A model and short animation showing a jellyfish cnidocyte cell and the nematocyst within it. The nematocyst is a pressurized subcellular organelle that contains a barbed coil. When stimulated, the pressure forces the barb out at a high speed, resulting in the jellyfish's famous sting.
Client: Nicholas Woolridge
Audience: Cellular biology students
Format: Digital animation
Media: Zbrush, Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects
Date: December 2017
In-progress model of the barbed tubule within the pressurized nematocyst rendered in Cinema 4D (left) and view of the scene within the cnidocyte in the Cinema 4D viewport (right).
Babonis, Leslie S., and Mark Q. Martindale. 2014. “Old Cell, New Trick? Cnidocytes as a Model for the Evolution of Novelty.” Integrative and Comparative Biology 54 (4): 714–722. doi:10.1093/icb/icu027.
Gavelis, Gregory S., Kevin C. Wakeman, Urban Tillmann, Christina Ripken, Satoshi Mitarai, Maria Herranz, Suat Özbek, Thomas Holstein, Patrick J. Keeling, and Brian S. Leander. 2017. “Microbial Arms Race: Ballistic ‘Nematocysts’ in Dinoflagellates Represent a New Extreme in Organelle Complexity.” Science Advances 3 (3). doi:10.1126/sciadv.1602552.