An amoeba obtains its food through a process called phagocytosis, which is a form of endocytosis. Here’s how it works:
- Pseudopodia Formation: Amoebas are single-celled organisms with a flexible cell membrane. They extend and retract finger-like projections known as pseudopodia (“false feet”).
- Locating Food: When an amoeba senses the presence of potential food particles, it uses its pseudopodia to surround and enclose the food.
- Engulfment: The pseudopodia gradually envelop the food particle, forming a temporary bubble-like structure called a vacuole around it.
- Digestion: Once the food particle is trapped within the vacuole, the amoeba releases digestive enzymes into the vacuole. These enzymes break down the food into smaller, digestible molecules.
- Absorption: The digested nutrients are then absorbed through the amoeba’s cell membrane and into its cytoplasm, where they provide the necessary energy and nutrients for the amoeba’s survival and growth.
In essence, amoebas are like tiny hunters that use their flexible bodies to capture and consume small food particles in their environment.