This image of two Paramecium bursaria displays the symbiotic relationship between the Paramecium and the single celled Zoochlorella algae. The algae gains protection, and possibly some essential nutrients from the general protoplasmic soup inside the Paramecium. The benefit to the Paramecium probably is that the algae sustains the animal during absences of sufficient food sources by providing vitamins and proteins. During severe food shortages, the Paramecium most likely would consume the entire algal mass.
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