Silt from the Palo Alto Baylands


One of my wonderful teachers had trekked out into the Palo Alto Baylands and collected a silt sample for us to examine in class. After straining the silica out of the sample and preparing a slide, I inserted the slide, attached the light to the backside and used a coupler to center my phone over the lens. I was overjoyed to see a bunch of fast-swimming protists darting between particulate matter. If you know anything about the species, do not hesitate to comment. Thank you.

Also check out the full video of them:

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Absolutely stunning video and photos. What a joyful finding.. they are ciliates for sure. I find the flexibility of individual cells often surprising and interesting.. you see they are all the same species – and somehow found themselves in close quarters.

    Do try to see if you Can culture the same.

    @laks: one of the foldscope super user – has some fantastic tutorials on hay infusion for keeping cultures alive:


  2. laksiyer says:

    Fantastic. It might be a species of Paramecium itself. These move in a cork-screw motion when unconstrained. I noticed a twisting but the motion was limited. These can easily be cultured using a hay infusion.

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