“O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”
It’s an armed and dangerous fungus with a hair trigger. The fungus known as Haptoglossa uses high-velocity projectiles fired from automatic cannons built into its body. Thankfully, the fungus’s impressive weaponry is aimed at other microscopic creatures.
Haptoglossa lives in ponds and wet soil. Its prey is the microscopic rotifer. Rotifers are so tiny that they can as easily swim in pond water or the water between the grains that saturates moist soil. When the rotifer brushes against one of Haptoglossa’s cannon cells, the cannon fires a missile of cellular material into the rotifer. It’s thought that the cannon’s fire power comes from high pressure fluid at the base of the cell. The fired missile punches a hole through the rotifer’s protective covering, preparing the way for a second attack wave.
Next, the fungus extends a hypodermic tube into the rotifer. This tube delivers Haptoglossa’s single-celled infection unit into the rotifer. This cell begins to multiply inside the rotifer until the entire rotifer is nothing but fungus cells.
No matter how small and seemingly unimportant to us, everything God made reflects His creativity and excellent workmanship. Even microscopic creatures are filled with devices and inventions that move us to marvel at the Creator’s care for each life form He has made. As Scripture says, “How excellent are His works in all the Earth!”
I thank You, Lord, that everywhere I look in the creation I am filled with wonder at Your excellent workmanship. Help me to likewise put excellent workmanship in all that I do so that others may be led to glorify You by my work. Amen.
J.A. Treichel. 1983. “‘Peacekeeper’ Fungus: Rotifers Beware.” Science News, Jan. 8, p. 23. Photo: Bdelloid rotifer. Courtesy of Bob Blaylock. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.