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Jennifer Frazer

Loved the post, Elio! I, too, am fascinated by these guys. But perhaps the largest single cell would still belong to a plasmodial slime mold? They sometimes reach a foot or more across (and much bigger than that in lab, where the scientists can present them with all-you-can-engulf buffets ...).

Elio replies:

Yes, you're right and that's why I qualified the statement of it being the largest cell. The acellular slime molds (e.g., "the blob" aka "dog vomit slime mold") get certainly bigger, but are shapeless. That doesn't disqualify them as being single celled, it just that the xenos have a better identity. But I quibble. Some algae are indeed huge and unicellular. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valonia_ventricosa. I guess the record largest cell is in the yes of the beholder.

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