Friday, 19 June 2015

Creature 262: Acantharea

Living crystal spikes

There are certain bizarre creatures which make you think about how different life on Earth could have been. The Acantharean class is included I  this category.



Acantharea are a unusual single cellular organism with a skeleton made or ten or twenty precisely arranged Strontium Sulfate crystal spikes. They are unicellular but multinuclear. We don't know a lot about them because we haven't had a lot of success culturing them in labs.



Distribution:
Acantharea are found as plankton throughout the world's oceans.

Classification:
Acantharea belongs to one of the 'Protozoan' kingdoms. These kingdoms do not form a natural group, so they are not a taxon, but you could say they are a relative of the Animals.
Kingdom:Rhizaria
Phylum:Radiolaria
Class: Acantharea

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