iLabs: The Racing Amoeba…or “The Blob?”
I realize that people do not look fondly on amoebas, as they usually associate them with bad memories of a bout of amoebic dysentery. And it’s true that they often resemble the amoebic Mars alien creature that infected the astronaut in the 1959 sci-fi flick, The Angry Red Planet , or a smaller version of the monster in the 1958 Steve McQueen cult classic, “The Blob.”
But old movies and dysentery aside, you have to hand it to amoebas. For a tiny creature, they can sure move across a microscope slide….FAST! If you don’t believe me, here’s some video footage I shot of an amoeba from one of our Micro World protozoan cultures (we maintain our own collection of live cultures). It is on a microscope slide that we displayed on our 50-inch TV monitor. Given that kind of a stage, and seemingly knowing it was being watched by an avid audience of visitors, this amoeba made short work of sliding behind a rotifer, even as a Euplotes kept pestering both. Enjoy!