How does an amoeba move?

through extension and retraction of “false feet” or pseudopods

Amoeba proteus is known for the way they move, a primitive crawling manner – through extension and retraction of “false feet” (or pseudopods) over varied substrates. Amoeba proteus does not have a fixed shape – it constantly changes because it extends its pseudopods.

A pseudopod is a temporary arm-like projection that is developed in the direction of movement.

When the Amoeba stretches its pseudopods, the cytoskeletons (like the cells’ skeleton system) inside the cell rearrange and extrude the cell membrane to change the cell shape. Once the tips of pseudopods adhere to the substrate, the cytoplasm of the cell flow to fill the space so the whole cell moves forward.

Under the microscope, you can see the components (including nucleus and vacuoles) inside the Amoeba flow smoothly like in a gel as it moves. This form of movement by extension of cytoplasm is called “amoeboid movement”.

Amoeba Pseudopod

[In this figure] Amoeboid movement: an amoeba moves by stretching its pseudopods.
Under the plasma membrane of the pseudopods, there are organized cytoskeletons that generate the force to drive the change of the cell’s shape.

Extended read:

facts about amoeba

Facts about Amoeba

This article covers