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IntroductionNannoceratopsis gracilis is a fossil dinoflagellate cyst from the Jurassic period (200 to 145 million years ago).Dinoflagellates are microscopic single-celled algae. They are a key part of marine and non-marine phytoplankton in modern and ancient ecosystems. Since they photosynthesise, they are primary producers at the base of the food chain and play a major role in the CO2 cycle.As part of their life cycle, they form very resistant organic-walled cysts. These are very well preserved in sedimentary rocks and are studied by micropalaeontologists.