Micscape Video Gallery

A new series for 1999

Protozoa Portraits
video clips taken by Edward Cowen, UK
(Compiled for the Web by Dave Walker)

Videos in lower quality 'animated gif' format.
Click here for 'avi' version if your computer supports 'avi'.


 
 

In the third of this Video Gallery series we show two video clips taken by Edward Cowen, UK. The video clips show two fascinating aspects of protozoa. One shows the movement of cilia and the other shows the extending pseudopod of a species like Amoeba. One uses darkfield illumination and the other phase contrast. Both forms of illumination can be very effective for showing detail in such organisms.

The second sequence uses Edward's home adapted phase contrast outfit. This setup was also used to video the Spirochaete bacteria shown in last month's Video gallery.

The web video clips have to be compressed to keep the files small so losses cf. the original video are inevitable.
 
  

Original video clip four seconds at 5 frames/second, continuous loop. Taken using darkfield illumination.

This version has a limited 256 colour palette.

This first video clip shows the cilia movement of a ciliated species of protozoa. The cilia are tiny beating hairs often of different length which are used in locomotion and for catching food. The water currents created bring food to the protozoa for ingestion. 

Notice the collapsing contractile vacuole in the lower middle of the frame. These periodically form within the protoplasm, swell with water, contract and collapse. They discharge the water collected to the outside of the cell and are used to control the osmotic balance in the cell.

. Original video clip two seconds at 5 frames/second, continuous loop. Taken using phase contrast illumination.

This version has a limited 256 colour palette.

This second video clip shows the extending pseudopod of a protozoan like an Amoeba. The granular contents of the protoplasm are seen as the protozoan moves forward.

Comments to Edward Cowen welcomed.


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Published in the June 1999 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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