Corliss, John O. Formerly, Department of Zoology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
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An order of Spirotrichia. These protozoa are commonly considered to represent the pinnacle of specialized development in the evolution of all ciliates. Somatic ciliature of the ventral surface has been replaced by cirri; on the dorsal surface it is absent or represented by inconspicuous sensory bristles. The adoral zone of membranelles is very prominently developed, and the buccal area may occupy a large part of the ventral surface of the body. The whole body is generally rigid and is pronouncedly flattened dorsoventrally. Hypotrichs occur ubiquitously in fresh- and salt-water habitats and have been studied quite extensively by experimental biologists. Common examples are Euplotes (see illustration) and Diophrys, as well as Oxytricha and Stylonychia. See also: Ciliophora; Protozoa
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