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24 January, 1997

Thanks to those of you who have assisted with the rotifer experiment by sending your ideas. Today I tried a new tactic for getting the rotifers to feed. Since those beasties stopped feeding after being plucked from their mat, I took a piece of mat, put it into a petri dish and left it outside for two hours. When I looked at the mat I found an area loaded with rotifers all of whom had those cilia waving back and forth. I then used a micropipettor to drop 10 microliters of FLOs (fluorescently labeled organisms) over the dense population showering them with FLOs in the same concentration as the food normally available in these lake waters. I then started making slides, one every two minutes for 30 minutes. Every slide had rotifers from the densely populated area and each slide had 2 - 5 rotifers. The coverslip did not kill the rotifers and there is no evidence of FLOs on the slides that I prepared because I carefully washed the excess water away and added clean lake water from a different part of the petri dish. Is this method valid? What can I learn about feeding rates ? What do you think happened?

There have been easily 15 helicopter arrivals today. People are starting to pack up the field camps and sling load equipment back to McMurdo Station. I will be leaving the field camp on Tuesday so I will finishing the rotifer work in a few days, then I'll help pack up all of the equipment for sling load onto the helicopters.

It is turning colder and more cloudy. People here say that fall is on the way and it is time to think about leaving. That is all for today.

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