Formerly considered a class of Protozoa the members of which bear cilia or structures derived from them, such as cirri or membranelles, but now placed within the phylum Ciliophora. Typical members, such as Paramecium or Balantidium coli (a parasite of humans, swine, nonhuman primates, rats and rarely, in dogs) possess two distinctive nuclei, a macronucleus and a micronucleus; only the latter bears the hereditary material exchanged in conjugation, a form of sexual reproduction found only in the Ciliata.
[L. cilium, eyelid]
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