Animal Pavillion

Cow Rumen Protist and Bacilli

Click here to see a JPEG of this microbe.

Kingdom: Eubacteria and Protist
Scientific Name: Diplodinium
Image Courtesy of: C.L. Davis, University of Illinois
Image Width: 35 microns
Image Technology: SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope)

The large creature in this view is a protist that lives in the rumen (one of the stomachs) of a cow. The protist is covered with many other microbes that look like strings of beads or sausage links. The smaller microbes are bacilli, a type of bacterium. Bacilli (the singular form is bacillus) is a term used to refer to any of the many types of rod-shaped bacteria.

Several kinds of plant-eating animals related to cows, called ruminants, have similar microbe populations in their guts. Goats, reindeer, camels, giraffes and deer are all ruminants.