Dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates

Dinoflagellates

Common name: Whirling whip

Scientific name: Dinoflagellates

Distribution:
These unicellular protists can occur in all kinds of environments.
Most of them are marine planktons, but common in fresh water habitat as well .

Description:
These form a large group of flagellate protists, which show great diversity in form. They cut through by lashing the water with two thread-like whips, known as flagella, which forces the cell to propel in a distinctive whirling motion. They are the most common source of bio-luminescence, emitting blue-green light when stimulated mechanically.

Importance:
1. They play an important role in the aquatic food chain.
2. They are also friends with many marine animals , living as endo-symbionts.
3. Often an algal bloom of dinoflagellates results in red tide, emanating from the sea surface, causing harmful effects on many organisms.

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