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[Jul. 9th, 2014|04:49 pm]

I'm fighting depression with reading about phylogenic relationships, that is "tree of life" relationships where the branching is specifically considered to determine evolutionary relationships.

Mushrooms are more closely related to people than they are to any plant.



Also, "Malawimonads." That just looks fun. Also, "Protists of uncertain placement."

Another diversion: single celled organisms, how big can they get? A single slime mold is one cell and can cover a square foot.

Here's this candidate, members of the Xenophyophore, a . See http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18468#.U73XFI1dVBI "Shunning the convention that single cells are microscopic, Syringammina is a brute, growing to a width of 10 centimetres – and sometimes even twice that." It's much larger than this ameoba that also creates a "test" or shell of sand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gromia_sphaerica . An inch and half is still pretty large for what comes to my mind when one sees the word "amoeba."

Why one particular species of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caulerpa isn't the winner, i don't know: "A species in the Mediterranean can have a stolon more than 3 metres (9 ft) long, with up to 200 fronds." Then there's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetabularia. This has only one nucleus, but grows to 10 cm high and has a defined structure (more like a mushroom).

So, you know, when you look at the wiki page for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valonia_ventricosa and see the claim that this 2 inch diameter bubble is "arguably the largest single-cell organism" i really have to go back to the algae Caulerpa.

Wait, no "In the genus Halimeda, whole seabed meadows may consist of an individual, single-celled organism connected by filamentous threads running through the substrate." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryopsidales

I suppose i am not surprised that the single celled organisms get so large in the seas. They've had a very long time to evolve there.


[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2014-07-10 02:50 am (UTC)
If I ever set up a public webcam, it would be of a microscope view of protozoa being protozoa. That would make, I theorize, a great app :)

Edited at 2014-07-10 02:51 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2014-07-12 03:33 pm (UTC)
It would! I imagine there is a whole flora and fauna to document.
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[User Picture]From: annie_r
2014-07-10 01:24 pm (UTC)
"I'm fighting depression with reading about phylogenic relationships". I love this phrase :) I often read historical or scientific articles on wikipedia in lieu of current events. I'm not sure if that helps or just distracts me, but I particularly enjoy linguistic evolution.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2014-07-12 03:35 pm (UTC)
Listening to the causes for evolutionary change in populations, i thought about how much is like linguistic evolution. And, since the way the biologist framed the process as the passing on of information, it makes sense that languages would evolve with similar pressures.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2014-07-12 03:36 pm (UTC)
It is ongoing, but curiosity seems a powerful antidote.
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