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May 2008

Confocal autofluorescence image of a new genus/species of dinoflagellate cyst discovered from the Eocene (37.6 million years ago) of the Greenland Sea, Ocean Drilling Program Hole 913A (Firth, J.V., 1996:  doi:10.2973/ Dinoflagellate cysts are made of dinosporin, a resistant, complex organic compound  similar to sporopollenin (which comprises the walls of pollen and spores), that enables cysts to be preserved as microscopic fossils in sediments hundreds of millions of years old. Sample courtesy of John Firth, IODP. Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope, 60x/1.2 water immersion objective.