Except when noted otherwise, the included images are personal pictures obtained with a digital camera of 0.4 Mpx. integrated into my National Optical DC3-163-P microscope equipped with planachromatic optics. (Ocular 10x, Objectives: x4 (NA 0.10), x10 (NA 0.25), x40 (NA 0.65) and x100 HI (NA 1.25)). The original ones have been captured at 640 x 480 px. and reduced or trimmed as was necessary to include them in this work. All picture formatting work was made in Photo Paint. In each picture's legend the objective upon which it was taken is indicated, just as a suggestion of the power used. The widest illustration in this page is 960 pixels, half width pictures, are therefore 460 pixels, which correspond to the real size of a 640 px. picture.
The amateur microscopist likes to explore the micro-world of fresh or marine waters. The diversity and beauty of the species that populate them are enough to captivate their interest for many hours that generally would be extended to days, months, or years.
This is the world of free living creatures, which move at will in the medium in which they live, even though they often crawl or glide over live or inanimate substrata. To explore those diverse habitats can be an infinite occupation, and it is normally the first task that the amateur assigns himself.
A few examples of free living aquatic
organisms are included below.
But living species have developed diverse styles of life, in addition to free life.
Some (many) of those aquatic species live fixed to a substrate, they are sedentary, adhering to stones and other animated or inanimate substrates.
Others are even associated to other species (algae for example) without causing any damage to them. Although they cannot be considered "free", they are yet independent beings. They need the live substrate only for a support.
There are the epiphytes (i.e: they live on plants).
MUTUALISM - Of these last associations of species there are some which imply that the “living support" is not only a substrate, but that shows the development of dependency relationships (denominated "mutualism") between the associate species.
Commensalism (one of the forms of mutualism) is a type of relationship in which one of the members are more or less passive, whereas the other benefits from the relation without damaging its associate. The following image, typical of a “commensal” must necessarily be large so that its structure is well appraised.
Symbiosis implies that both organisms
benefit from each other by the intimate relation established between
them. The most
well known and complete example are the lichens, among the plants
termites among the animals. Lichens are classified in genus and
although in fact each “species” is an intimate and indissoluble
between a species of alga and another one of fungus.
Symbiosis implies that both organisms benefit from each other by the intimate relation established between them. The most well known and complete example are the lichens, among the plants and termites among the animals. Lichens are classified in genus and species although in fact each “species” is an intimate and indissoluble relationship between a species of alga and another one of fungus.
In the following elementary references, you can see in addition to a summary of the modern theories some illustrations of the structure of mitochondria.
Today it is unthinkable for the
cellular operation of all living beings
to occur without these symbionts.
PARASITISM (another form of mutualism)
is nevertheless a habitat that the amateurs explore exceptionally
and if he does, it is generally when he is already an advanced
is no less interesting and it can be really fascinating. It is the
world of the
animals that choose
to live at the expense of other living species: they are the PARASITES.
Each species of plant or animal has several parasites, generally specific, which is to say that they only live on that species, and normally in a well defined niche (place and environment). Apart from my picture of gregarines below (fig 1), the presented few examples are only to suggest the enormous variety of parasitic species, and have been obtained and modified from the Internet. It must be greatly acknowledged the contribution of those who share their images, and have contributed effectively to the extension of knowledge of this form of microscopic invertebrate life.
It must be clear that numerous vegetable parasites exist; but they are mostly out of the sphere of knowledge of this author.
is the first article in a short series that
tries to introduce the microscopists
with a spirit of adventure to the investigation of this specialized
that just as the outer world offers a great diversity, and demands a
techniques to be investigated.
could have selected as a subject, a frog or toad, with the certainty
to find more parasite diversity.
them it is easy to locate trypanosomes
in the blood, apicomplexa
(previously called esporozoa) in the
gall bladder, a variety of trematodes
(Digenea) (different species according
to the location) in the mouth, stomach, thin intestine and rectum, and
also in the
urinary bladder, and even in the lungs, where they are also located
specific nematodes. If
this is not enough they also have cestodes in its intestines.
And have even external parasites
like red acarii that
adheres to their skin.
surely, although this choice would be most beneficial, probably,
and for several reasons, it is not the best one for a first experience
amateur microscopists into the investigation of those who live hidden
I have then chosen a bug that only very few people consider a friendly pet: the cockroach. The added picture shows a Periplaneta americana, the most common cockroach in México taken with the Cannon Power Shot A300. Natural size.
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