I’ve been enjoying the Microcosmos series of videos, including the latest on colonial microbes. There’s a good long section on volvocine algae:
There are some details I could dicker with, mostly just terminology*, but by and large it’s a nice overview. I especially like that the description of Volvox specifies that the daughter colonies have all of their cells before they hatch (a point that has confused some reviewers of my dissertation work).
I love these videos, and I’m sure they’re a ton of work. There is some lovely microscopy, and some good writing, too:
Another example of how when you look very, very close, every sharp line turns out to be blurry.
If there’s a more important central message of the biology and philosophy of biology surrounding the major transitions in evolution, I don’t know what it is.
*Gonium isn’t spherical, volvocines aren’t a genus, Gonium isn’t a predecessor to Eudorina, Eudorina and Gonium aren’t ‘before’ Volvox, and the ‘large cells’ in the Volvox picture aren’t gonidia (they’re embryos, which do arise from gonidia).