Water bears, SEM

Water bears, SEM

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Caption: Water bears. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of water bears (Echiniscus testudo) in their active state. Water bears (or tardigrades) are tiny invertebrates that live in coastal waters and freshwater habitats, as well as semi-aquatic terrestrial habitats like damp moss. They require water to obtain oxygen by gas exchange. In dry conditions, they can enter a cryptobiotic tun (or barrel) state of dessication to survive. Water bears feed on plant and animal cells and are found throughout the world, from the tropics to the cold polar waters. Magnification: x270 when printed 10cm high.

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Keywords: active, alive, animal, aquatic, bears, biology, coloured, cryptobiotic, drought-resistant, echiniscus testudo, invertebrate, invertebrates, meiofauna, microbiology, microscopic, nature, scanning electron micrograph, sem, tardigrada, tardigrade, tardigrades, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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