Water bear, light micrograph

Water bear, light micrograph

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Water bear. Light micrograph of a water bear (phylum Tardigrada). This tiny cylindrical animal has four pairs of stumpy legs (not clearly seen), each one ending in a claw, which it uses to cling to sand or soil. Members of the Tardigrada live in coastal waters, ditches, lakes and even water films on moss clumps. In these environments they must be able to withstand drastic temperature changes and periods of complete dessication. To do this, they enter a dehydrated capsule state known as a "barrel". They can survive in this form for years, returning to life when they again encounter water. Dark field illumination. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, biology, dark field illumination, drought-resistant, invertebrate, invertebrates, light micrograph, microbiology, nature, tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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