Organisms! Not animals!

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Sometimes as scientists we forget what people may interpret by our words. For me an organism is a living thing, be it animal, plant or fungi. However I now realise that when you say organism to anyone else, they think animal.

Well I just want to make clear that Phytoplankton are single celled algae whilst larger plankton are a mixture of uni to multi-cellular organisms. An animal refers to the kingdom Animalia, made up of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms. Yes some animals do form part or the plankton, however it is the photosynthetic phytoplankton which are responsible for producing oxygen, whilst many marine species can play a part in carbonate production and cliff formation.

Just wanted to clear up any scientific confusion that may arise from publications from non-scientists who are trying to make science accessible, but somewhat missing out on the fundamental errors they may produce by chopping up sentences. Phytoplankton are marine organisms or algae, not animals.

On that note- don’t miss ‘Miniature Britain’ on BBC1 8pm on Wednesday 12th December!!

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