A microscopic key to evolution – volvox

Volvox is a polyphyletic genus of chlorophyte green algae or phytoplankton.They live in a variety of freshwater and marine habitats

Does pond water hold a microscopic key to understanding evolution? Examining pond water with a microscope in 1674, Anton van Leeuwenhoek observed many single-celled organisms, which he called ‘animalcules’. Some formed colonies or clusters, others were clearly multi-cellular, and one of these is a tiny green alga called Volvox. So, could this tiny creature be… Continue reading A microscopic key to evolution – volvox

Euglena eye and nature’s invention

Euglena viridis in pond water

Nature is said to be the mother of invention, and this we see in the microscopic single-celled Euglena. Euglenas have chloroplasts – green power packs, making sugars using the energy of light. But they also have an eye, of sorts, enabling them to optimise the light conditions for photosynthesis. The ‘eye’ of a Euglena Using… Continue reading Euglena eye and nature’s invention