Testate Amoeba

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Testate Amoeba

#1 Post by c-krebs » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:52 pm

Kurt's recent foraminifera shots reminded me how fascinated I was with amoeboid protists that made "shells" or "tests". For a very long time an amoeba was, to me, a little blob of protoplasm that oozed about. When I began finding testate amoeba I was really amazed. Hard for me to fathom such wonderful little "containers" built by such a lowly creature. I spent a lot of time searching for them. Below are some images.

BTW... the same gentleman that set up the web page with loads of great American Optical information also set up pages on Joseph Leidy, a scientist in the 19th century. The "entrance" to this section is here:

What is truly fascinating are the plates from his 1879 book, 'Fresh-Water Rhizopods of North America'. If you have not seen his work before you really must have a look at the pages indexed here (click on the plates for a large view). This is stunning work! (Many thanks to P.S. Neeley for making this available)

This first image is Euglypha brachiata. I collected some mosses and mud from a small stream where I have always found testate amoebae present. This is a species I really like, and I must have spent about 3 hours just looking for one and getting it onto a slide. Taken with 60X objectrive. 41 image stack. It is very transparent, so stacking was done in 4 sections to retain surface detail. It measures about 140 microns long and 50 microns wide. (0.0055 x 0.002 inch)


This second image is an Arcella (possibly A. dentata)


Testate amoeba usually reproduce via asexual binary fission. In the process, a "daughter" test is produced around a cytoplasmic bud that exits the original test during the process. This image is near the completion of a fission of Netzelia tuberculata.


Many testate amoeba make their tests from "found" materials such as tiny grains of sand. For fun I wanted to see what one would look like under cross-polarized light.


This last image is looking directly into the opening aperture of a Difflugia sp. test.


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Re: Testate Amoeba

#2 Post by JimT » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:09 pm

Drop dead beautiful!!!

After seeing these fantastic images I think I will sell my scope... well maybe not.


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Re: Testate Amoeba

#3 Post by hkv » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:11 pm

Thanks for posting these! Really stunning images and also a good story. Images gets so much better when there is a story behind them! Fascinating with the Amoeba that glues sand to its body!
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Re: Testate Amoeba

#4 Post by Rodney » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:48 pm

The 1800`s plates and later photos still amaze me at what they could see. So how much better is todays microscope optical systems with simple microscopy and as they did without fancy multi layered and coated optical lens and objectives and all the other techniques that are used today?
I have no doubt that better raw images can be created but how much better are they today?


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Re: Testate Amoeba

#5 Post by billben74 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:53 pm

3 looks like that super giant star, eta carinae. And the fourth is like a magic lantern.
You have some exquisite detail, any chance of some scale on the images?

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Re: Testate Amoeba

#6 Post by 75RR » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:32 am

Wonderful images - the first test is remarkably delicate.

Thanks for the links - very beautiful drawings
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Re: Testate Amoeba

#7 Post by KurtM » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:52 am

^^^ Yeah, what he said! 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Re: Testate Amoeba

#8 Post by Tom Jones » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:44 am

I absolutely love the first one, but the shot down the "throat" of the Difflugia sp. test is view I've never seen. :o :o Very nice!!


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Re: Testate Amoeba

#9 Post by zzffnn » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:56 am

Stunning! As always!
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Re: Testate Amoeba

#10 Post by c-krebs » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:24 am

Thank you for all the kind remarks.
billben74 wrote:any chance of some scale on the images?
The first image has the size in the text above it... 140 microns x 50 microns. It was taken with a 60X objective at a total magnification of 126X (on APS-C Canon sensor). The second one, the Arcella, has a diameter of 128 microns. It was taken with a 40X objective, at a total magnification, on sensor, of 84X. The 4th image (cross-polarized) is of a big one... 330 micron x 203 micron. It was taken with a 20X objective, at a total magnification, on sensor, of 50X. In the last one the entire field covered, left to right, is 236 microns. The opening in the test is about 107 microns wide. It was taken with a 40X objectives, at a total magnification, on sensor, of 100X. Interesting when you consider that a typical cover-slip is 170 microns thick, or that the common Paramecium caudatum is typically 200–300 microns long.

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Re: Testate Amoeba

#11 Post by Radazz » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:34 pm

Outstanding images!
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Re: Testate Amoeba

#12 Post by gekko » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:42 pm

Extraordinary images. All the above comments (no mere words are adequate). And many thanks also for the wonderful descriptions as well as the links.

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Re: Testate Amoeba

#13 Post by rabitt » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:20 pm

Beyond excellence !!

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