Questions for “Several plant-like algae can morph into animal-like predators”

Chlorella algae

A community of green algae belonging to a Chlorella species. Some of its “cousins” were among those shown to turn predatory when unable to use the sun for energy.

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To accompany “Several plant-like algae can morph into animal-like predators


Before Reading:

1.  Where can you find green algae and what makes them green?

2.  What are oceanic plankton and how big are they?

During Reading:

1.  What material in green algae gives them their color and what does this green material do?

2.  What shocking thing in green algae did ecologist Eunsoo Kim first observe in 2013? Why did she find it so surprising?

3.  What does Kim mean when she says these single-celled algae can exhibit an “animal-like” lifestyle?

4.  When do these algae show that “animal-like” behavior, and what traits did the researchers find that the algae seek in their prey?

5.  How many species has Kim’s team found with this unusual behavior?

6.  How did her team narrow down which algae to look at when they were hunting new species with this interest in bacteria?

After Reading:

1.  The story points out that the algae prefer to get their food energy one way but will get it a different way if forced to. Describe one or two reasons the algae might show a strong preference for one energy source over the other, based on clues in what you read. (Hint: Think about how hard or easy it is for them to acquire that energy.)