. Spiculosiphon oceana is actually the largest known specimen of its kind in the Mediterranean Sea!

Acetabularia can withstand interspecies grafting and repair its structure even after enduring significant amputation.

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