Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rotifers: Piquing Curiosity for 300 Years

"I saw here also an animal like a maggot which would contract itself up into a spherical figure and then stretch itself out again; the end of its tail appeared with a forceps, like that of an Ear-wig ... and they seemed to be busy with their mouths as in feeding"

Harris, 1696, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

So said John Harris, writer, scholar, Rector of Winchelsea in Sussex and naturalist in the first recorded encounter with these animals in 1696. The Rotifer specimen pictured was isolated from soilwater at the base of moss growth.

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