Hello folks who wonder if dung beetle toddlers roll their eyes when their moms ask them to wash their hands before sitting at the dinner table,

Have you ever come across a word that sounds intimidating or even disgusting at first but appending another word to it suddenly makes it sound interesting.
Like dust is meh, but Fairy dust can get any kid to shut up and listen to you. Similarly, fleas will make everyone stop reading this post and burn their devices, but water fleas are another story.

Head over to your nearest pond and look closely for small organisms moving around in a jerky motion, darting from place to place. Those are water fleas but you need to take a closer look to see what the hype is all about.
Water fleas are extensively observed under the microscope because they simply agree to the privacy policy without reading any details.

Below is a water flea with a clearly visible compound eye, heart, intestine and limbs.




Water fleas(also called Daphnia which is its genus) are interesting because despite their tiny size they play a huge role in maintaining the ecological balance. They feed on microscopic particles like algae, yeast and bacteria which they filter using those constantly moving limbs(quite a workout). They are then consumed by the fish and other invertebrates inhabiting those waters, thus they keep the waterways healthy and ensure everyone around them is well fed(Reminds me of Grandma).

Below is a Daphnia constantly beating its limbs to act like a vacuum cleaner and suck all the organic material around it. Once it ingests, it will expel the things that did not make the cut like pineapple on its pizza.




Since we can look at its body in the same manner NSA digs through my internet history, there are some pretty cool(weird?) things that can be spotted.

Eggs are carried in the brood pouch and the females can reproduce all by herself making each baby a clone of itself. They can hold up to 20 eggs.

The embryos hatch from the eggs but will stay in the brood pouch and look just like their moms.
They say kids often mimic their parents, this baby is learning the tricks of the trade from mom while still inside the brood chamber.




Daphnia turn pink when they are subject to the stress of not being able to find enough food and less dissolved oxygen in their environment. When the dissolved oxygen is low, they produce more haemoglobin to increase their oxygen carrying capacity. Thus Daphnia are an indicator organism to tell the health of a water body.

Below is a Daphnia who blushed and turned pink after I used a cheesy pick-up line.



p.s. No, she did not give her phone number despite me using a pick-up line. 😔

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