Kate Solbakk



Rotifers are multicellular, unlike the single-celled protozoa, but that doesn’t always mean they’re bigger! Some protozoa are much larger than rotifers and can even swallow them whole.

Rotifers are filter feeders, using rows of cilia around their mouthparts to create a food-sucking vortex and a convincing illusion of spinning wheels.

We often look at things and think we understand them, but when trying to draw them, they suddenly stop making any sense at all. That's what happened with this drawing. I spent hours studying images of rotifers, watching videos over and over again trying to understand how I could draw these incomprehensible mouthparts.

It wasn't until about six years later that I finally saw a picture of a rotifer in extreme detail that clarified exactly how the cilia are arranged. Eventually I'd like to make a new, more accurate rotifer drawing, but I think this early attempt still has a certain charm.

Image: James Weiss

If you like this artwork, you can order a print of it here or support me on Ko-fi. For inquiries about DIY prints, licensing, commissions, collaborations or just to share enthusiasm about microbes, please email post@mikroliv.no, or send a message on Instagram. I love hearing from you!