Tardigrade, SEM

Tardigrade, SEM

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Caption: Tardigrade. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a tardigrade or water bear (Echiniscus testudo) in its cryptobiotic tun (or barrel) state. The tardigrade is a tiny invertebrate that lives in coastal waters and freshwater habitats, as well as semi-aquatic terrestrial habitats like damp moss. It requires water to obtain oxygen by gas exchange. The tun state is a response to a period of dessication. It contracts and extrudes a wax covering as its metabolism drops to near-zero. Addition of water will revive it. The tardigrade feeds on plant and animal cells. It is found throughout the world, from the tropics to the cold polar waters. Magnification: x515 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, barrel, bears, biology, coloured, cryptobiot, cryptobiotic, cryptobiotism, cryptobiots, dessicated, dessication, dried, drought-resistant, dry, echiniscus testudo, invertebrate, invertebrates, meiofauna, microbiology, microscopic, nature, scanning electron micrograph, sem, spore, suspended animation, tardigrada, tardigrade, tardigrades, tun, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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