DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of marine dinoflagellates (Ceratium tripos and Ceratium furca). Dinoflagellates are single-celled protozoa (protists) that exist as plankton in marine and fresh water. Certain genera such as Ceratium are armoured dinoflagellates that possess thecal plates made of cellulose. Many are photosynthetic, making their own food using the energy from sunlight, and they also provide a food source for other organisms. Some species are capable of producing their own light through bioluminescence. This genus is characterized by having hollow horns which assist in floatation. They also possess two flagella which are used for self propulsion. Red tide is due to certain species of dinoflagellates that contain neurotoxins. Magnification: x80 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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