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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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Glacier mice: these herds of moss-balls roam the...
on June 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Glaciers are commonly considered to be cold and barren places that are hostile to life. Plants cannot grow directly on these slowly flowing bodies of ice, but life can be found here nonetheless, and perhaps none of it stranger than the glacier mice.
Clarification of microbial community structures...
on May 15, 2020 at 3:18 pm
The research group of Assistant Prof. Yuu Hirose of the Department of Applied Chemistry and Life Science at Toyohashi University of Technology, Niigata University, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and the National Institute of Polar Research, has revealed the community structure of microorganisms living around freshwater lakes in the Langhovde and Skarvsnes ice-free areas of Antarctica.
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.