Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Many plankton behave like both plants and animals, challenging biological concepts

Tales from the Tree Bundle of Seedlings, or maybe best called Web of Life: Traditionally, marine microplankton had been divided similarly to species on land. You had plant-like phytoplankton, such as algae, and animal-like zooplankton that ate the phytoplankton. What Stoecker found was that some of these organisms were somewhere in the middle: They could eat like animals when food was present and photosynthesize like plants in the light. “If you think about it, it can be the best of both worlds,” says marine ecologist Dave A. Caron of the University of Southern California. Today, there’s growing realization that these in-between beasties — dubbed mixotrophs — are not only widespread but also play vital roles in the ecology of the Read More ›