Hidden Biodiversity

A close examination of the community of life within a pond or lake reveals adaptive structures and behaviors that promote survival of any number of species. This series of short videos illuminates the adaptive variations of ciliates, rotifers, water snails, water fleas and mosquitoes. These common creatures, abundant in our world, go mostly unnoticed. Yet, their life cycle and body structures reveal much about the natural world and the delicate balance within it.
CiliatesRunning Time: 0:03:00

The phylum of microorganism is distinguished by the cilia - small hair like structures- found on the exterior of the cell.  This episode introduces a bit of the range of cellular structures found in the phylum, and discusses the purpose for the cilia as well as their food and reproductive mechanism.

Feeding of MicroorganismsRunning Time: 0:03:00

This program focuses on the varied strategies employed by microorganisms in order to consume nourishment covering both photosynthetic and heterotrophic organisms.  It draws parallels between species who use similar strategies to assure that they have access to enough food.

From Eggshell to Body ShellRunning Time: 0:03:00

The water snail is a voracious consumer of plant material in still water ponds and lakes. As such, it performs an important role in maintaining the ecosystem by keeping plant growth in check.  In this episode, the life cycle of the water snail is recounted, from the start of its life as a tiny egg, to the birth of the snail and formation of its protective shell.

Locomotion of MicroorganismsRunning Time: 0:03:00

The various strategies and methods to allow an organism to move is the focus of this show.  From the amoeba's creep, to the flagellates whipping tail and the ciliated protozoan's use of wave like hairs, microorganisms are on the move.

Microorganisms in Polluted WaterRunning Time: 0:03:00

Many microorganisms thrive in the polluted water that is abundant with their food:  bacteria and other protists.  In this program the wide variety of organisms and the vital role they play in cleaning up water is presented.

Mosquitoes, the Double LifeRunning Time: 0:03:00

Here is the life story of the dreaded pest, scorn of humans and animals. Long before the buzzing insect is avoiding our swats, its life begins as one egg in a floating raft, and continues through a larval stage, providing a valuable source for animals dependent on them.

Reproduction of MicroorganismsRunning Time: 0:03:00

This episode focuses on the widely varied reproductive strategies of microlife, from the binary division common in single-celled organisms to the formation of eggs or budding new offspring from the parent in multi-celled microorganisms.

RotifersRunning Time: 0:03:00

The rotifers are a large genera of some 2000 species. They all have two crowns of cilia that work in sync to create t he appearance of whirling rotation. This distinctive characteristic is more than a good show - it's an adaptation that allows some rotifers to move, and others to draw food into their gaping mouths.

Water FleasRunning Time: 0:03:00

Despite their name, water fleas do not bit; they are tiny creatures that are a keystone species consuming algae in water systems.  This program explores the habitat, behavior, and reproductive process of the water flea.

Video Programs9
SubjectsScience, Biology, Environmental Science
Supplemental Files10
Produced By BioMEDIA Associates
Copyright ©2014 BioMEDIA Associates
Grade Levels10th Grade through Post Secondary
MARC Records for BHB
MARC records for the Full Series BHB, Hidden Biodiversity
Hidden Biodiversity - Ciliates
Hidden Biodiversity - Feeding of Microorganisms
Hidden Biodiversity - From Eggshell to Bodyshell
Hidden Biodiversity - Locomotion of Microorganisms
Hidden Biodiversity - Microorganisms in Polluted Water
Hidden Biodiversity - Mosquitos The Double Life
Hidden Biodiversity - Rotifers
Hidden Biodiversity - The Reproduction of Microorganisms
Hidden Biodiversity - Water Fleas