The all-engulfing Sun: Experiments with the heliozoan Actinosphaerium

Actinosphaerium, also called a helizoan or sun-animalcule, belongs to the SAR- (Stramenopile-Alveolate-Rhizaria) branch of the eukaryotic tree. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that they are closer to haptophytes in the tree of life [To access a formal study on the matter, click here]. These “Sun-shaped” eukaryotes have stiff needle-like pseudopodia (also called axopods/axopodia) that surround their…