Microorganisms Among the Glaciers

A tardigrade or "water bear" (Bob Goldstein, Vicky Madden, en.wikipedia.org). 

A tardigrade or "water bear" (Bob Goldstein, Vicky Madden, en.wikipedia.org). 

     Covered in what are called cyroconite holes- cylindrical holes in ice- glaciers appear to boast an impressive amount of micro-organisms. While glaciers near soil tend to have large amounts of microalgae, even those far away contain colonies of similar organisms. The microalgae form large colonies in the cyroconites, which helps protect themselves from predators such as tardigrades. 

     "The high abundances of tardigrades, rotifers and ciliates, including genera with different feeding strategies, have been found and suggest a complex food web between more trophic levels than measured in the present study," said the authors of the study. "Feeding experiments and analysis of stomach contents may help to bring a more detailed picture of this yet hardly known food web."

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