DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vampyrella plasmodia. Close-up, time-lapse light microscopy footage of a single Vampyrella plasmodia floating in a water sample. Large plasmodia like this one (280 micrometres in diameter) appear when food is scarce. They are multi-nucleate as opposed to the smaller single trophozoites. Vampyrella is a unicellular micro-organism sometimes described as a 'vampire amoeba'. It attacks other microscopic organisms, such as algae, and penetrates their cell walls and extracts the contents. Vampyrella are found in aquatic freshwater environments, with other vampyrellid species found in soil and in the sea. The speed of this footage has been increased to ten times normal.
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