- PANEL 3
The smallest animals and plants in the river are too small to be seen
with the naked eye. There is a microscopic world teeming with thousands
of species of viruses, bacteria, micro algae and protozoa. There can be
hundreds of thousands of these creatures in a litre of river water and
more in a litre of the sediment or mud. All of these are eaten by a swarm
of small animals known collectively as microinvertebrates (animals less
than 2 mm), which include crustaceans, worms, molluscs, fish hatchlings
and others that can only be recognised under a microscope. The animals
shown here are just a very small selection of these microinvertebrates.
The microinvertebrate world of freshwater pools in the floodplain has
a similar make-up of crustaceans, molluscs, worms and fish hatchlings
but also includes insect larvae and small multi-celled animals called
rotifers. Insects become an important part of the community in the freshwater
part of the river and wetlands.
on the image to find out more about each of the animals in this panel.