There are thousands of animals in the world including very small ones like rotifers. What is a rotifer? Here are some facts about rotifers you may have not known.
The scientific name for the rotifer is Phylum Rotifera. Rotifera means wheel-bearers. The animal is related to the worm.
Rotifers are very small. These animals are so small that many people don’t know they exist. There are various species of rotifer. They are either microscopic or very small at up to 2 mm. They are intricately designed and interesting to look at under a microscope. Their body shapes come in different varieties and adapt to different environments and lifestyles.
They are multi-celled animals. Rotifers have less than 1,000 cells with special attributes. The body includes a brain, stomach a reproductive system and an excretory system.
You can see through a rotifer’s body. With its transparent body you are able to see all of the creature’s organs.
There is a crown of hair-like cilia at the front of a rotifer’s body. This is how they move in a spinning-like fashion. Some species of rotifer use a locomotive motion while others walk with the head and foot. The foot has two toes and possesses a sticky substance allowing it to attach itself to a surface. The crown is also used to eat. Rotifers use the hair on the crown to send food, micro-organisms, into their mouths.
Rotifers have sensitive eyes. These creatures have one or two red eye spots that are sensitive to light.
The male rotifer is less common than the female. The males only live a few hours or days because they don’t have mouths. To reproduce, most of the time the females clone themselves by producing eggs that don’t require fertilization.
Rotifers live in both freshwater and seawater. Most of them live in freshwater and fewer species live in seawater. Some of them are parasites.
You can find rotifers everywhere. These animals travel easily through the air so it’s easy for them to get into various areas as long as there is water. They live in lakes and ponds with fresh water and on leaves with mosses. You can even find a rotifer in a birdbath, pool, puddles or roof gutters.
Now that you know more about rotifers, take a closer look at the water in a birdbath or pool. You just may spot one of these tiny creatures floating on the surface.