The Rotifer: Nature’s Vacuum Cleaner

[caption id="attachment_11522" align="alignright" width="440"][/caption] As a child, I was given a small microscope. It wasn’t very powerful, but some small life forms could be seen using it. I visited the fish pond in our back yard and scraped some mossy scum along its bottom. What I saw under the glass surprised me. It looked like an upright vacuum cleaner. It was a rotifer. Ever heard of a rotifer? Rotifers may be seen in this enchanting video... A Brief Description The rotifer has been described as "an animal like a large maggot which could contract itself into a spherical figure and then stretch itself out again; the end of its tail appeared with a forceps like that of an earwig".¹ This may best describe the bdellid rotifer. Its crown features…
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