A single cell becomes a complete organism (an alpine newt) in this amazing six pulsing minutes of a timelapse video named “Becoming” published by the Aeon Video channel. A film by Jan van IJken.

Becoming: From zygote to tadpole, a single cell becomes a complete organism in six stunning minutes of timelapse. Native to central and southern Europe, the amphibious alpine newt breeds in shallow water, where its larvae are born, hatch, and feed on plankton, before sprouting legs and moving to land. This timelapse video from the Dutch director Jan van IJken tracks the development of a single-celled zygote into the hatched larva of an alpine newt (this embryonic development takes about three weeks). Captured in stunning detail at microscopic scales, “Becoming” is a remarkable look at the process of cell division and differentiation, whence all animals – from newts to humans – come.

Alpine newt

The alpine newt (scientific name: Ichthyosaura alpestris) is a newt of the salamander order Caudata (or Urodela) in the class of amphibians. The biggest of the males can reach up to 9 cm (3.54 inches), and the females up to 12 cm (4.72 inches) in length.

They typically inhabit forests with good access to water in hilly to mountainous regions of Central Europe and mountainous Southern Europe (where they were originally confined to). They also have isolated populations on the northern Iberian Peninsula and in Italy.

The species was introduced into the United Kingdom in the 1930s, initially in southern England and since then several populations have become established as far north as Edinburgh. It has also been introduced to the Sierra de Guadarrama in Madrid Province Spain.

They populate well in thick deciduous forests, as well as parkland and natural gardens. They are mostly absent in forest-poor areas.

A male alpine newt
A male alpine newt. Image source: Wikipedia


M. Özgür Nevres

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