Foraminifer with Dinoflagellates

by Oliver -

This time lapse (~90x real-time) video-microscopy shows the interaction between two marine microorganisms, a foraminifer and dinoflagellate algae. The large disc-shaped thing is the foraminifer, it is collecting the dinoflagellates around it. These dinoflagellates are the same algae that live inside corals, and these foraminifera have a similar symbiotic relationship with their algae as do corals. Scientists can use this kind of time-lapse video to compress processes that happen on a longer time scale into a few seconds, increasing our understanding of the dynamic nature of the living world. Scott Fay of the UC Berkeley used a Nikon inverted phase contrast scope and a Nikon D80 camera.