Col. SEM of Vorticella sp. ciliate in compost heap

Col. SEM of Vorticella sp. ciliate in compost heap

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This image is part of the feature Compost

Credit: EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Compost ciliate. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a Vorticella ciliate with bacteria in a compost heap. Compost is made by stacking garden waste and vegetable trimmings into a heap. The heap is degraded by various saprophytic organisms and the resulting brown, crumbly compost is used to enrich the soil. Vorticella is bell- shaped with a contractile stalk (bottom) to anchor itself to its substrate. It has a flattened top with a mouth surrounded by a wreath of cilia (hair-like). By beating these cilia the organism creates vortices which wash bacteria into its mouth. Bacteria (rod-shaped) make up most of the background. Magnification: x700 at 6x6cm size.

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Keywords: animal, bacteria, ciliate, compost, compost heap, fauna and flora, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, protozoa, protozoan, saprophyte, type, vorticella, wildlife, zoology

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