Early scientists wanted to classify life forms as plant or animal, but Euglena exhibits both plant and animal characteristics. It uses photosynthesis, but moves like an animal. Some biologists think it might be the ancestor of both plant and animal cells.
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Euglena is usually green and makes food like a plant; it finds light for photosynthesis by using a sense organ known as a stigma or eyespot. On the other hand, it does not have a cell wall.
Euglena eats other things as animals do, though not with a mouth, but by ingesting it, if it can't find light with its eyespot for photosynthesis. Euglena also swims, using its flagellum.
It's Own Classification
Most scientists include Euglena (Euglenophyta or Euglenoids) in the Protist or Protista Kingdom, where similar microscopic organisms, including amoebas and paramecium, are classified. It's a single-celled organism, and includes many species. It is similar to algae, but not related, but may be included in studies on algae. Zoologists may also include them in the study of protozoas, a single-celled animal.
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