Colour SEM of tardigrade or water bear, Stygarctus

Colour SEM of tardigrade or water bear, Stygarctus

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Marine tardigrade. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a marine tardigrade or "water bear", Stygarctus sp. This tiny segmented animal lives as meiofauna in wet beach sand. Its body is cylindrical in shape with four pairs of stumpy legs, giving it by appearance the popular name of "water bear". Each leg terminates in many claws. It uses these claws to move through sand, and since it can't swim the claws tightly grip onto sand grains to anchor the animal. This Stygarctus sp. is a member of the important meiofauna ecosystem particular to beaches and which helps to clean sand of bacteria and pollutants. Magnification: x830 at 5x7cm size. x1,380 at 4x5"

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Keywords: animal, beach fauna, invertebrate, invertebrates, meio-fauna, meiofauna, nature, stygarctus sp, stygarctus sp., tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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