Some of the mitochondria in the free-living giant ameba Pelomyxa carolinensis (Chaos chaos) exhibit unusual and strikingly complex morphological patterns. A study of serial sections of these mitochondria reveals that the patterns are formed by the organization and packing of minute villi (cristae mitochondriales). The form of the individual villus is a regular soft zigzag (or wave) with a bulbous enlargement at each point of inflection ("elbow") on the wave. The pattern of the mitochondria may become increasingly complex as a result of branching and fusing of the wavy villi. Densely packed fibrillar material is sometimes present in the stroma of the mitochondria.

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