Tardigrade

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Introduction1

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tardigrade : any of a phylum (Tardigrada) of microscopic invertebrates with four pairs of stout legs that live usually in water or damp moss — called also water bearWebster

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Tardigrade Tardigrades, also known colloquially as water bears, or moss piglets), are water-dwelling, eight-legged, segmented micro-animals. They were first discovered by the German zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. The name Tardigrada (meaning “slow stepper”) was given three years later by the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani. They have been found everywhere: from mountain tops to the deep sea and mud volcanoes; from tropical rain forests to the Antarctic.

Tardigrades are one of the most resilient known animals, with individual species able to survive extreme conditions that would be rapidly fatal to nearly all other known life forms, such as exposure to extreme temperatures, extreme pressures (both high and low), air deprivation, radiation, dehydration, and starvation. About 1,150 known species form the phylum Tardigrada, a part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa. The group includes fossils dating from 530 million years ago, in the Cambrian period.

Usually, tardigrades are about 0.5 mm (0.02 in) long when they are fully grown. They are short and plump, with four pairs of legs, each with four to eight claws also known as “disks”. Tardigrades are prevalent in mosses and lichens and feed on plant cells, algae, and small invertebrates. When collected, they may be viewed under a very low-power microscope, making them accessible to students and amateur scientists. — Wikipedia

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Tardigrades (Goldstein Lab, UNC Chapel Hill)

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • A huge project is underway to sequence the genome...
    on January 19, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    The Earth Biogenome Project, a global consortium that aims to sequence the genomes of all complex life on earth (some 1.8 million described species) in ten years, is ramping up.

  • Sending tardigrades to the stars
    on January 6, 2022 at 5:31 pm

    No longer solely in the realm of science fiction, the possibility of interstellar travel has appeared, tantalizingly, on the horizon. Although we may not see it in our lifetimes—at least not some real version of the fictional warp-speeding, hyperdriving, space-folding sort—we are having early conversations of how life could escape the tether of our solar system, using technology that is within reach.

  • Peers dispute claim that tardigrades were...
    on December 20, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Scientists and journalists alike are disputing claims made by an international team of researchers that they had entangled a tardigrade with superconducting qubits. Their paper is published on the arXiv preprint server. Virtually all of those with an opinion pointed out that the work by the researchers in this new effort did not involve entanglement.

  • Characterizing tardigrades' disordered protein to...
    on December 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    A team of researchers from the University of Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, CEA Institut de Biologie Structurale and one with the National (Taiwan) University has learned more about the unique protein made by tardigrades that allows them to survive in extremely hostile conditions. They've published their findings in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

  • Researchers describe new tardigrade fossil found...
    on October 6, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are a diverse group of charismatic microscopic invertebrates that are best known for their ability to survive extreme conditions. A famous example was a 2007 trip to space where tardigrades were exposed to the space vacuum and harmful ionizing solar radiation, and still managed to survive and reproduce after returning to Earth. Tardigrades are found in all the continents of the world and in different environments including marine, freshwater, and […]

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Related

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Knowledge Realm

Terrestrial

Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Life Cell, Gene, Tree of Life
Microorganism
Plant Flower, Tree
Animal
Invertebrate Cuttlefish, Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human

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Notes

1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.