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May 22, 2011

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Amazing, thank you. If they don't undergo debridement, do they form stromatolites?

Well, having educated myself as to the meaning of "debridement" (perhaps not a term destined for daily conversational usage), I can only comment that our old friends the stromatolites are constructed by cyanobacteria, and are a somewhat different kettle of fish, so to speak. Their construction method is to use layers of sediment, including, of course, sand.

So the algae build up while the bacteria lay down. Thanks.
If debridement is in a daily conversation, it's a bad day. Lazily, I assumed a connection with debris, but that's wrong. One should check sources.

This is very cool! Many years ago, when I was visiting County Galway by bicycle, I was stunned to find a beach with this blinding white sand and was curious about what the grains were. I brought a sample back to the States with me, thinking perhaps the stuff was foraminifera tests. After examining it under the scope, I found that was not it, but, not knowing much about algae, I had no idea of the sand's real origin. Some years later I attended a conference presentation in which the speaker mentioned disarticulated pieces of the coralline algae - I described my sample to him and finally found the answer to my mystery.

I just happened to think of the material again because I'm preparing a workshop for high school teachers on the topic of biominerals - fascinating to find your post about the maerl!

Patricia - many thanks for taking the time to leave this comment. It's a great pleasure to hear from you and to know that, in some small way, the blog is contributing to educational projects.

One of my very early posts on some of the work of Robert Hazen might also be of interest for this: http://throughthesandglass.typepad.com/through_the_sandglass/2008/12/evolution---org.html

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