Please define cilia and flagella.

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Cilia (singular: Cilium) are microscopic, hair-like structures or cell organelles present on the surface of some cells that help in locomotion. For example, the surface of Paramecium cells is covered with thousands of cilia.

Flagella, (singular: flagellum) are also microscopic, whip-like appendages on the surface of certain cells that aid in locomotion. For e.g. Euglena and sperm cells have flagella for swimming or floating. Flagella also act as sensory cell organelles in some cells, responding to some chemical and physical stimulus.

Cilia and flagella can occur on both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Both of these are micro-tubular structures and perform a similar function.

But the essential difference between a cilium and a flagellum is that, whereas cilia are comparatively short and many in number, flagella occur singly or in one pair per cell, and are usually longer. Besides this, Cilia and flagella have different "beats". Flagella move in more of a smooth, wave-like fashion, whereas Cilia have a more random and complex, wriggling motion.

 

 

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givingiswinning's profile pic

givingiswinning | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

cilia: hair-like structures on the surface of some cells to help it move.

Flagella: a tail like extension on a cell that helps it move.

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

cilia: hair-like structures on the surface of some cells to help it move.

Flagella: a tail like extension on a cell that helps it move.

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