The feeding apparatus of Suctoria consists of long, thin, stiff tubes called tentacles. When a swimming prey attaches to the tip of the tentacle a number of events follow in rapid succession. The tentacle broadens, a stream of tiny granules starts to move upward at its periphery to the tip, the prey becomes immobilized and shortly thereafter the cytoplasm of the still living prey begins to flow through the center of the tentacle to the body of the predator. An electron microscope study of the tentacle in Tokophrya infusionum, a protozoan of the subclass Suctoria, has disclosed a number of structural details which help to clarify some of the mechanisms involved in this unusual way of feeding. Each tentacle is composed of two concentric tubes. The lumen of the inner tube is surrounded by 49 tubular fibrils most probably of contractile nature. In the inner tube the cytoplasm of the prey is present during feeding, and in the outer tube are small dense bodies. It was found that the dense bodies originate in the cytoplasm of Tokophrya. They have an elongate, missile-like appearance, pointed at one end, rounded at the other, and are composed of several distinct segments. At the tip of the tentacle they penetrate the plasma membrane, with their pointed ends sticking out. It is assumed that the missile-like bodies play a major role in the feeding process. Their composite structure suggests that they might contain a number of enzymes which most probably are responsible for the various events preceding the actual food intake.

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