Monday, August 4, 2008

Swirling Tail: SEM of a Dinoflagellate

The "Montauk Monster" is a little nasty looking. This SEM photograph is much nicer.

dinoflagellate, originally uploaded by sconartist.

I showed this image to introductory biology students, and some were able to identify the single-celled algae right away. The give away is the spiral-like flagellum resting in the central groove. (If you don't know what a flagellum is you can think of it as a tail that propels a single cell.)

The spiral-like tail causes the cell to spin as it moves through the water - thus it's name. "Dino" means spinning, and "flagellate" refers to the cell's tail.


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This is really interesting for me because I'm a person who love science and I wanna get more information about what flagellum is, and also knowing about its movements.

xlpharmacy said...

I'm always wondering why the universe keeps creating spheres in every creation, been a supernova, galaxy, planet, star, an atom, etc. It is always a sphere, maybe we should pay attention to the sacred geometry that the ancient cultures use.

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