by Wim van Egmond, The Netherlands
Photographed with a 40X obj. (D.I.C.)
time ago my fellow Micscape contributor Brian
Darnton send me some samples of fossil radiolaria from Barbados. I
got quite intrigued by these small three-dimensional houses of single cellular
marine protists. The variety of styles of architecture is amazing.
I think most microscopists are familiar with radiolaria. Many radiolaria are cylindrical or spherical. But while looking at a collection of radiolaria in a petri dish I noticed that not all specimen look like those archetype radiolaria. In this small article I like to show some of the unusual shapes I encountered.
Photographed with a 10X obj. (D.I.C.)
top image shows a very small flat elliptical radiolaria. The shallow depth
of field of the image shows how thin tubes radiate from the small lobed
structure in the center.
The mounted fossils on the left image I arranged in a pattern to show the variety within one species. I am not even sure if they are radiolaria. Since I don't have any books on the subject I could not verify. These could well be sponge spicules. Can anyone help identifying them?
The bottom radiolaria look a bit like diatoms but they have two holes. If you look closer you'll see all kinds of interesting details. Click for close up in new window!
am still trying to make good slides of radiolaria. It is not easy to make
permanent mounts. I am still improving my technique and hope to write a
bit more about making mounts of radiolaria in a future Miscape article.
If you like to see another nice design, in my last article for Micscape about combining focus layers I used a nice star-shaped radiolaria to show how to enhance depth of field using 2 images.
Photographed with a 20X obj. (D.I.C.) Click for close up in new window!
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