PHYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Welcome to the wonderful world of dinoflagellates!
Dinos are photosynthetic phytoplankton. Along with the diatoms,
phytoplankton are responsible for as much as 70% of the world's oxygen
production and carbon dioxide consumption!
These marvelous, microbial, single-celled organisms are beautiful
and sometimes deadly. But they give us oxygen
to breath and food to eat. They range in shape
and size from invisible to almost impossible to see. Found glowing in
waters around the world , and manage to
maintain an active sex life. Let's hear it
for the dinos!
Dinoflagellates come in two flavors: thecate
and athecate. The theca is a hard outer plate-mail covering that
protects them from the harsh conditions of an ocean that can split
a surfboard like a cinnamon stick or even sink a boat. Always a knight
in "shining" armour.