Question about amoebas vis-a-vis the evolution of blood-sucking behavior.

A friend and I got to talking about mosquitos tonight, and that made me wonder about how their specialized bloodsucking system evolved.

I said, I wonder if there were single-celled organisms that developed organelles to suck out the contents of other amoebae, rather than engulfing them?

Then I looked it up, and it turns out that blood-sucking evolved several times, and probably not in that way. (I like the plant-sucking theory, personally. It makes sense.)

But I’m still wondering about amoebae, and whether any of them do that?

Not amoebae, but heterotrophic dinoflagellates use the peduncle to pierce and extract nutrients. There’s also the suctoria cilliates.

Your OP phrasing seems to indicate that you think all, or most, unicellular animals are amoeboid. That is far from the case.

MrDibble: Guilty as charged. I debated whether to say “microorganisms,” or stick with “single-celled organisms,” because I was pretty sure there were other kinds besides amoebae, but ultimately my enthusiasm won out over a detour to wiki pages. (btw I like “unicellular” much better, it’s far less clunky than “single-celled.”)

Awesome links!! Dinoflagellates, the original vampires!

Makes sense to develop alternatives to engulfing prey, just in case you want to eat something bigger than your head. :slight_smile: