Ciliate

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Ciliates
Temporal range: Ediacaran - Recent
"Ciliata" from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, 1904
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Ciliophora
Doflein, 1901 emend.
Classes

Karyorelictea
Heterotrichea
Spirotrichea
Litostomatea
Phyllopharyngea
Nassophorea
Colpodea
Prostomatea
Oligohymenophorea
Plagiopylea

The ciliates are a group of protists characterized by the presence of hair-like organelles called cilia, which are identical in structure to flagella but typically shorter and present in much larger numbers with a different undulating pattern than flagella. Cilia occur in all members of the group (although the peculiar suctoria only have them for part of the life-cycle) and are variously used in swimming, crawling, attachment, feeding, and sensation.