43. Quiet hairyback

The 43rd chapter of the “Inhabitants of the microworld” series is called “Quiet hairyback”.

Gastrotichs, also called hairybacks due to their aspect, are microscopic animals living in both fresh and sea water. There are around 800 described species. They are mainly detrivores, and use to swim or slide on the sediment while looking for food. Their bodies are covered by thin setae confering the characteristic aspect. A very special singularity of these animals is that the number of cells of their bodies is constant. So, growth is not due to an increasing number of cells but to the enlargement of the original cells. This characteristic, shared with other animals as rotifers, is called eutely.

This is the 43rd 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.