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Environment | Flora and Fauna | Symptoms of Climate Change

Video: "Cellular Vampirism" - Toxic Algae Prey On Other Single-Celled Organisms Under The Microscope


Dinophysis might stand to benefit from climate change and its impacts on waters of the Northwest.

Dinophysis might stand to benefit from climate change and its impacts on waters of the Northwest.

Neil Harrington

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We just posted a story about harmful algal blooms increasing in association with climate change and I just had to share this video that Neil Harrington, biologist with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Wash. sent me.

The toxic algae species we featured in our story is called Dinophysis. It’s responsible for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (which is about as much fun as it sounds, ).

Anyway, scientists think it stands to thrive in the changing waters of this region, which is bad news.

But the coolest part about this creature is that it doesn’t just hunt other single-celled organisms, it SUCKS OUT THEIR CHLOROPLASTS AND USES THEM FOR ITSELF. Harrington told me it would be kind of like if a lion, instead of just hunting a gazelle, commandeered the gazelle’s kidneys to use for itself.

So that’s your random awesome tidbit for the day. And here’s the rad video that catches the little bugger in action.

— Ashley Ahearn

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