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ciliate Member of the phylum Ciliophora, characterized by hair-like cilia used for locomotion and food collecting. Ciliates are the largest (c.8,000 species) and the most complex of the Protozoans. They are found in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats and many are carnivorous. Ciliates have two nuclei (macronucleus and micronucleus) and a variety of organelles, such as a cystome (mouth). Subclasses include the Holotrichs (Paramecium), Spirotrichs (Stentor) and Peritrichs (Vorticella).