Temporal range: Ediacaran - Recent
|"Ciliata" from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur, 1904|
Doflein, 1901 emend.
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.