New York Post (EUA) online

This newly discovered amoeba species looks like a wizard hat

Publicado em 14 fevereiro 2017

Por Lauren Tousignant

You shall not pass… this carapace.

A new species of amoeba was recently discovered in Brazil, and it’s wizard-hat appearance earned it the name Arcella gandalfi, in tribute to “Lord of the Rings” wizard character Gandalf.

The super tiny single-cell organism has a diameter of 0.0032 inches, and a height of 0.0028 inches.

Its hat-like exterior is actually a shell, known as a carapace. Researchers suspect the carapace is used to protect the amoeba from UV radiation or dryness, rather than predators.

“New amoeba species are very rarely discovered because they’re so tiny and not widely studied,” Daniel J. G. Lahr, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s Institute of Biosciences and the project’s lead researcher, said in a statement.

The discovery was published in the journal Acta Protozoologica. It’s found in wetlands and bogs and reportedly does not have any magical powers.