Interesting creature in the neighborhood stream

Sampled moss from a neighborhood stream in Dublin, CA, and found this interesting fellow. No idea what it could be but it looks like it holds to something with its back while it opens its mouth wide and eats (at least that is my interpretation of what is going on). Any idea on what creature this might be?

Check between 12 and 16 seconds into the movie for the part in which I think it might be eating something.

Here are also some photos for those of you who don’t want to watch the video:


Happy foldscoping 🙂

Fortunately this one seems to be a common creature. Thus, I think I found it by simply googling “Microscopic pond animal identification”. It was like the 5th hit or so. I think that what I found here is a Rotifer, which is a multicellular animal. More specific, I think this could be a Bdelloidea. These animals eat particles of up to 10µm in size. If you look close at the video, around second 12-16 and at the end again, you can see how the animal sucks the larger particles in. Have a look at a large particle and you can follow the flow into the mouth.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    What a wonderful o observation and update. It is indeed a rotifer – they are remarkable in so many ways. You can see the foot attaching and detaching as they “walk”. Also the video of feeding USB’s remarkable because you can clearly see the strong flow they generate to get feeding particles.

    Welcome to the foldscope community. Excited to see your explorations.


    Pro tip: you might try different ways to modify your illumination (using a little diffuser/opaque tape) to see how illumination changes your imaging. See an old post about illumination here:

  2. Honomi says:

    Happy to see a fellow stream explorer! Here is a nice watershed map you might be interested in to see how your neighborhood stream connects you to the rest of the Bay
    Looking forward to more of your stream explorations 🙂

  3. laksiyer says:

    @Reto, fantastic, yes it is a Bdelloid rotifer. One thing is that they have never been known to mate. This is a major evolutionary problem as this would lead to increased mutational loads in every generation. Something more to think about.

    To get down to the species you have to count its toes and study some part of its gut. But this is magnificent.

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