Kevin Brennan and Will Jaeckle
Feed Me: The Corona of Brachionus plicatilis, 2005, colorized in 2008

Scanning electron photomicrograph; magnification approximately x800 at capture; post-capture digital colorization.

Illinois Wesleyan University, Biology Department, Bloomington, Illinois, United States

Rotifers are small, water-dwelling animals that are an important food source for larval fish and crustaceans. Their name is derived from the Latin word for “wheel-bearer,” and refers to the crown or corona of cilia, or hair-like projections around their mouths. This ventral view of an adult rotifer, Brachionus plicatilis, photographed using a scanning electron microscope, reveals the coronal ciliature and the break in the ciliature, which allows for delivery of particulate foods into an organism’s mouth. When viewing the animal head on, the post-oral ciliature will beat in a clockwise metachronal or synchronized wave to draw the food into the mouth. .

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