Daphnia! - Abundant in freshwater, conveniently for many fish and other predators, and beautifully transparent, conveniently for researchers interested in studying internal processes. Also easy to rear in the lab and highly susceptible to changes in temperature, food supplies, or dissolved oxygen content in their environment.  Read more: Encyclopedia of Life Photo: Paul Hebert via wikimedia commons

Daphnia! - Abundant in freshwater, conveniently for many fish and other predators, and beautifully transparent, conveniently for researchers interested in studying internal processes. Also easy to rear in the lab and highly susceptible to changes in temperature, food supplies, or dissolved oxygen content in their environment.

Read more: Encyclopedia of Life

Photo: Paul Hebert via wikimedia commons

Look Into The Face Of Gnathostoma Spinigerum, A Worm That Infects Eels… And People
A team of U.S. researchers found the microscopic worms in 28 percent of eels sold live in U.S. markets.
by Francie Diep
Aww, aren’t they cute? These are scanning electron microscope images of nematodes of the species Gnathostoma spinigerum. You could get these little critters from eating imported eels that are sold live in markets. Adorbs!
The images come from a new paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. A team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists bought 47 swamp eels of the species Monopterus cuchia from markets in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and New York City’s Manhattan Chinatown. Thirteen of the eels had Gnathostoma spinigerum nematodes, which are able to infect humans when they (the nematodes) are just the right age…
(read more: Popular Science)
images: Rebecca A. Cole et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases

Look Into The Face Of Gnathostoma Spinigerum, A Worm That Infects Eels… And People

A team of U.S. researchers found the microscopic worms in 28 percent of eels sold live in U.S. markets.

by Francie Diep

Aww, aren’t they cute? These are scanning electron microscope images of nematodes of the species Gnathostoma spinigerum. You could get these little critters from eating imported eels that are sold live in markets. Adorbs!

The images come from a new paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. A team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists bought 47 swamp eels of the species Monopterus cuchia from markets in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and New York City’s Manhattan Chinatown. Thirteen of the eels had Gnathostoma spinigerum nematodes, which are able to infect humans when they (the nematodes) are just the right age…

(read more: Popular Science)

images: Rebecca A. Cole et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases

libutron
libutron:

Epistylis sp. | ©Rogelio Moreno G.
Epistylis is a sessile, ciliated protozoan that propagates as colonies at the ends of non-contractile stalks on the skin, and sometimes the gills, of fish. It is not a true parasite but a epibiont that utilizes fish only as a substrate for attachment [1].
They are from 200-250 um long and colonies can reach up to 2mm long [2].
Eukaryota - Alveolata - Ciliophora - Oligohymenophorea - Peritrichia - Epistylidae - Epistylis [4]

libutron:

Epistylis sp. | ©Rogelio Moreno G.

Epistylis is a sessile, ciliated protozoan that propagates as colonies at the ends of non-contractile stalks on the skin, and sometimes the gills, of fish. It is not a true parasite but a epibiont that utilizes fish only as a substrate for attachment [1].

They are from 200-250 um long and colonies can reach up to 2mm long [2].

Eukaryota - Alveolata - Ciliophora - Oligohymenophorea - Peritrichia - Epistylidae - Epistylis [4]

libutron

libutron:

Water Flea - Ceriodaphnia

Ceriodaphnia is a little fresh water crustacean (less than 1 mm), living in freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes in most of the world [1].

Ceriodaphnia feed by filtering water with their thoracic appendages and eat any phytoplankton that drift by their carapace opening.

Besides being one of the most efficient bacteria consumers of all the zooplankton species [2], Ceriodaphnia has been suggested to be a good ecotoxicity test organism (bio-indicator) for assessing acute aluminum oxide nanoparticle toxicity in fresh water environment, due to higher sensitivity and shorter growth span [3].

Animalia - Arthropoda - Crustacea - Branchiopoda - Cladocera - Daphnidae - Ceriodaphnia

Photo credit: ©Rogelio Moreno G. | Ceriodaphnia lateral view (top) and ventral view (bottom)

Gallery of Gorgeous Marine Plankton
The collection of images and videos was originally developed as an outreach effort of a multi-partner research project called Aquaparadox (from Hutchinson’s ‘Paradox of the Plankton”). In the project we examined morphological, genetic and physiological diversity in common coastal protist morpho-species, that is morphologically-defined species…
(check it all out here: Encyclopedia of Life)

Gallery of Gorgeous Marine Plankton

The collection of images and videos was originally developed as an outreach effort of a multi-partner research project called Aquaparadox (from Hutchinson’s ‘Paradox of the Plankton”). In the project we examined morphological, genetic and physiological diversity in common coastal protist morpho-species, that is morphologically-defined species…

(check it all out here: Encyclopedia of Life)

The Kinoryncha
by Leo Shapiro
Around 150 species of kinorhynchs have been described since this group was first discovered on the northern coast of France in 1841, nearly all of them less than 1 mm long.
They have been collected as far north as Greenland and as far south as Antarctica, as well as in the Black Sea. Most live in marine sand or mud from the intertidal zone to a depth of 5000 to 8,000 m, but some are known from algal mats or holdfasts, sandy beaches, and brackish estuaries and others have been found living on hydrozoans, bryozoans, or sponges.
The general morphology of kinorhynchs is fairly homogeneous. The body includes a head (which can be retracted into the anterior portion of the neck), with both anteriorly and posteriorly directed spines, and a trunk. The body is divided into 13 distinct “zonites” (the head and neck being formed by the first two zonites and the trunk by the remaining 11), which are viewed as true segments by many specialists. The anus is on the last segment and is usually flanked by strong lateral spines. Kinorhynchs apparently lack a coelom (distinct body cavity).
Like arthropods (and most or all other groups in the superclade Ecdysozoa), kinorhynchs periodically shed their chitinous cuticle as they grow, but apparently do not molt as adults…
(read more: Encyclopedia of Life)
photo: © Alvaro Esteves Migotto

The Kinoryncha

by Leo Shapiro

Around 150 species of kinorhynchs have been described since this group was first discovered on the northern coast of France in 1841, nearly all of them less than 1 mm long.

They have been collected as far north as Greenland and as far south as Antarctica, as well as in the Black Sea. Most live in marine sand or mud from the intertidal zone to a depth of 5000 to 8,000 m, but some are known from algal mats or holdfasts, sandy beaches, and brackish estuaries and others have been found living on hydrozoans, bryozoans, or sponges.

The general morphology of kinorhynchs is fairly homogeneous. The body includes a head (which can be retracted into the anterior portion of the neck), with both anteriorly and posteriorly directed spines, and a trunk. The body is divided into 13 distinct “zonites” (the head and neck being formed by the first two zonites and the trunk by the remaining 11), which are viewed as true segments by many specialists. The anus is on the last segment and is usually flanked by strong lateral spines. Kinorhynchs apparently lack a coelom (distinct body cavity).

Like arthropods (and most or all other groups in the superclade Ecdysozoa), kinorhynchs periodically shed their chitinous cuticle as they grow, but apparently do not molt as adults…

(read more: Encyclopedia of Life)

photo: © Alvaro Esteves Migotto

The Acoelomorpha

… are a disputed phylum of marine, soft-bodied animals with planula-like features. Most species are free-living, some live on the surface of other organisms (ectocommensals).

Traditionally, they were considered to belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. In 2004 molecular studies demonstrated that they are a separate phylum, although their position in the tree of life is contentious; most researchers believe them to be basal among the Bilateria, slightly more derived than the cnidaria.

Recent (2011) results suggest that they (along with Xenoturbella) may lie near the base of the deuterostomes. However, some consider the evidence for a position within deuterostomes weak and favor the placement of Xenoturbella + Acoelomorpha more basally among Metazoa

(read more: Encyclopedia of Life)

images: © NSF - Turbellarian Taxonomic Database

Tiny Hairs on Honey Bee Claws Allow them to Taste Sugar and Salt
New research on the ability of honey bees to taste with claws on their forelegs reveals details on how this information is processed, according to a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Insects taste through sensilla, hair-like structures on the body that contain receptor nerve cells, each of which is sensitive to a particular substance. In many insects, for example the honey bee, sensilla are found on the mouthparts, antenna and the tarsi — the end part of the legs. Honey bees weigh information from both front tarsi to decide whether to feed, finds the latest study…
(read more: Entomology Today)
Photo by de Brito Sanchez et al.

Tiny Hairs on Honey Bee Claws Allow them to Taste Sugar and Salt

New research on the ability of honey bees to taste with claws on their forelegs reveals details on how this information is processed, according to a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Insects taste through sensilla, hair-like structures on the body that contain receptor nerve cells, each of which is sensitive to a particular substance. In many insects, for example the honey bee, sensilla are found on the mouthparts, antenna and the tarsi — the end part of the legs. Honey bees weigh information from both front tarsi to decide whether to feed, finds the latest study…

(read more: Entomology Today)

Photo by de Brito Sanchez et al.

Weird New Mite Species Discovered

by Gwen Pearson

Here’s a brand new species of mite described this week. Is it from some strange sulfur deep sea vent? A parasite recovered from the pores of a pangolin? Nope, it’s from soil on the main campus of Ohio State University. The main author described the collection of this new species as an “event as lackluster as it was serendipitous.”

Bolton, Samuel & Hans Klompen. 2014. A new genus and species of Nematalycidae (Acari: Endeostigmata). Journal of Natural History. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2013.859318

This tiny animal is so odd, it’s not just a new species; it’s been placed in a new genus within a very bizarre group of mites. Mites, you may remember, are close cousins of ticks. Most ticks and mites look like a blobby body with 8 legs.

This particular group of mites are long and wormy-looking. And they have a really fascinating outer cuticle; it looks like it’s covered with strings of beads…

(read more: Wired Science)

images: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit

The famed protein chain reaction that made mad cow disease a terror may be involved in helping to ensure that our recollections don’t fade

Prions, the protein family notorious for causing “mad cow” and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, can play an important role in healthy cells. “Do you think God created prions just to kill?” mused Nobel laureate Eric Kandel. “These things must have evolved initially to have a physiological function.”

His work on memory helped reveal that animals make and use prions in their nervous systems as part of an essential function: stabilizing the synapses that constitute long-term memories…

scientificillustration

vmartineau:

Pages from my ‘Levels of Complexity’ project, in which I wanted to explore ways in which I could communicate biology and science-based information in a more accessible illustrative style. I hoped to inspire some amount of awe at just how much is going on ‘beneath the surface,’ such as cells, tissues, organs, processes, etc within our bodies and our environment.

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

Habrotrocha rosa
…a species of bdelloid rotifer  that is native to Europe, New Zealand and North America. In Europe and New Zealand it is known to inhabit leaf litter, soil, and moss. Which is typical for rotifers. However, in North America it is known to live within the pitchers of the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. In the pitcher it functions as normal, filtering the water around it for food using its cilia lined corona. H. rosa’s choice of habitat is an excellent example of Inquilinity, an animal that lives commensally in the dwelling of another organism.
Classification
Animalia-Rotifera-Bdelloidea-Bdelloida-Habrotrochidae-Habrotrocha-H. rosa
Image: Rkitko

astronomy-to-zoology:

Habrotrocha rosa

…a species of bdelloid rotifer  that is native to Europe, New Zealand and North America. In Europe and New Zealand it is known to inhabit leaf litter, soil, and moss. Which is typical for rotifers. However, in North America it is known to live within the pitchers of the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. In the pitcher it functions as normal, filtering the water around it for food using its cilia lined corona. H. rosa’s choice of habitat is an excellent example of Inquilinity, an animal that lives commensally in the dwelling of another organism.

Classification

Animalia-Rotifera-Bdelloidea-Bdelloida-Habrotrochidae-Habrotrocha-H. rosa

Image: Rkitko

mucholderthen
jtotheizzoe:

Just a reminder that a cell is not a bag of water, but rather a crowded metropolis of macromolecules. The reality of cell biology, while more complicated than what your textbook shows you, is much cooler than a simple cartoon.
When you look at the inside of a cell as the crowded, semi-organized, collision-riddled mess that it really is, you’ll look at every bit of biological chemistry in a new way.
(The image of a super-crowded cytoplasm comes from this PLOS paper)

jtotheizzoe:

Just a reminder that a cell is not a bag of water, but rather a crowded metropolis of macromolecules. The reality of cell biology, while more complicated than what your textbook shows you, is much cooler than a simple cartoon.

When you look at the inside of a cell as the crowded, semi-organized, collision-riddled mess that it really is, you’ll look at every bit of biological chemistry in a new way.

(The image of a super-crowded cytoplasm comes from this PLOS paper)

Aquatic Microfauna Eat Frog-Killing Fungus

Filter-feeders emerge as potential defenders against a deadly amphibian disease.

by Yao-Hua Law

Chytridiomycosis, the deadly disease caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been decimating amphibian populations worldwide since the 1980s. “We have no means to stop its advance,” said Antje Lauer, a microbial ecologist at California State University in Bakersfield, “and no cure that can be used in the wild to protect amphibians from it.” 

Bd affects amphibian skin, disrupting its ability to regulate electrolytes in the body, explained Jamie Voyles, an infectious disease ecologist at New Mexico Tech. Infected frogs lose excessive amounts of sodium and potassium, which are critical to keep their hearts pumping. Eventually, their hearts stop.

But new research suggests a potential preventive agent against Bd infection—one that may already be swimming all around the affected amphibians. Two recent studies demonstrated that aquatic microscopic fauna—such as Daphnia, Paramecium, and rotifers—can consume free-floating Bd zoospores, keeping Bd from infecting as many frogs…

(read more: The Scientist)

photos: SABELLA OLESKY and Forrest Brem