Ceratium


Ceratium
Genus of one-celled aquatic protists.

Members are dinoflagellates with both plant and animal characteristics. The cell is flattened horizontally and contains yellow, brown, or green pigments. Ceratium species are covered by a theca, or armour, composed of many textured plates that form one horn in the front and usually two in the back; these horns slow the sinking of the organism. The body form varies according to the salt content and temperature of the surrounding water: the spines tend to be short and thick in cold, salty water and long and thin in less salty, warmer water. Members form an important part of the plankton found in northern seas.

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      genus of single-celled aquatic algae common in fresh water and salt water from the Arctic to the tropics. Its members are armoured dinoflagellates. (A dinoflagellate has two unlike flagella and has both plant and animal characteristics.) The cell contains chromatophores with yellow, brown, or green pigments. The theca, or armour, is composed of many textured plates that form one anterior horn and usually two posterior horns, which may help to slow the sinking of the cells. The spines tend to be shorter and thicker in cold, salty water and longer and thinner in less salty, warmer water. Members of the genus form an important part of the plankton found in temperate-zone seas.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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