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predatory protist

Crystalline Colony

A tiny planetoid adrift in an endless, dark ocean universe, this colonial protist was found off the Philippines, where biologist Larry Madin led a research trip to find deep-living organisms in the Celebes Sea. Individual cells, the white blobs, are held together and connected by a geodesic- dome-like structure made of glass-like slivers of silica. The entire colony is one centimeter (0.39 inch) across and predatory—it traps smaller cells on sticky extensions that ooze along the silica structure. The 2013 WHOI calendar, featuring this image and others, is available online at the WHOI store. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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