PHYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Evolution: Where do dinoflagellates belong?
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.
Most species of dinoflagellate reproduce in two ways: asexually by mitotic division,
and sexually by fusion of gametes. Their
life history is considerably more complex than this, however, sometimes
involving many intermediate stages.
In and around Monterey and in many temperate zones worldwide, seasonal fluctuations
in nutrient levels in the water can cause population explosions in many species
of dinoflagellate which may be seen as red blotches in the ocean, which can even
be seen from outer space!
Trophic interactions. Dinos the link that hangs the chain.
Dinoflagellates cause the gohstly blue-green points of light seen in waves or
surrounding boat wakes and even night swimmers.