03 November 2010

Today was pond-water exploration day. Not the best time of year to look at pond-water but we made some great discoveries, nonetheless.

The best came 9th period when AUSTIN V. brought in a sample from home. Just from looking at it with my eyes, I could tell it was loaded with Volvox. Volvox is a colony of algae cells (sometimes up to 50,000 cells) that are just visable with the naked eye. This view is under 100x magnification.
Ancestors of Volvox transitioned from single cells to form multicellular colonies at least 200 million years ago, during the Triassic period.  An estimate using DNA sequences from about 45 different species of Volvox and related species suggests that the transition from single cells to undifferentiated multicellular colonies took about 35 million years.

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