Field of Science

Sunday Protist - Dinophysis: Whirling teapots...

Since I'm busy with Student Directed Seminar proposal revisions that's due tomorrow (which I naturally left until tonight) this will be more of a 'protist appreciation' post rather than anything educational.

Here's some Dinophysis, a group of dinos with rather interesting morphologies. (though the top left and the very bottom left aren't part of this group, as far as I know) I've first come across these in Haeckel's drawings, and thought he was making this stuff up. Apparently, there really are organisms vaguely shaped like whirling teapots:

(Source: Waller Lab); main page here (with more pretty pictures)

Also, these have undergone a tertiary endosymbiosis event with a cryptomonad. As cool as they are, they're fairly understudied as some have only been cultured fairly recently. Even more interesting morphogenesis questions there...

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And shit, someone just timetravelled forwards and 'scooped' my ideas. People (zoologists+botanists) usually give me funny looks when I say cell differentiation in multicellular organisms is but a spatial version of developmental stage differentiation in unicellular ones... but I'm not alone! =D

Must be a Russian thing. Привет, братья! ^_^

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