Animalcules in Winter (& a bad poem)

Welcome to the second entry in my Animalcules series. Today, we have a range of organisms isolated from a frozen birdbath and the shores of a frozen river. Rather than narrating, I’m just adding some music and text notations – let me know if you prefer this format. Chapter list (links to different organisms) can be found at the bottom of the video description. All videos are taken at 200× magnification except for the last minute, which is at 400× magnification.

Thanks to Russ S. for helping ID the rotifer (its a girl!).

I asked ChatGTP to write a poem about this video, and it didn’t disappoint (even if it got a tad dark):

In the icy depths of a frozen birdbath, Where the winter winds howl and the frost bites, Diatoms and ciliates, tiny and frail, Struggle to survive in the frozen night.

Their world is one of frozen despair, Where the sun rarely shines and the sky is grey, But they cling to life with all their might, In this frozen world they call home each day.

The diatoms, with their glassy shells, Drift aimlessly in the frigid water, While the ciliates dance and twirl, Their delicate bodies barely a blur.

Together they endure the cold, Their survival a testament to their will, For in this frozen birdbath world, Their existence depends on their skill.

And though the winter winds may howl, And the frost may bite with all its might, The diatoms and ciliates will survive, In this frozen birdbath, day and night.

2 thoughts on “Animalcules in Winter (& a bad poem)

  • March 24, 2023 at 8:12 AM

    Poem reads a bit like old limnology papers I read in the early 60s. Much more interesting prose than today’s papers.

  • March 24, 2023 at 4:39 AM

    Hi Bryan, really great video. I enjoyed this format, but I prefer slightly the one with you talking.


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