By Nic Christ
Tintinnids are complex single-cell organisms that can be found in marine and fresh waters. Their shells that comes in a variety of styles are called loricae and are made from proteins (Dolan and Gallegos 2001). Cilia points out from the top of the cell, which looks a bit like hair. The cilia are used to create a water flow that carries food across the mouth of the tintinnid. Tintinnids mostly feed on photosynthetic algae and bacteria which makes them a vital link in the food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and are then fed on by organisms like small crustaceans and larval fish (Stoecker 2013).
Dolan, John R. and Gallegos, Charles L. “Estuarine diversity of tintinnids (planktonic ciliates).”
Journal of Plankton Research. Volume 23, issue 9. 2001. Pp. 1009-1027. Web.
Stoecker, Daine K. “Predators of Tintinnids.” Predators of Tintinnids. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 20
Sept. 2012. Web. 17 May 2016.