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.
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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.