19. Flexible needle

The 19th chapter of the “Inhabitants of the microworld” series is called “Flexible needle”.

Spirostomum is a singular ciliated protozoarian. It is one of the longer ciliates–if not the longest–and can reach 4.5 mm length. Its body is elongate, slim and flexible, characteristics that are very important to wander among the particles of the sediment, where Spirostomum feeds mainly on bacteria. That flexibility is due to the presence of myonemes, muscular filaments running along the rows of cilia covering the surface of the cell. At the posterior end of the cell it appears a big vacuole that, in some positios, confers Spirostomum its characteristic aspect of a needle.

This is the 19th chapter of a series that will bring to us a video per day during this confinement forced by COVID-19.

We hope that you enjoy this initiative, which gives access to a documentary series for free to the world, and you share it with everyone you think will possibly be interested.

Science into Images’s team.