Relationship with Humans

Amoeba proteus is often used in the classroom (and in research) to demonstrate basic cell function. Of the many species of Amoeba, Amoeba proteus demonstrates itself to be durable and tough – ideal for observing. Also, Amoeba proteus is used for observing and experimentation (i.e. dyes, etc.) due the the sheer size of the cell (which in many instances can even be seen with the naked eye). Several specimens have observed to be several millimeters wide! Unlike other species of Amoebae (some of which that reside in the human body), which are harmful to humans (causing death in the worst circumstance), Amoeba proteus is relatively innocuous.

Amoeba proteus is a popular organism to observe in many schools across North America and serves as a great education tool to Biology students.

Due to the ease of cultivation of A. proteus, its distinguishing features, and the fact that it can be found in most places on Earth, A. proteus is an organism of choice for humans to conduct research, experimentation, and teach with. The relationship that humans an A. proetus share can be compared to commensalism, which is a relationship between two individuals (different species) where one species gains a benefit (usually food) from the other without harming or benefiting the other organism in any way. Humans do not use A. proteus as a means of obtaining food, but our relationship results in A. proteus being unaffected, while humans benefit (i.e. aid in the classroom and research). This only works, given that humans do not attempt to harm the amoebae and simply use them for observations, etc.


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