As the microscope slide slowly dries, the large ciliates tend to collect in areas where conditions are still liveable--last bastians, so to speak. Some protists will begin to revert to cyst form by changing the chemistry of the cell membranes to make them less permeable and entering an inactive state. The process of encystment is actually quite dramatic--it looks like the organism is spinning. There are two instances of encystment in this short video which focusses on the community of colpoda in the small mudpuddle.
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