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Advantages of unicellular organisms over multi-cellular?

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Advantages of unicellular organisms over multi-cellular?

Postby jessssxloveee » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:30 pm

Hi everyone - I have a quick question.

I know a lot of advantages of multicellular organisms over unicellular, but I can't seem to find any advantages of unicellular organisms over multicellular. My textbook has proven to be no help, and I haven't have much luck online.

The only thing I can think of is that their smaller size makes it easier to hide in smaller places, and less likely to be found by predators. Then again, size is an advantage of multi-cellular organisms since they're larger and better abled to take down predators, so it would seem contradictory, am I right?

Specifically, I'm wondering about protists, but anything regarding any type of organism to get me at least thinking would be a great help. Thanks!
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Postby plasmodesmata11 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:11 pm

lots of unicellular organisms will reproduce asexually. There are distinct advantages here, like not having to expend the energy of finding a mate. What you mentioned before about their samll size and being a protist... Trypanosomes and apicomplexans that cause african sleeping sickness and malaria, respectively, are parasites. If they were much larger, they may not be able to parasitize. Also maybe you could say something about advantages of taking in energy by diffusion/ osmosis rather than through a digestive system.
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Postby JackBean » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:46 am

What you mentioned is nonsense as unicellular organisms are probably predated by other unicelllar organisms, so the size kind of doesn't matter.

IMHO the main advantage is the speed of reproduction, possibility to use almost everything as energy source.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby jwalin » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:14 pm

jackbeans is right

and another thing it needs no complex systems like the digestive, circulatory or excretory and hence can reproduce very easily.
it isn't what you do that matters but it is how you do it
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