The search for Scrabble words starting with 'bd' brought me to both bdellium and bdelloid rotors (and, ultimately, back to our tardigrade friends).
Bdellium is a semi-transparent oleo-gum resin extracted from Commiphora trees growing in Ethiopia, Erythrea and sub-Saharan Africa. It is also an ingredient in myrrh.
Bdelloid rotifers or "bdelloids" are asexual minute invertebrates found in freshwater habitats worldwide. There are over 450 described species.
Bdelloids share the ability to survive in dry, harsh environments by entering a state of desiccation-induced dormancy (anhydrobiosis) at any life stage (similar to the topic of an earlier post, the tardigrades ). This photo of one bdelloid species brought me right back to those Michelin Man tardigrades.
Like tardigrades, bdelloid rotifers are microscopic organisms, typically between 150 and 700 µm in length. They are slightly too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Bdelloids reproduce by ingesting the DNA of other organisms like bacteria, fungi, and algae as described here.
Bedelloid is from the ancient Greek βδέλλα , bdélla, meaning “leech."
It's my first experience with words starting with 'bd." How about you? Have you seen bdellium in the ingredients list for your myrrh or run into any of the 450 species of bdelloids?
Happy 'bday' bdelloids and bdellium,