Life in an ‘Organic pond’ – Part 1

After my experience and learning with the Dal Lake water sample, I have been constantly on the lookout for water ecosystems. Recently, I visited my sister’s home at the ‘Organo Eco-Habitat’ in Hyderabad, where there is an artificial pond. I collected water from a corner of the pond, in which I found an insect wing…

Mysteries of Dal Lake, Kashmir – Part 2

After seeing the diverse flora in Part I, here I share the findings on the microbes in the water from Dal Lake. We thought we could find a dense composition of organisms if the water could be centrifuged. Sayantan, a graduate student in biology at TIFR Hyd helped me with this. We put 50 ml…

Microbial diversity in a paddy field water sample – Part 2

DIATOMS, ROTIFERS and SOMEONE UNIQUE The water drop sample from the paddy field further showed moving diatoms and rotifers. One particular organism puzzled me. At first, from its bifurcated tail, I thought it was a rotifer. But on better focusing, I observed its cilia. Was it a ciliate? It seemed too big for a ciliate….

Observing freshwater microorganisms that can live on top of a tree!

Last month, I had the chance to enjoy a bit of my summer vacation by going to a beach in the serene province of Zambales in the Philippines. Initially, I only planned to catch some marine zooplankton as I thought those creatures would be very interesting to look at under the foldscope, and would make…

‘Seeing’ what is known and unknown

Young children of Jai Ambe Nagar, a slum near Mankhurd which comes under M Ward, know a lot of microorganisms but they had never seen a living microorganism before. Today that got an opportunity to explore the microscopic world with the help of a low cost paper microscope (foldscope) invented by Professor Manu Prakash. They…

Rotifer

https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/VID20180911114514.mp4

Foldcope picnic at Spreckels Lake, San Francisco

I had a belated birthday afternoon picnic with my dear friends Dina and Summer at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It was such a lovely day outside, so we decided to go for a nice stroll around Spreckels Lake, which…  …offers the beauty of Monterey Cypress trees, which create a beautiful silhouette against the…

Day 7: Lichen cultures

Continuing from my previous post, I am going to try and keep an eye on the succession of life in my lichen cultures. For this, I have 6 different lichens collected from different trees put into petridishes containing RO water. Below, I categorize all life I could see after 1 week. Here are results from three…

Foldscoop 1:3. Long-term Lichen suspensions

Laziness is a good thing; sometimes. Previously I had posted on observing tardigrades, ciliates and nematodes (1, 2)  in Lichens. It so happened that due to a hundred obstacles that life so often places, I  forgot to observe the lichens suspended in mineral water for about two weeks. By this point, the water turned dark brown…

A food web in a fluid droplet (algae, rotifers, and anemone)

In my ongoing quest to explore marine microfauna, I recently observed rotifers under a Foldscope. Like many motile marine invertebrates, rotifers use cilia to maneuver through the water column. They also use these cilia to feed by generating currents.  The anterior end of the animal is in the top right of the pictures, and there…

Life in a liter of Pond water — Euplotes– Day 1

In the little town I grew up in India, one of my favorite pastimes was pond watching. A little depression near our school would fill up during the monsoons, and life would spring out as though spontaneously. We (friends and I) would count whatever we could see and marvel at the great struggle (or dance,…