Mushroom mesenterial filaments and nematocysts

Discussion in 'Photography' started by LikesFish, 5 Jan 2013.

  1. LikesFish

    LikesFish

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    Inside of a mushroom polyp (and some other coral) a bunch of tiny, white spaghetti like strands called mesenterial filaments provide protection and a method of ingesting food for the polyp. Here is what I am referring to:

    _J8T1784.jpg

    I took a sample of these filaments from another small mushroom polyp and put it under the microscope. Under a 4x objective (width of photo represents 5.5mm) this is how it looks like.
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0108.jpg
    The dark dots are zooxanthellae (algae), the elliptical shapes with curled up strings inside are nematocysts.

    A closer view with a 20x objective (width of photo represents about 1.1mm) under darkfield illumination results in this image.
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0103.jpg
    The zooxanthellae are now shown in their natural brown colour. Large and small nematocysts are visible, some still embedded within the mesenterial filament.

    Going closer still, this time with a 40x objective under DIC illumination (the width of the photo is approximately 0.54mm), the large elliptical nematocysts are still embedded in the mesenterial filament, with one about to burst out. The wound up filament inside is the threaded barb that will penetrate the target when ejected (these are not ejected).
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0089.jpg

    This thread is surprisingly long. Here is a stacked image of a nematocyst that have been triggered. (The small nematocyst is still untriggered). A lone zooxanthellae cell is present just below the nematocyst.
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0043-Edit.jpg

    The length of the triggered threads are partially shown here - they extend beyond the image boundaries.
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0036.jpg

    More untriggered nematocysts.
    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0042.jpg

    20121228-DSLR_IMG_0041.jpg
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Great pics Waldo. This is what copper bands and flys eat. IMO they eat the filaments starving the polyps and aiptaser. Not the actual polyp/zoao. My observations of flys eating Zoas
     
  4. the fish

    the fish

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    this is brilliant. gr8 pics
     
  5. Seabass

    Seabass

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    That's impressive.
     
  6. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Super cool! I wonder if the cells that contain the filaments also contain a toxin that are released when the barb is fired?
     
  7. OP
    LikesFish

    LikesFish

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    That is my understanding, yes.
     
  8. Bendor

    Bendor

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    Great pics and explanation! Thanks for sharing.
     
  9. ShaunSwindon

    ShaunSwindon

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    Great pics OP :thumbup:
     
  10. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Super cool!! Thanks for sharing! :thumbup:
     
  11. Charles81

    Charles81

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    Stunning!
     
  12. puffer fish

    puffer fish

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    wow that is awesome , is Likesfish still active ?? do another one dude
     
  13. Krushto

    Krushto

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    Nice microscopy there... Wouldn't mind seeing how the images would look with Phen-Green and fluorescent microscopy
     

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