Comparative Parasitology

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The protozoa are an eclectic assemblage of organisms encompassing a wide range of single-celled and multiple-celled colonial organisms lacking tissue organization, but exhibiting remarkably refined biological behaviour. In some modern classifications, they are classified as a subkingdom among the Protista (eukaryotic single-celled organisms). Although they are not considered a formal category by some taxonomists and some biologists consider the name inappropriate (inferring that they are the first unicellular animals, although some photosynthesize), it is still convenient to consider this group of organisms as an informal collection under the heading of protozoa. Their cosmopolitan distribution, significant ecological role in mineral recycling and enhancement of carbon flow through lower trophic levels of food webs, and remarkable cellular physiology to enhance survival in diverse environments make them significant organisms for biological investigation.

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