rants & recipes

Pond Life, 10-AUG-08

Posted by trktos on 10-August-2008

Today, we looked more at our pond water samples from yesterday. We saw lots of euglena, and I saw some in the palmelloid stage (which I just learned is where they roll up into a ball and discard their flagella). Saw another paramecium with its trichosysts deployed, more cyanobacteria.

We observed a few new creatures, including a testate amoeba – he was really cool. He had a orangish golden colored shell, or test, that was slightly ovoid in shape with a four-leaf-clover-shaped opening at the smaller end. Through the opening, he sent out thick psuedopods, which were a dark purple under phase contrast. He made his way over to a mosquito larva and disappeared into or under it. His psuedopods disappeared first, leaving the test still visible for a while. It was fun to find something moving slow enough that keeping up with it wasn’t a struggle.

We also saw a new rotifer, but further identifying him is pretty much impossible without pictures to look back at and compare with images online.

We looked at some slices of zucchini and carrot, which underscored our need for a microtome. The zucchini was rather boring but with the carrot, we could see orange stringy looking structures inside the cells – carotenoids, I guess? We also saw a lot of small, white spherical bodies that seemed to be energized and vibrating. Have no idea what they were … and I don’t know if it’s a good idea to keep looking at food that closely as we probably won’t want to eat it!

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