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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles Radiolarians (also
radiolaria) are amoeboid protozoa that produce intricate mineral
skeletons, typically with a central capsule dividing the cell into
inner and outer portions, called endoplasm and ectoplasm. They are
found as zooplankton throughout the ocean, and their skeletal
remains cover large portions of the ocean bottom as radiolarian
ooze. Due to their rapid turn-over of species, they represent an
important diagnostic fossil found from the Cambrian onwards. Some
common radiolarian fossils include Actinomma, Heliosphaera and
Hexadoridium. Radiolarians have many needle-like pseudopodia
supported by bundles of microtubules, called axopods, which aid in
the Radiolarian's buoyancy. The nuclei and most other organelles
are in the endoplasm, while the ectoplasm is filled with frothy
vacuoles and lipid droplets, keeping them buoyant. Often it also
contains symbiotic algae, especially zooxanthellae, which provide
most of the cell's energy. Some of this organization is found among
the heliozoa, but those lack central capsules and only produce
simple scales and spines.
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