I was not docile, you were anachronistic

Now, let us start with how things went like the formation of rain at first, it was fast, pleasant, but annoying in the process. I have always enjoyed the cloudy and dark skies as it is about to rain or something, it provides me peace that sometimes I have to bargain with expensive medicines like … Continue reading I was not docile, you were anachronistic

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Lacrymaria olor and the Litostomata – Beautiful Ciliates with Nasty Dispositions

The Island Pond: Field Notes on the Microscopic Aquatic Life of Vancouver Island

31-18-1-Lacrymaria-gutta Images of Lacrymaria, from 1838 drawings by the German microscopist and naturalist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, 1795-1876.

31-17-1-Lacrymaria-proteus38-7-1-Lacrymaria-olor-originall-Trachelocerca-viridis

Lacrymaria is truly a creature out of someone’s nightmares. Little known and underappreciated, this fast-moving, venomous predator extends its neck seven times its body length to engulf its victims, and has no hesitation in taking bites out of unlucky creatures too large to swallow.  The lyrical name of Lacrymaria olor – “Tear of a Swan” – and its slender, willowy profile belie the ferocity of this creature:

Fortunately, this sinuous monster is unlikely to remove a toe the next time you step in the lake – at only 1/10 mm (100 microns) in length, it is one of the smaller ciliates – but it makes up in ferocity what it lacks in size.  Lacrymaria is one of the litostomate ciliates, tiny creatures with unique, highly-specialized mouth structures.

Litostomatal ciliates are fascinating and beautiful, but…

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