MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: What type of water do amoeba live in and at what depth are they found?

Date: Mon Apr 6 17:48:28 1998
Posted By: Chris Yost, PhD Microbiology
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 888688924.Mi

Hello Alex,

Amoebas can be found in both fresh water and salt water. However a single type of amoeba will only be found in one type of water, not both. To think about where you will find ameobas you must think about what they need to grow. Ameobas need food and will eat things like bacteria, and bacteria can be found living off of dead material such as decaying leaves. Therefore the best place to find amoebas (or most protists) is in shallow water where there is lots of organic material. For example in a small pond where there is lots of dead leaves on the bottom. Collecting water near the dead leaves will be the best bet for capturing ameobas. In salt water ameobas can be found in tidal pools where there is an abundance of algae growing. They may be found in deeper water, as long as there is some organic material near by.

Protozoans are fascinating organisms. If you get a chance I encourage to look at some pond water under a microscope, hopefully you will find an amoeba! It is amazing what you can find when looking through a microscope


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