Amoeba Systems and Patterns Inquiries

This amoeba was collected from Loughborough Lake north of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in the fall, 2005.

Amoeba comes from the Greek word, amoibe, which means change.
-a probably is a shortened form of –al, which means of, relating to, or characterized by
So, amoeba means a critter that changes shape (or characterized by its ability to change shape) or shape-changer or shape-shifter.

Look for the water vacuoles (little sacs that fill with water then quickly squirt out the water).

Some Questions to Consider:

  • How does this single-celled critter move?
  • Can you think of other types of movement that are similar to the one you see here?
  • For what reasons do you think this critter needs to move?
  • Can you find any cycles in the video? How do these cycles compare to other cycles you know about?
  • What is the advantage to the amoeba for having the shape of a kind of flattened and extended sphere? How does this critter use its shape?
  • Look at spheres (water vacuoles mentioned above) near the rear end of the amoeba. Can you see them quickly disappear, then re-appear in a few seconds? What do you think is happening here?
  • What else can you find out about this critter?
  • Can you think of anything else that move like an amoeba?
  • Is there anything in our bodies that we share in common with an amoeba?
  • How would you represent an amoeba through music, art, dance, or drama?

If you come up with answers to these questions please join this site (send me a request to join) and add your answers below. And, if you can make an audio or video recording of your music, dance, or dramatic representation, we can put that up on this site, as well.


Add a New Comment

©2015 Jeffrey W. Bloom

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License