Light micrograph of a tardigrade or water bear

Light micrograph of a tardigrade or water bear

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Credit: DR DAVID PATTERSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Light micrograph of an unidentified tardigrade or water bear. Tardigrades are tiny, segmented animals, 0.1-1.0 millimetres in length. They are cylindrical in shape and bear four pairs of stumpy legs, each one terminating in a large claw. Tardigrades live in coastal waters, ditches, lakes, & in moss clumps on rocks, walls & roofs. Such environments are often subject to drastic temperature changes & desiccation. In times of drought tardigrades enter a dehydrated "capsule" state. They can survive for years at a time in this form, swelling up & returning to life when they encounter water. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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