Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Life in a Pond

Yesterday a new toy arrived in the mail for me (as a graduation present!) - a Celestron digital microscope!  I immediately acquainted myself with the denizens of a pond at the University of Calgary - below are my first images, as I attempted to master this amazing piece of technology.  The main lesson from this is that there is a lot of life in our ponds (these images come from about seven drops of water), and that I am terrible at identification:

Here's an unidentified freshwater crustacean:

And some algae (you can see the cells and chloroplasts):

A (tentative) ostracod (another crustacean):

Some more algae:

And more algae!

A copepod of some sort:

And a freshwater mite:

The front legs and palp of a freshwater mite:

The microscope also takes video.  I think this is a colony of golden algae:

I have no idea.  A rotifer maybe?  Update: Yes!

A rotifer, and something else (I really need to learn my freshwater zooplankton!)  Update: The rotifer, which is a multicelled animal, is the round thing with the tail that zooms into the video.  The two creatures that begin, which are roughly the same size as the rotifer, are known as Stylonychia.  Whereas the rotifer is made up of over 100 cells, Stylonychia are single-celled protists.  The little legs are actually modified cilia.  They are Ciliophorans, related to Paramecium.

My personal favourite, an ostracod (I think!)

A feeding rotifer:

A nematode (bottom right) disturbed these beautiful diatoms:

I know I've seen pictures of this single-celled photosynthetic organism, but its name escapes me:

All in all, a fun day!

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