Illustrious Iridaea flaccida now Mazzaella flaccida
Greek myths describe Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, as a messenger for
the Olympian deities. The characteristics of the alga Iridaea flaccida strikingly
reflect its namesake. The same properties of light which produce a rainbow
provide Iridaea's surface with its brilliant iridescence. Vibrant
colors wash across the thallus surface due to the multilayered construction
of its cuticle. As a reliable messenger, I. flaccida subtly
manages to communicate its phase of life history to the casual observer--yet
it lives an isomorphic existence. Both its iridescent cuticle and the differences
in blade strength between its life phases provide insights into the adaptations
of wave-swept algae to mechanical stress.
A Terrific Triphasic You Can Even Tell Apart
Mechanical Properties of Iridaea flaccida:
Iridaea, the Incidental Beauty: An Explanation
Please refer to References for further reading on this beautiful alga.
Designed and Written by Elizabeth Nelson April 1996 Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station