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Animalcule ("little animal", from Latin animal + the diminutive suffix -culum) is an older term for a microscopic animal or protozoan. Some better-known animalcules include:

The term was also used by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the 17th-century preformationist and discoverer of microorganisms, to describe spermatozoa.

The word appears in the Major-General's Song, in which Major-General Stanley sings, "I know the scientific names of beings animalculous..."

See also[edit]