Discussion of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how these properties are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment
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So I am wondering if anyone else looks through pond scum.
Jake (my wonderful fiance) gave me a dissecting microscope for Christmas and I just looked at some pond scum tonight... oh my goodness I am so excited.
There is :
Volvox (with daughter colonies)
Nematods (many types)
Copeopods (the most beautiful!)
Some type of Hydrazoan (Weird looking... I have no idea!)
Look at all this diversity I found in just my first look. My pond sample also had 3 microscopic Insecta (1 Hydrophillid and 2 other water beetles)
Does anyone know anything about the ecology of this petri dish environment, or pond scum in general?
Man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. - Henry Benson
As far as I know the pond scum already has well diversed forms of organism. It's really wonderful to expect that we are not just the only big living things that live in this planet but unconsciously we share this home with these minute fellows. Protozoans have important role in promoting balance in the nature. They facilitate the breakdown of some organic molecules and nutrients so that others may benefit from them. Small and terrible.
---Just one act of random kindness at a time and you can change the world---
We biologists are really weird people. Who else in the world than the fiancé of a female biologist could ever dream of hearing his beloved say she is so excited because he gave her the opportunity to look at scum magnified fourty times
I wish you long and marvelous hours of scum looking, it brings fond memories of my (not so distant) youth, where I first looked in awe at paramecia through my first microscope (I still have it, 450X magnification and all !)
Peace on earth to all goodwilled scumwatchers
The biodiversity in a single drop of pond water or "scum" is astounding. If one considers protozoa alone, there are over 50,000 species of protozoa with even more yet to be discovered. An excellent source of reference material would be Jahns, "how to know the Protozoa" Second Edition, spiral bound and then there is also in the "how to know" series one on Algae also, it too is spiral bound. If you are an intent observer of protozoa and would like to slow them down a bit for easier observation, take a very small drop of clear Kayro syrup and mingle it with the drop of pond water, then place your cover glass or slip on the slide, this syrup increases the viscosity of the water without harming the protozoa right away and slowing down the movements of some of the faster ciliates and flagellates that you will encounter, for a much better look see.
Ken Ramos, Aviation Ordnanceman USN Ret.
Western North Carolina
"If you see an explosives handler running...try to keep up with him!"
Ken's Nature Study
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