- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences
Types Of Microorganisms In A Puddle
Mosquito Eggs And Bacteria
How often have you walked through your backyard and looked at the puddles wondering just what is living in them. The amount of individual organisms is astounding. This article examines that question. The videos and pictures taken are our own and it should be noted that as we scroll past all of this microscopic life that what we are looking at is what is in a single drop of water. It is something to ponder when you consider how many drops of water may be in a puddle. Primarily the organisms we identified include: euglena, bacteria, rotifier and other protists. There are some smaller and thus unidentified but take a look for yourself. All were taken from a few different puddles in the backyard.
Mosquito Eggs And Flagellate Bacteria
This drop of water was taken from a puddle of sitting water in the bottom of a gazebo tent using an eyedropper. The sample appears a greenish shade to the naked eye but nothing can really be seen in the drop itself until placed under the microscope. Scrolling around in the video we see quite a lot of bacteria and in one spot we come upon a collection of mosquito eggs. A flagellate bacteria can be seen rolling around quite quickly as many other pill shaped bacteria slowly drift away.
The Rotifier (Asplanchna Girodi)
Rotifier micro-organisms are not single-celled but they are about the size of other single-celled organisms. These mini-crustaceans are abundant in ponds and even small puddles. The Rotifier identified in the video is called Asplanchna Girodi. It feeds from its large open mouth at the head of the body as it speeds through the water. The Asplanchna Girodi has cilia around its mouth. Some unusual behavior seen in this case it the instant the organism is bothered, such as when it runs in to something or another organism it stops instantly and becomes a ball.
Algae And Bacteria (cyanobacteria)
Algae and bacteria can be interconnected in many different patterns as a colony or just by themselves. In the below picture some rod shaped bacteria can be seen. Bacteria is the most populace organism you will find when examining either pond water or puddles. Different types of bacteria such as cyanobacteria can derive energy from the sun through photosynthesis while others feed on organic matter.
Types Of Bacteria
Diatoms come in many shapes and sizes and sometimes it can be difficult to see if they are living or dead as many keep very still. They have an outer cell wall that is made of silica and a division of this wall in two parts, thus the name. The diatom in the video shows, through some serious adjusting of focus, that transparent wall and if you look closely the dividing line which looks like a thin hair. This diatom is just moving slightly. The drop sample came from a puddle sized bit of water in the bottom of a plastic pail in the backyard. It was very abundant in diatoms, bacteria and euglena in this case, very few other types were found in this sample.
Food For Micro-organisms
Euglena are an unusual single celled organism. They have the ability to perform photosynthesis or take in nutrients by eating other smaller organisms. This distinction gives the euglena a better chance of survival than many other protists. This species moves about through use of a flagellation. A hair protrudes from the front of the organism and by swinging it much like a lasso it swims through the water. The video to the right shows one such euglena on a microscope slide as it looks for food and moves about.
So overall I can say as many things as we can see living in our backyard we certainly don't always realize just how much is back there. Just in a tiny drop of water we can see there is an entire ecosystem. Everything from the tiniest form up to what we can see work together on one level or another to form the ecosystem of earth. For anyone wishing to compile their own videos and photos of micro-organisms it isn't very difficult these days with microscopes being sold online. They are often a fraction of the usual retail price for a microscope.