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The striking similarities between elements of the mammalian endocrine systems and those of protozoans and invertebrates mean that research which is more easily carried out on simpler organisms has considerable significance for the study of endocrinology in higher organisms. Starting with the presence of hormones and development and function of receptors in protozoa, through the second messenger systems, GPI-expression, signal recognition and pheromone function, this work demonstrates the universality of basic endocrine mechanisms os the living world, as well as the specialities at lower phylogenetic levels.