Microbes: tiny little critters

Tiny tiny

It’s always easy to get lost in a National Geographic-style wonders-of-nature excursion, but that’s not the purpose here. We only want to get a working handle on the fact of the countless tiny living organisms all around us. What are they up to? How can we usefully think about them, in a keep-it-simple way?

Microbes, or microorganisms, are tiny forms of life that are invisible to the naked eye—you need a microscope to see them.

You may remember that a cell is a little balloon of activity, an outer membrane holding a thick soup of life-sustaining necessities, the smallest unit of life that can reproduce on its own, and probably the first form of life on the planet, all creatures are made up of cells.

There are several types of microbe, some famous, others pretty obscure, including

bacteria, protozoa, fungi, algae, and

bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, microscopic animals, microscopic plants, and viruses

bacteria, protozoa, fungi, algae, viruses

bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, viruses, microscopic animals