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Freshwater naked foram: Reticulomyxa

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Uploaded on Jul 11, 2011

A freshwater foraminifer (judging from rapid movement of pseudopodia and granules on them), apparently naked -- thus likely Reticulomyxa sp.. Note how dynamic the pseudopodia are -- enabled by the presence of a special type of tubulin (cell skeleton component) which forms paracrystaline clumps that can be rapidly transported to the 'construction' site of the extending pseudopodium. The microtubules (skeleton elements built from tubulin) of foraminiferans can grow up to 10x faster than those of animals, plants, seaweeds and the rest of eukaryotes. The pseudopodial network itself is organised around special self-organising nodes that can continue to function structurally if detached from the nucleus-containing cell body proper. Forams are also highly effective predators, capable of strangling and devouring even small animal prey like copepods and brine shrimp. All this for a naked foram - most forams carry tests ('shells'), which can be elaborate and multichambered in some species, constructed of materials ranging from proteins and calcium to sand grains, sponge spicules and even haptophyte coccoliths, arranged in a consistent orientation!

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