TO NOTE: Amoebas are not animals, nor Plants, Fungi, or Bacteria. However, for simplicity on this Wiki, they are categorized with animals.
Amoebas (Genus Amoeba) are single-celled eukaryotes - meaning they do not form tissues and have a complex internal cell structure when compared with those of bacteria. Eukaryotic cells contain organelles, which may be thought of as 'organs' of the cell that each carry out a specific function.
Amoebas have no specific shape to the cell, but instead the shape is constantly changing. The cell is able to send out pseudopodia, which act as appendages for movement or to grasp and engulf things to eat. Amoebas consume other cells and material found in their environments by engulfing them and forming a phagosome, or a digestive compartment where the food source is dissolved.
Members of the Genus Amoeba are not harmful to humans. However, the term 'Amoeba' can also be used to describe any cell that can change its shape by extending pseudopods. This includes many other single-celled species, as well as some types of cells found in multi-cellular organisms. Some of the single-cell organisms can cause disease in humans, such as Amoebiasis.
Until recently, Amoebas and other single-celled organisms were classified into the Kingdom Protista, which encompassed all single-cell eukaryotes that did not form tissue. Many of these organisms are not actually related to each other. With the advent of the ability to study genes and genomes, Protista has become somewhat obsolete and broken into several 'Supergroups' of genetically connected organisms under Domain Eukaryota. The Genus Amoeba belongs to the Supergroup Ameobozoa.
Amoebas have no specific function in the Book series or in real life, other than as an object of study. However, the Book series employs amoebas as a metaphor to describe small size.
|“||Do you really think ... that microscopic amoeba ... is going to lead you to TREASURE?||”|
|— Snotlout talking about Toothless in Book 2|
|“||Would that be the plan where we get rescued at the last minute by a dragon the size of an amoeba?||”|
Hiccup, in old age, writes an epilogue in the book, and mentions how insignificant humans are in the grand scheme of the universe.
|“||Suddenly I realized with such clearness what pinpricks we were on this ocean universe. What swaggering insects! What posturing amoebas!||”|
|— Epilogue in Book 3|