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June 20, 2012

By Deb Bailey, Co-coordinator of the Micro World Lab in the NRC.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Education Blog

It is like a lovely silent ballet, the graceful arcing and swaying of the rotifers. Here they perform their dance on our EVOS microscope, magnified 200x.  The link to EVOS is for the fluorescent version of the scope, and ours is a regular compound scope, but looks the same.

A description of the “performance” follows below.

This video was shot with my cell phone from the microscope screen so excuse the technical imperfections. But still, you can see a number of variously shaped rotifers glide and sway across the screen with the grace of a ballet dancer. The “star” of the performance – one rotifer who has apparently used some of the cement secreted from glands near the toes, to hold itself in place. The rotifer at one point is horizontal, and on the right you can see tiny cilia moving as it sweeps food into a funnel leading to…

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