Tracks of cilia on microscopic worm Lepidodasys

Tracks of cilia on microscopic worm Lepidodasys

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lepidodasys. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of two tracks of cilia running along the scale-covered body of the microscopic, sand-dwell- ing worm Lepidodasys, a type of gastrotrich. This genus forms part of the extraordinarily diverse "meiofauna" - a community of microscopic animals that live in marine sands and feed on dead algae, bacteria and protozoa. Cilia enable the worm to swim through the water, while adhesive glands (small tubes at right) allow it to cling tightly to a grain of sand. The tough scales protect ag- ainst bashing by sand grains in the animal's turb- ulent environment.Magnification:x760 at 5x7cm size x1200 at 4x5

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Keywords: animal, beach fauna, cilia, gastrotrich, gastrotricha, invertebrate, invertebrates, lepidodasys, meio-fauna, nature, wildlife, zoology

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