<p class="c0">This image of colonial rotifers—microscopic invertebrates often found in pond water—is actually a still picture from the first video ever to garner top honors in the&nbsp;<a class="c15" href="http://www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery/2012/index.html">2012 Olympus BioScapes Imaging Competition</a>.</p><p class="c0">Ralph Grimm, a teacher from Australia, filmed the tiny animals’ madly beating cilia, or small hairs, to win $5,000 worth of Olympus equipment. The rotifers use their cilia to create water currents that draw in food.</p><p class="c0">(Related:&nbsp;<a class="c15" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/10201-rotifer-survives-without-sex/">“How to Survive Without Sex for 50 Million Years? Dry Up.”</a>)</p>

Hairy Currents

This image of colonial rotifers—microscopic invertebrates often found in pond water—is actually a still picture from the first video ever to garner top honors in the 2012 Olympus BioScapes Imaging Competition.

Ralph Grimm, a teacher from Australia, filmed the tiny animals’ madly beating cilia, or small hairs, to win $5,000 worth of Olympus equipment. The rotifers use their cilia to create water currents that draw in food.

(Related: “How to Survive Without Sex for 50 Million Years? Dry Up.”)

Image courtesy Ralph Grimm, Olympus BioScapes

Pictures: Capturing the Beauty of Life Through a Microscope

Tiny claws and single-celled algae are among the top images in the 2012 Olympus BioScapes Microscopic Life Photo Contest.

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