Scientists have discovered a new species of amoeba.
Thecamoebians are among the 30-45 lineages of amoebae known to exist worldwide. During their evolution, they have developed the ability to produce a varyingly shaped outer carapace or shell in which to protect themselves.
Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo and University of Maringa in Brazil have identified a species of thecamoeba, named Arcella gandalfi.
New amoeba species are very rarely discovered because they’re so tiny and not widely studied.
The characteristic funnel shape of A gandalfi was unique among species belonging to the genus Arcella, one of the largest genera of testate amoebae.
The colour of A gandalfi ranges from light yellow to brown, and the diameter and height of its conical shell average 81 and 71 micrometres, respectively.
A micrometre is one-tenth of a millimetre. Although A gandalfi is microscopic, it is considered large for a single-celled organism.