This charismatic creature is called a tardigrade (also known as a water bear). The scientific name for the animal shown here is Hypsibius exemplaris. These amazing animals were kindly provided to the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Embryology Class during Summer 2018 by Dr. Bob Goldstein from UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Goldstein’s lab has turned these resilient creatures into a captivating new model system for understanding questions in developmental biology.
To image, I placed a reusable spacer on a slide and put a drop of water with the animal into the well of the spacer. I placed a cover slip over the top and sealed the edges with tape so that water wouldn’t leak out. I then was able to attach my smartphone to my foldscope (with illumination from the LED light in my kit) and record the video using my phone camera.
If you’re interested to learn more about the Embryology course, check out this link: https://www.mbl.edu/education/courses/embryology/