ID # 64
This short video shows images and movement of soil rotifers at 40 to 1000X magnification.
STEM Standard addressed: ESS2E - Biogeology
Appropriate Grade Level(s)
Materials are best used for
General Course Areas
- Classroom Lectures
- Laboratory Activities
- Distance Education Classes
- Environmental Science
- Introduction to Soil Science
- Soil Microbiology
Category: Biology & Biochemistry
Rotifers are small multicellular fauna in soil that live in water films and water-filled pores. They are 0.05 to 3 mm in size. Many in soil are worm-like rotifers that creep along until they want to feed. They then anchor themselves with a foot and feed by means of a mouth lined with cilia. The cilia whorl in unison (many species) creating the appearance of wheels or twin propellers, which create a vortex that sweeps food particles into their mouths. The name rotifer comes from Latin, which means ‘wheel bearer.’ They eat mainly organic debris, unicellular algae, and bacteria. Although found in most soils, their importance in the soil food web is little known. When the soil dries up, they can transition into resting stages and wait for moisture to return.
Organisms were grown on cornmeal extract agar using the procedures found in Loynachan (2006). Magnification of images are at 40 to 1000X.
Amador, J.A., and J.H. Gorres. 2005. Fauna. pp. 181-200. In: D.M. Sylvia et al. (ed.) Principles and Applications of Soil Microbiology (2nd ed), Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Coleman, D.C., and D.H. Wall. 2015. Soil fauna: Occurrence, biodiversity, and roles in ecosystem function. pp. 111-149. In: E.A. Paul (ed.) Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry (4th ed), Elsevier, New York, NY.
Loynachan, T.E. 2006. Quick, easy method to show living soil organisms to high school or beginning-level college students. J. Nat. Res Life Sci. Ed. 35:202-208.
Nardi, J.B. 2003. The world beneath our feet. Oxford University Press, New York, N.Y.
Peer Review: Yes
Provided By: Dr. Thomas E. Loynachan
* Tom Loynachan
Iowa State University
- wheel bearers
- soil life
- food chain
- small fauna
Please login to submit a comment.
Log In to your account
Already a member, certified, or existing customer?*
* Cookies must be accepted to log in.
Not sure if you have an account?
Check Your Email
Connect with members and access the information you need.
Ready to Join?
If you have an account, login on the left. Not sure if you have an account or need to create one? Check your email with the link above. We look forward to welcoming you.