By: V. Sed
The tintinnid Helicostomella ranges in size from 20-200 µm and can be found in neritic habitats. Like all tintinnids, Helicostomella has a lorica, which is an outer shell. Each order of tintinnids has an unique shape. Helicostomella can be identified by its distinct conical shaped lorica. Cilia located around the organisms’ mouth not only aide in feeding, but also movement. Tintinnids belong to the diverse taxinomical group microzooplankton. They’re responsible for grazing upon algal blooms and recycling nutrients. Tintinnids are also critical in the planktonic food web as they make up roughly 30% of a copepods’ diet.
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