from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A taxonomic phylum within the superphylum Protostomia — the rotifers, traditionally known informally as wheel animalcules because of their partly circular mouthparts fringed with continuously whirling cilia.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An order of minute worms which usually have one or two groups of vibrating cilia on the head, which, when in motion, often give an appearance of rapidly revolving wheels. The species are very numerous in fresh waters, and are very diversified in form and habits.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A class of animalcules, usually classified with or near the lowest worms, distinguished by their circles of cilia, sometimes single, sometimes double, which through the microscope appear like revolving wheels, whence they have been called wheel-animalcules and Rotatoria.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a phylum including: rotifers
Now, let us get home and look at our 'Rotifera' – if we have any.
Aging and loss of fertility in male and female Brachionus plicatilis Rotifera.
His research interests range from ecology, limnology, biostatistics and modeling, through ecosystems functioning, global climate change, nitrogen and carbon cycling in temperate peatlands to taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of Rotifera, Cladocera and Copepoda.
I am leaving out tardigrades (Tardigrada) and bdelloid rotifers (Rotifera), because, although some of their species live in mosses, lichens and in the soil and can survive desiccation much better than almost all truly terrestrial animals, they require to be surrounded with relatively large volumes of water to be active.
In the paper upon "Thalassicolla," and in that which I read before the British Association, as also in one upon the organisation of the Rotifera, which I am going to have published in the Microscopical Society's "Transactions," I have been driving in a series of wedges into Cuvier's Radiata, and showing how selon moi they ought to be distributed.
On Lacinularia socialis, a contribution to the anatomy and physiology of the Rotifera, in the "Transactions of the Microscopical Society" 4.
I remember well the thrill of delight and admiration that shot through me the first time that I discovered the common wheel animalcule (_Rotifera vulgaris_) expanding and contracting its flexible spokes, and seemingly rotating through the water.
I cannot resist, although it is rather long, quoting the following description from Hudson and Gosse's beautiful work on the Rotifera: --
The "Polypes" of Lamarck included not only the forms now known as such, but also the Rotifera and Protozoa, though, as we shall see, he afterwards in his course of 1807 eliminated from this heterogeneous assemblage the Infusoria.
"You do not know much more than the names, then, of Infusoria, Rotifera, and Pedunculata, and such things?"