January 06, 2010


Recently, I came across an excellent article on dinoflagellates — a large, diverse and eccentric group of (usually) single-celled organisms that are as celebrated as they are feared. They are the best of beings and yet are also the worst of beings. They are animals; they are plants. While they can be saviors, they are also killers. Sometimes they are predators and yet, they are also parasites.

Extracted from The New York Times:

All dinoflagellates live in water, most famously the ocean (though some live in freshwater), and many of them can swim: protruding from their outsides they have two whip-like structures known as flagella, one for moving and one for steering. (Flagella is plural: if they had only one, they’d have a flagellum.)

Some dinoflagellates have eyes. Others give off light. Some, like plants, make energy from the sun; others, like animals, capture and eat their prey. Some do both. Funky.

But even if you’ve never seen a dinoflagellate and wouldn’t recognize one if it waved its flagella at you, you’ve probably come across them, for they impinge on our lives in two important ways, one good, one bad. CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article. Believe me - it is worth reading!

Take care and have a nice day!