So I kinda love seaweed. (shocker) They’re just so derned surprising! For example: the golden weed at the top with the polka dots is a Rhodophyte (Mazzaella flaccida). The golden nubby thing on the bottom right is a Heterokont (the holdfast of the kelp Egregia menziesii). “So what?” you say. So what, indeed! That means these two weeds are about as closely related to each other as bees and shrimp, which is to say, not very closely related at all. But there they are, faking us all out because they’re all golden and intertidal.
But wait, there’s more! Those little polka dots mean that this weed is a tetrasporophyte. That means this seaweed is the product of seaweed sex. That’s really amazing, considering Rhodophytes lack flagellated gametes. Which is just to say that this speckled little dude is the product of good fortune more rare than a good Tinder date. Amazing!
Like Cloud Cult says, “If ever I can’t see the magic around me, please take my hands off my eyes.” Thanks for coming to biology today, loves. It was good to have you.
#haplodiplontic #seaweed #rhodophyta #mazzaella #egregiamenziesii #rockyintertidal #pescaderostatebeach #CA1 #nerdallert #cloudcult #evolutionarybiology #golden #nikon