Paramecium (caudatum) (par-a-mee-see-um) is a very familiar genus of ciliates. They eat bacteria and have the mouth recessed in a buccal cavity, and the cell is often shaped with a scoop leading to the mouth. There are cilia all over the body with a caudal tuft of longer cilia at the back of the body. Usually with a layer of extrusomes (trichocysts) under the cell surface and a large oval macronucleus. Contractile vacuoles star-shaped. This species is P. caudatum, and was photographed with the cell pushing itself into some debris. This is the normal feeding behaviour of this genus. Phase contrast.