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Desmids in 3D
by Wim van Egmond
|Desmids are microscopic algae that can only be found in freshwater environments. They have complex three dimensional shapes and are ornamented with spines and other protrusions. Micrasterias rotata is one of the largest desmids. It has a size of almost 0.4 millimeter. They are not easy to find since they require special water conditions. Many of the species of desmids live in the acid waters of marshes.
|Desmidium swartzii , a
colony of triangular Desmids. The individuals are
positioned towards each other with a slight twist which
makes the overall shape of the colony like a spiral.
The desmids (Desmidioideae) are one of the two classes belonging to the phyla Gamophyta, the conjugating green algae. The other class, the Euconjugatae (or true conjugating algae) contain some species that are well known to everyone although almost no one realizes this. See Spirogyra in three dimensions.
The background image shows a 3D version of one of my pen and ink drawings of several of the smaller types of desmids. The species depicted belong to the genus Staurastrum (three processes), Staurodesmis (four processes) and Cosmarium (the round one with the knobs).
Go to the smallest page of the web to find out more about Desmids
THE INSTITUTE FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE LESS THAN ONE MILLIMETRE
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