Kern's Holler Journal Biology
Under the Microscope, by Ivan Stang

Yesterday Was a Great Day for Swallowing

The Petri Dish of Horror was getting too crowded, and had lost diversity. The nematodes and rottifers were all gone or hiding. Nothing left but boring single-cells and one lonesome Cyclops copepod. So I went outside to the Bucket of Slime and The Primordial Birdbath and extracted me some new droppers-full of life.

SUCCESS! There were several new life forms, new to my microscope anyway, as well as a veritable herd of nematodes. I finally got some Voticellas into the Jar of Life -- I've been hunting those since last year. They are relatively large bell-shaped alien monsters that spin and dart about fairly quickly.

But best of all, the new nematodes were HUNGRY! I got a sample drop of slime-water that had several nematodes in it and that was swarming with Colepses. Your Coleps is a piggish little scavenger shaped like a wireframe barrel that will eat ANYTHING. For months now I've been watching those little bastards overpopulate my jars and dishes, eating EVERYTHING. Boy, were the tables turned on those buggers yesterday.

I spent about 20 minutes avoiding work and watching these nematodes devouring Colepses. Nematodes are like worms, but transparent when lit from underneath. These were moving pretty slowly because their guts were obviously already full. By moving the slide I could follow the progress of individual worm-monsters as they scooped up Colepses into their weird "mouths" -- just an opening in their "neck" -- and then SWALLOW.

Now, your Coleps is sizeable for a protist. Compared to them your
nematode is dinosaur-sized, but getting that Coleps down it goozle is still a project. It's a tight fit in that worm's "throat." The cool part is when the nematode swallows. To get that fat Coleps down, the worm convulses mightily. It's quite a sight! Disgusting, yet somehow beautiful because you can see every detail of the nematode's innards as the Coleps is pushed down into the worm-stomach -- where he meets several of his fellow just-eaten Colepses, who are piling up like a multi-car wreck on a crowded  highway. It's snug in that stomach though so the Colepses can't squirm around much. I noticed that the ones that had already been swallowed were smaller than the just-eaten ones.

I kept a close eye on the nematodes' butts to see if I could catch them shitting out Coleps shells, but no such luck YET.

It was downright thrilling to see those Cody Coleps and his gang get their comeuppance. You should see the way those things gang up on a helpless shelled amoeba with a crushed shell. Shameful.

I put my new worms back into the Petri Dish of Horror and then iDRMRSR picked up Princess Wei and me and took us to a cool restaurant on the West Side where Dr. Dark and Her Highness HellNo treated us all to a feast in honor of Princess Wei's impending retirement. Eating a meal with a punmonster like Dr. Dark is a challenge in itself because he keeps you laughing, which also keeps you choking. But the swallowing was GREAT! The tasting was even better. We ate the equivalent of a hundred million billion Colepses and our convulsive swallowing made those nematodes look like dainty ballerinas by comparison.

Praise Dr. Dark and Her Highness HellNo for making yesterday a day of swallowing to remember. And praise iDRMRSR for driving us there.