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Question Video: Comparing the Need for Specialized Cells in Multicellular and Single-Celled Organisms Biology

The picture shows the organism Amoeba proteus viewed under a microscope. Why does this organism not contain multiple specialized cells?

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Video Transcript

The picture provided shows the organism Amoeba proteus viewed under a microscope. Why does this organism not contain multiple specialized cells? (A) This statement is incorrect; it does contain multiple specialized cells. (B) Because it does not need to move or respire. (C) Because it is unicellular. (D) Because it is not alive.

Let’s first explore the concept of specialization. Then, we’ll look back at this amoeba.

In biology, structure and function are closely related. The structure of a particular biological component or organism often relates to its function. Cells that have particular structures suitable for specific functions are said to be specialized. For example, a neuron has many branches that allow it to conduct electrical signals from one part of the body to another. And a sperm cell is specialized because its long tail is ideal to help it swim toward the egg in order to fertilize it.

Now we can look back at the amoeba. This organism is adapted for its specific lifestyle. But why does it not contain multiple specialized cells as the question is asking? The key word here is “multiple.” Amoeba do not contain multiple cells because they are unicellular, meaning they only contain a single cell. Additionally, as suggested by incorrect answer choices, amoeba are indeed alive, are capable of movement, and undergo cellular respiration to meet its energy requirements.

So, getting back to our question, the option that correctly describes why this amoeba doesn’t contain multiple specialized cells is given by answer choice (C): because it is unicellular.

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