Rotifer Art

Rotifers, which are also known as wheel animals  were first described by Rev. John Harris in 1696, and later by Anton van Leeuwenhoek in 1703. When they feed, the coronal cilia create a current that sweeps food into the mouth. This then passes into a chewing pharynx,  which has  powerful muscular walls and microscopic calcified jaw-like structures called trophi.

Here a Rotifer has been exposed to indian ink which it interacts with to create a dynamic work of art. There is also a deeper message here, in that the basis of indian ink is soot, a micropolltant,  and the pristine Rotifer can be clearly seen to become brown as it accumulates the soot particles. Anything that feeds on this Rotifer will also become contaminated.  The art then,  becomes a striking demonstration of how pollutants can enter an ecology, and become concentrated within it.

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