This is Cucu.
Cucu is short for Daphnia cucullata. This little creature is part of the Cladocera, or water flea, family. Water fleas are related to crustaceans, or shellfish, who you’ve certainly heard of and who you might even have eaten!
Cucu is approximately 1.5 millimetres long, and you can just about see it with your bare eye. If you want to take a closer look at Cucu, you’ll need a microscope.
Here you can see Bosmina.
Bosmina also has a scientific name, just like Cucu – Bosmina longispina. Much like Cucu, Bosmina’s also a member of the water flea clan. Bosmina is smaller than Cucu, measuring in at just 0.6 millimetres. To properly see Bosmina, you really need a microscope!
Naturally, Cucu and Bosmina live in water, after all, they are water fleas. They prefer fresh water, lakes and ponds, but they also live along the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Water fleas are also called plankton. Lots of fish and other creatures in the water eat plankton. And strangest of all, Cucu and Bosmina also eat plankton. Well, whether you even call it eating in the way we understand it is debatable, as they strain the food through slits in their stomachs. Isn’t that fascinating?
What do you think Cucu and Bosmina get up to when they’re not filtering food through their stomachs?
We don’t really know what they do or think, if they even do think. But don’t worry about that, let’s just pretend we know!
What we do know for sure is that they want to live in clean water.
We still have so much more to learn about water fleas and other little creatures floating about in seas and lakes. That’s why we’d love for you to get to know Cucu and Bosmina. Don’t they seem fun?
Follow Cucu and Bosmina on their adventures in a book.