noun Biology.
a phylum of protozoa in the kingdom Protista, comprising the ciliates.

< Neo-Latin, equivalent to cili(um) cilium + -o- -o- + Greek -phora, neuter plural of -phoros -phorous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any member of the protozoan phylum Ciliophora, of which there are some 8,000 species; ciliates are generally considered the most evolved and complex of protozoans. Ciliates are single-celled organisms that, at some stage in their life cycle, possess cilia, short hairlike organelles used for locomotion and food gathering

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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