DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR OLIVER SKIBBE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vampyrella reproducing. Time-lapse light microscopy footage of Vampyrella lateritia daughter trophozoites emerging from a digestive cyst (round) during the reproductive stage of its life cycle. Also present are small (10-micrometre diameter) colourless Nuclearia rhizopods gathering to feed on the remains defecated from the digestive cyst. Vampyrella is a unicellular micro-organism sometimes described as a 'vampire amoeba'. It attacks other microscopic organisms, such as Spirogyra algae (bottom), and penetrates their cell walls and extracts the contents (green). After feeding, it forms this cyst and divides to form daughter cells. 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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