Mermaids are, apparently, not real. But depending on how lose you are with your definitions of fantastical creatures, we could be convinced that rotifers are a little like microscopic mermaids. Yeah, they don’t have any particularly human resemblance. But like sailors of old might have confused sea creatures that they saw with the fantastical creatures in their heads, there’s something kind of fun about imagining the rotifer as our own little mermaids.
But rotifers do have something that the famous little mermaid didn’t have and so desperately wanted. What’s the word? Oh right, a foot…
Of course, the foot of the rotifer is not actually a foot in the way we think about feet. Nor is the toe a toe in the way we think about toes. But it’s hard not to peer into the microcosmos and see the structure of things familiar, even if not exactly the same.
File under: Feet. Watch these microscopic videos next:
• Pond Scum Under the Microscope
• How do you find water bears (tardigrades) in the wild?
• Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible
• The face mites that live inside your pores
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