December 31, 2012 | 2
Bicosoecids are non-photosynthetic relatives of brown algae. Usually nestled in a delicate lorica (but sometimes devoid of one), bicosoecids sit attached to a substrate with one flagellum, and wave around the other to bring in bacterial prey to devour. At the base of the flagella is a lip-like structure where the unfortunate prey get engulfed after travelling down the current. When startled, they rapidly withdraw their flagellum into a characteristic spiral, which you can see in the bottom specimen of the group. Most tend to be solitary, but this species forms loricate tree-like colonies, like wineglasses stacked upon each other. Despite their small size and timid appearance, their cell structure is fairly complicated and –hoping you’d agree with me — quite elegant.
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