Meet the Morphoids: Bacteriophages

Meet the Bacteriophages!

Well, the ones we managed to catch, anyway.  These little guys (only about 14″ long) hatched out of the pods we had been watching in the woods.  These guys move very quickly, and seem to be a herd animal – I can’t get one on it’s own to get a better look at it.  While they do vary a bit in size and shape, in general, all of the bacteriophages seem to be consistently part of a larger whole.  These guys seem to rally around the larger beings in their group…. could they possibly have a hierarchy, or a structured society like that of bees?

IMR Public Intervention

The Institute of Morphoid Research will be doing a public intervention, at the Brentwood LRT station, on Friday, June 29th, from 5-9PM.

Founder and Chief Researcher, Jennifer Akkermans, will be talking to the public about the IMR, and will bring a Bacteriophage for an informal “show-and-tell.”

If you ever wanted to see a Morphoid in person, now is your chance!

In Retrospect: Calgary News Nightly News Clip!

We realize this is really far after the fact, but we’ve only recently found it on the internet.

In this clip, Jennifer is talking with news anchor, Robin Roberts, about the giant pods.


Those scary, scary Bacteriophages!

Oh. My. God.  Maybe the Bacteriophages suck your blood!  Like really, really, really large mosquitoes.  I did feel rather lightheaded after they attacked me!  Maybe they are carnivorous! They do hunt in packs… but there were only the fourteen we have that attacked me…. so maybe I was really lucky there weren’t more!  Maybe they would have managed to kill me! …And then eat me?  Yikes!

What else do the Bacterios eat? Why do they have such sharp teeth?

The bugs seem to be not the only source of food for the bacterios.  Why do they have such sharp teeth?  They can’t be just for chewing mosquitos or attacking predators… there must be something we are missing here.

On Closer Inspection…. Bacteriophages have teeth!

After sedating one of the bacterios, I managed to do a more thorough inspection of it’s body.  They have three limbs, and a bulbous head, and on the underside of the head, between their limbs, they have a small orifice, which must be a mouth, because it is surrounded by small, sharp teeth.

Bacterio Bites!

I didn’t want to report this earlier, because I was a little embarrassed about it, but the Bacterios bit me!  Their bites are worse than mosquitos…. large, swollen, incredibly itchy welts on my arms and face, which were probably the only place they could reach!  When I went to see the doctor, we were worried that they might be poisonous, because I felt really lightheaded, but thankfully they’re not. I’m ok, now. Scary, though.  I’ll be much more careful with them in the future.

Blasted Bacteriophages!

Those bacterios are vicious little buggers!  Excuse my language, but they are not at all pleasant to deal with!  I’ve been trying to study them a little more lately, and sometimes it’s really hard to get close to them!  There are way too many of them (even at only 14), and they move way too quickly! It seems to be a very effective defence mechanism, as I can’t get close to them if they don’t want me to.  This is a photo taken when they were all riled up.

Bacterios eat….?

We’ve discovered that, while the bacterios may enjoy the coolness of the stream, they are mostly there to eat the mosquitos and mayflies that live by the stream.

Bacterios in a heatwave….

I’ve sighted (and filmed) these Bacteriophages by a small stream…. I’m not sure what they’re doing there though.  Maybe they like it because it’s cooler there?