How Does An Amoeba Obtain Its Food | Step By Step Process

Amoeba is a carnivorous organism with a holozoic mode of nutrition. The consumption and internal processing of bits of food in the body of an amoeba are characterized by holozoic nutrition.

When the amoeba comes into contact with its food, it engulfs it through the procedure of phagocytosis by forwarding its pseudopodia and covering the entire food particle to take the food inside its body. It only accepts food in solid form.

The phagocytosis process in amoeba encompasses the entire intake, digestion, absorption, assimilation, and egestion process.

Amoeba does not consume everything. Amoeba’s food particles include bacteria, diatoms, desmids, flagellates, ciliates, and rotifers.

How does an amoeba obtain Its foods step by step process

Amoebas are single-celled organisms that belong to the kingdom Protista. They are heterotrophic, meaning they obtain their nutrients from other organisms. Amoebas obtain food in several ways, including phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and holozoic feeding. Here is a step-by-step process of how an amoeba obtains its food:

How does an amoeba obtain Its foods
How does an amoeba obtain Its food
  • Selection of food:

An organism, like the amoeba, must know what it will eat. Amoeba identifies their prey in their environment using chemoreceptors on their cell membrane.

Chemotaxis caused by extracellular cues is used to determine whether or not a potential food source is nearby. It accomplishes this through the use of its cell membrane, which allows it to detect extracellular signaling molecules known as chemoattractants (e.g., cAMP) and extend pseudopodia to engulf the food granules.

When the G-protein-coupled receptors on the cell membrane are activated, the amoeba receives cell signals, which cause food to enter the amoeba’s cell via endocytosis or phagocytosis.

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  • Indigestion of food:

Phagocytosis is the process by which amoebae ingest food particles that come into contact with their cell membrane. Phagocytosis is a type of endocytosis mechanism for food digestion.

Phagocytosis is the process by which a cell uses its plasma membrane (in this case, pseudopodia) to engulf and completely cover a large food particle, resulting in the formation of based features called the phagosome where the meal is stuck.

The founded phagosome will take the engulfed meals into the cell via a small opening in the cell membrane and pass it into the food vacuole, where further digestion, absorption, and integration of the food particles will take place.

  • Digestion of food:

Food digestion begins in amoebas as soon as the food enters the cell.

Amoeba digestion takes place entirely within the food vacuoles. It’s similar to the gut of higher animals, but on a cellular level.

These food vacuoles form as a result of the extending and going to join of the pseudopodia that managed to capture the prey with a drop of water. The pseudopodia-trapped food particle can now be seen inside the food vacuoles.

An actively feeding amoeba has numerous food vacuoles. These food vacuoles are a collection of spherical, small, and large vesicles found within the cytoplasm. Water and food in various stages of digestion are contained within these food vesicles.

When the food vacuole becomes acidic, the organism stuck inside is killed by the high pH effect.

When the food vacuole is alkaline, the enzymes amylase, protease, lipase, and others digest starch, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and so on from the dead food particle.

Digestion is a very simple process. The amoeba engulfs the food by wrapping its pseudopodia around it. The food is thus trapped in the food vacuole, where it is digested by the digestive enzyme before being absorbed and dispersed throughout the amoeba’s body.

  • Absorption and assimilation of food:

Absorption is the process of absorbing nutrients such as proteins, lipids, starch, and so on from digested food material into the cytoplasm while leaving undigested food material in the amoeba’s food vacuole.

Assimilation refers to the actual process of obtaining energy from absorbed food nutrients to use it in the body. Absorbed food molecules are used by amoeba to generate the energy needed to carry out various life processes within the cell.

Following successful nutrient absorption from digested food, the absorbed nutrients are now assimilated to form new cell protoplasm. The nutrients absorbed from food can now be used for energy production, growth, repair, and multiplication.

  • Egestion of foods:

In Amoeba, egestion is the process of excreting or getting rid of undigested food materials that remained in the food vacuoles but were not absorbed.

This process is carried out in amoeba by rupturing the cell membrane and removing the undigested food material from its body through a variety of mechanisms.

It has been observed that the egestion of undigested food residue occurs at any time from the body’s surface. And there is no definite exit for egestion to occur in amoeba.

As a result of the streaming movement of the food vacuole, the much-reduced food vacuoles containing the undigested food stains are shifted back into the past as the amoeba moves forward.

Overall, the process of obtaining food for an amoeba is an essential aspect of their survival. They use a combination of phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and holozoic feeding to obtain the nutrients they need to live. The process of digestion and absorption ensures that the amoeba can utilize the food for energy and growth, and waste elimination helps keep the cell clean and healthy.

FAQs on How does an amoeba obtains its food?

What is an amoeba?

An amoeba is a single-celled organism that belongs to the kingdom Protista. They are commonly found in freshwater and soil environments.

How does an amoeba obtain its food?

Amoebas are heterotrophic, meaning they obtain their nutrients from other organisms. They obtain food through a combination of phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and holozoic feeding.

What is phagocytosis?

Phagocytosis is the process of engulfing solid particles or whole organisms in the cell. The amoeba extends a portion of its cytoplasm, known as a pseudopod, around the food particle and engulfs it into the cell.

What is pinocytosis?

Pinocytosis is the process of ingestion of small droplets of liquid into the cell. Amoebas use pinocytosis to obtain food when the food source is too small to be engulfed through phagocytosis.


In conclusion, amoebas obtain food through the process of phagocytosis. This process involves the extension of a pseudopod towards the food particle, which is then engulfed and enclosed within a vesicle. The vesicle then fuses with the amoeba’s cell membrane, and the food is digested within the amoeba’s cytoplasm. Some species of amoebas are also capable of producing food through photosynthesis, which allows them to obtain food in environments where light is abundant and food is scarce. The ability to obtain food through phagocytosis and photosynthesis is essential for the survival of amoebas and

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