2020 Small World in Motion Competition

A marine tardigrade (Batillipes lusitanus)

Rafael Martín-Ledo

IES Leonardo Torres Quevedo
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Phase Contrast
20X (Objective Lens Magnification)

This image of a tardigrade displaying complex behavior is one of two winning images by Mr. Martin-Ledo in this year’s competition. It is very rare to see complex behavior in microscopic organisms but in this movie, it certainly appears to be the case. A tardigrade is typically known for slow, clumsy and erratic movement, however in this rare instance, specific locomotion is observed whereby the creature is propelling itself in forward motion as it moves around the slide exploring its surroundings. Mr. Martin Ledo, a high school biology teacher uses these amazing images to teach young people about the wonders of the unseen world all around us.