Rotifer at 100X
Oh, how I wish my microscope camera had better resolution! This rotifer was so fascinating to watch as it swam through the water on the microscope slide. At 100X it was possible to see the cilia at the top waving rapidly. These animals were first seen by Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch inventor of the microscope, in the 1670's. He found them in the water from his cistern (yes, he probably drank millions of them!). He called them "wheel animalcules" because they spin or rotate as they pull themselves through the water with their cilia. They also pull in small bits of food with the cilia. One of my favorite rotifers is bright orange and it inches along the slide like an inchworm! I find them in the birdbath in my yard each summer.
To see this animal moving, go to the Videos section on the site map on this website.