Field of Science

Mystery Micrograph #08

Originally posted on 04 November 2009 4:20 AM
17.11.09: Bumping this up before it falls off the first page...
21.11.09: You guys have until tomorrow, unless someone says something. I actually have a reason to procrastinate this time... (waiting for a paper I had to order) So go, guess!

This time we have two organisms. Tell me what's going on here. And yes, you have to figure out both of them. Which is kind of necessary for this one anyway. Unlike some people(=P), I'm not very picky on very fine taxonomy (species, genera), so don't freak out!

(scalebar = 300um; to be referenced later)

Good luck and enjoy!

HINT 05.11.09: Unusual parasitism
08.11.09: Two kingdoms


  1. Is the one inside a bacteria? If their both bacteria I'd be on a nice strong footing, but at the moment I'm guessing some kind of bacteria inside some kind of algea thing...

  2. Nope, both are eukaryotes. Bacterial endosymbionts wouldn't qualify for "really freaking weird" (not anymore anyway...). Seriously, think of something that should be impossible, and go from there =D

  3. is it a multicellular something inside a single-celled something?

  4. GAH this is really bugging me. Can you give me just a couple more days to go invade the parasite peoples lab...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. We got as far as Nematode for the multicellular organism, thanks to Oroboros/Wordy McBeard (so the guess was partially right; no need to remove it!)

    Do carry on!

  7. Sweet :)

    I actually spent a lot of time google image searching nematodes + specific protists (and a few other things) without coming up to anything.

    I just haven't looked at enough micrographs. The things around the edges are air bubbles?

  8. Nope, no air bubbles here. Definitely is some particulate matter though...

    There's not too many massively large protists that have particulate matter lining their membranes. /hint

  9. It's the QUAKE ADDICT protist paratising a lameloid.

  10. Kaexar, where the HELL did you get 'apicomplexa'!?

    Although a multicellular parasite inside a unicellular intracellular parasite would've been kinda cool...

  11. I vote for a testate amoeba. They're ancient predators, and some like Difflugia and Nebela can eat nematodes. So I vote it's a member of the order Arcellinida (formerly called the Testacida).

    Nice offbeat web site btw. My career as a biologist started with years of observing protists in the pond near my house. I used a hand held tube 40x magnifier my Dad gave me for 2 years, then graduated to a proper scope when I was 10. So your cool pics and stories of my first science obsession make me want to get a nice scope now that I can afford one! Or go back to grad school and study protists. Keep up the good work, psi.

  12. Nice guess, but no =D Although I wouldn't be surprised if there is a case of a nematode parasitising a testate amoebozoan somewhere that we just haven't found yet.

    There's another protist domain/'kingdom' where test-building occurs out of sandgrains at least a couple times. This group can also get some fairly large cells, and is rather familiar to paleontologists and geologists.

    Furthermore, if you put 'nematode', 'parasite' and this group into Google scholar, the paper with the exact names of the organisms in question comes up on the first page.

    Almost there!

    "Or go back to grad school and study protists."
    DO IT! [/potentially disastrous advice]

    Thanks for the compliment, btw =D

  13. Фораминифера?

    Может быть Vanhoeffenella gaussi?

  14. And the nematode's genus is named after my favorite institution in the US capital.

  15. Congrats Mark, you got it!

    Smithsoninema (nematode) in Vanhoeffenella (foram) it is!

    Вы говорите по-русски!? =D

  16. В России были?
    Очень приятно когда иностранци учат русский!


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