The Phylum Rotifera


1800 species
All rotifers are microscopic - few exceed 0.5mm in length - and live in fresh water. Their bodies are usually transparent, but some appear to be delicately coloured. Some elongated forms live in mud at the bottom of ponds; other more rounded forms are free-swimming; and others are sessile. A ring of thread-like cilia round the mouth provides the propulsion for swimming, where this occurs, and creates water currents which convey food to the animal. Reproduction is sexual and the sexes are seperate. In most cases, male rotifers are very much smaller than females.

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