Volvox, a colonial green algae

From Wikipedia

“Volvox is the most developed in a series of genera that form spherical colonies.[1] Each mature Volvox colony is composed of numerous flagellate cells similar to Chlamydomonas, up to 50,000 in total,[2] and embedded in the surface of a hollow sphere or coenobium containing an extracellular matrix[2] made of a gelatinous glycoprotein.[3] The cells swim in a coordinated fashion, with distinct anterior and posterior poles. The cells have eyespots, more developed near the anterior, which enable the colony to swim towards light. The individual algae in some species are interconnected by thin strands of cytoplasm, called protoplasmates.[4] They are known to demonstrate some individuality and working for the good of their colony, acting like one multicellular organism.”

Image 1Volvox aureus, by Dennis Kunkel (2002): http://www.denniskunkel.com/index.php?module=search&pId=100&keyword=volvox&phrase=1

Image 2: From Wikipedia, by Frank Fox (www.mikro-foto.de); cc-by-sa

Image 3: From Wikipedia, cc-by-sa

Image 4: Life cycle of Volvox carteri: http://www.metamicrobe.com/volvox/

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