Tardigrade, SEM

Tardigrade, SEM

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Caption: Tardigrade. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a marine tardigrade or water bear (Echiniscus testudo). These are tiny, segmented animals, 0.1-1.0mm in length. They are cylindrical in shape and bear four pairs of stumpy legs, each one terminating in a claw for clinging to sand or soil. Tardigrades live in coastal waters, ditches, lakes and moss clumps on rocks, walls and roofs. Such environments are often subject to drastic temperature changes. In times of drought they enter a dehydrated capsule state. They can survive for years at a time in this form, swelling up and returning to life when they encounter water. Magnification: x179 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: animal, beach fauna, echiniscus testudo, invertebrate, invertebrates, macrobiotus sp., nature, scanning electron micrograph, tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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