DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vampyrella feeding on algae. Time-lapse light microscopy footage of a Vampyrella lateritia trophozoite (centre) attaching to and feeding on two cells from a strand of Spirogyra algae (tubular). 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 (green). The extraction is shown in the second half of the clip, with the pressure released from both cells rupturing and killing the Vampyrella trophozoite. 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 twenty times normal.
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