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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Roni Kingsley


The protist Coleps is an organism abundantly found in almost all freshwater environments. The genus is characterized by a barrel-shaped body form with regularly arranged ectoplasmic plates, a cytostome at the anterior end surrounded by slightly longer cilia, and one or more long caudal cilia. Though the animal is dispersed throughout ponds, lakes, and streams, relatively little information has been gathered about specific species' characteristics, morphology, and ultrastructure. Specific species have been identified (e.g. C. elongates and C. hirtus) based on their lengths (generally between 40- 60 µm) and the arrangement of their plates, but the immense variation in armor morphology leads us to believe that there may be many more unidentified Coleps species. Past studies have shown that like many other aquatic organisms, Coleps undergoes a process of biomineralization known as calcification to form acalcium carbonate (CaC03) armor. The exact stages of formation and characteristics of the armored plates have not yet been identified in past research.