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Ciliate protists are unicellular organisms characterized by movement using cilia or ciliary-derived structures. Cilia act in locomotion and/or feeding behaviors (phagocytosis). This group is commonly studied in feeding behavior and simple response experiments. Ciliates have two, or more, nuclei—a macronucleus (typical cell functions) and at least one micronucleus (reproduction). Internal organelles are easily visible using a compound microscope with a 40X objective. Possession of cilia is the only common characteristic. Some are typically mobile while others prefer attachment to a substrate. Feeding behaviors also vary. Vital stained cultures have a dye added that stains the internal organelles for easier observation. Ciliates prefer calm water, room temperature and dim light. They will move away from a microscope’s field of view. Culture contains enough live food to last several days. Aerate daily using included pipet.