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Description of Multicilia

Circumscription: Heterotrophic flagellates, small to medium, with irregular or regular rounded body with up to 30 flagella arising randomly over the surface. Heterotrophic, eating other protists. Ultrastructural identity: Mitochondria with flat cristae. Each flagellum linked to a single basal body, basal body gives rise indirectly to an incomplete cone of microtubules and also ribbons of microtubules may link adjacent basal bodies. Fibrous cytoskeletal structures are also located adjacent to basal body. Multiple dictyosomes. Synapomorphy: Platycristate flagellates with flagellar basal bodies anchored by an incomplete cone of microtubules. Composition: Several species. Polymastix and Tetracilia are accepted as synonyms. Ref: Mikrjukov and Mylnikov 1998a. Rounded bodies from which emanate numerous flagella not in rows. Cells may have short proboscis. Tubulocristate. Several species, freshwater and marine. Type species M. marina.

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