Do you remember the blossoming Daphnias from my June 2020 sample? Here they are, all pretty and healthy just for you! Accompanied by the soothing voice of @the_project_continues ☀️ and featuring an awesome beat from @arithmetikmusiq 💜✨
Daphnias, commonly named water fleas, are small planktonic crustaceans measuring from 1 to 5 mm and are found in freshwater habitats all around the globe. They occupy a key position in aquatic food webs by grazing on algae and bacteria but also by being preyed on by larger animals such as fishes, birds, frogs and other predators.
These micro crustaceans belong to the Cladocera order, which members are characterized by a transparent carapace and 10 pairs of appendages.
Their flattened leaf-shaped limbs called phyllopods, are used for respiration and to create a water current attracting nearby food particles into the filtering apparatus and the mouth. They use their large branched-shaped antennas to swim and to direct themselves through water. Their unique way of swimming resembles the jumping movements of a flea, thus where their common name “water fleas” comes from!
Daphnia possess an open blood circulation with a heart located dorsally that beats around 200 times per minute. Just like us, they possess hemoglobin proteins to support oxygen transport around their body cavity. When oxygen is reduced in their environment, they can increase their number of hemoglobin which allows them to increase the level of oxygen in their blood, making them resilient little creatures.
Dodson, S. L., Cáceres, C. E., & Rogers, D. C. (2010). Cladocera and other Branchiopoda. In Ecology and classification of North American freshwater invertebrates (pp. 773-827). Academic Press.
Ebert, D. (2005). Ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of parasitism in Daphnia. National Library of Medicine. 5-9.
Video taken with my iPhone mounted on my BA310E Motic microscope with an @ilabcam adapter 🔬