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Primetime Protists

farmer at EMLAB.CB.UGA.EDU farmer at EMLAB.CB.UGA.EDU
Tue Jul 16 07:52:50 EST 1996

Yesterday I was delighted to open my mailbox and see protists on the 
front of a major US magazine.   The cover of this month's Scientific 
American has a beautiful photograph of Japanese Star Sand, mostly the 
foraminiferan (Baculogypsina sphaerulata).   Finally, protists had hit the 

Imagine then my dismay when I read the article inside and they 
referred to foraminiferans as "...microscopic, single-celled 
animals.."  Animals??  ANIMALS!!!  If the editors of one of the most 
influential magazines for educating the public about the nature of 
science was calling forams "animals",  I realized that we have our 
work cut out for us.  I mean really, thanks to Mark Siddall we've 
already lost one phylum of protists this year.   Are we destined to 
relinquish the foraminiferans too!!

Does someone more eloquent than I want to draft a letter to the 
Editor of Scientific American, or must I take on this windmill 
myself?   :-) 


Mark A. Farmer
Director, Ctr. Ultrastructural Research
University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
(706)542-4080 Voice   (706)542-4271 FAX
farmer at emlab.cb.uga.edu

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