Croc the Ciliate and the Little Green Heart
a Microbial Fairy Tale
by Wim van Egmond, the Netherlands

What are Algae? What are flagella?


The word algae is often used for many unrelated organisms that all share the ability to perform photosynthesis. They use the energy from the sun to form sugar. They convert this into food for their bodies.

Many algae have flagella. A flagellum is long whip like structure used for for locomotion. Some algae use them for food gathering as well.

The Little Green Heart in the story is Phacus, an Euglenophyte. The portrait below is of a typical Euglenophyte, Euglena spirogyra. You can see its flagellum and red eyespot. This species has rows of knobs on its skin. Inside the cell small chloroplasts can be seen. In these the photosynthesis takes place. The big granules inside are for starch storage.

Find out about flagellated microorganisms in the Smallest Page on the Web.


Comments to the author Wim van Egmond are welcomed.

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Published in August 2006 Micscape Magazine.

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