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These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
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 bear — Webster
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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High temperatures due to global warming will be...
on January 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Global warming, a major aspect of climate change, is already causing a wide range of negative impacts on many habitats of our planet. It is thus of the utmost importance to understand how rising temperatures may affect animal health and welfare. A research group from the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen has just shown that tardigrades are very vulnerable to long-term high temperature exposures. Animals, which in their desiccated state are best known for their extraordinary […]
Dried-out tardigrades could point way to drug...
on October 24, 2019 at 1:18 pm
New insights into how tardigrades survive extremely dry environments could reveal new ways of preserving drugs, boosting crops' tolerance to drought or fighting disease, but so far there is no simple answer to how these tiny creatures endure desiccation.
Meet the 'mold pigs,' a new group of...
on October 8, 2019 at 5:12 pm
Fossils preserved in Dominican amber reveal a new family, genus and species of microinvertebrate from the mid-Tertiary period, a discovery that shows unique lineages of the tiny creatures were living 30 million years ago.
Cracking how 'water bears' survive the extremes
on October 1, 2019 at 7:56 am
Diminutive animals known as tardigrades appear to us as plump, squeezable toys, earning them irresistible nicknames such as "water bears" and "moss piglets."
Tardigrades: We're now polluting the moon with...
on August 9, 2019 at 1:07 pm
An Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet almost made it to the moon in April. It took a selfie with the lunar surface in the background, but then lost contact with Earth and presumably crashed onto the lunar surface. Now it's been revealed that the mission was carrying a cargo of dehydrated microscopic lifeforms known as tardigrades.