Common Name: Tintinnid

by Chelsea Morel


Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Protozoa

Phylum: Ciliophora

Class: Spirotrichea

Subclass: Choretrichia

Order: Ciliate

Species Tinitinnida

General Characteristics

Tintinnids belong to the Phylum of Ciliophora. A Ciliophora have cilia, short hair like organells that can be used for motion, eating, and feeling. They have diploid micronucleus and a polypoid nucleus They are hetetrophic. As heterotrophs, food is swept into their mouths by cilia. They eat other planktonic organism such as algae and bacteria.

The Tintinnid

The most notable features of a Tintinnid’s anatomy are the oral cilia, an oral cavity, tentaculoid, a somatic cilia, a micronucleus, a peduncle, and a lorica. The oral cilia of Tintinids are known as polykintids,  and they are arrange around the edges of the mouth of the Tintinnid. The main distinguishing part of Tintinnids are their loricae. The lorica shell is comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. These are the main characteristics that help to identify one type of Tintinnid from another. The shapes range from orb, champagne glasses esq and vase like. The size of tintinnids can varies from 20um to 200um. At one end of the shell is an opening through which the cell of the Tintinnid  will expose itself while searching for food. During this time the Tintinnid will swim about using its somatic cilia to help propel itself , mouth first through the water. This somatic cilia cover the outside of the cell. When contact is made via cilia with food, the cell will rapidly draw itself back into it’s shel using its peduncle. The peduncle is a tail or stalk like appendage that as part of the cell, is attached at the bottom of the  loricae. This sudden motion creates a vacuums that helps to draw the food further into the mouth. During this time the Tintinnid will decide whether or not to eat the food it has captured. It the food is becomes digested the the nutrients goes toward helping the Tintinnid to later construct its lorica shell.This construction takes place during cell division, where the cell secrete a cytoplasmic substance. This chemical of this substance varies and is direct factor in the final shape of the Loricae.

It’s Habitat 

Tintinnids can be found  in abundance in a variety of aquatic environments. It should be noted that they are found more often in salt water then in freshwater environments.