Tardigrade, SEM

Tardigrade, SEM

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Credit: DR ROBERT SCHUSTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the tardigr- ade, or water bear, Macrobiotus richtersi, a small segmented animal with 8 stumpy legs terminating in small claws. The claws enable the tardigrade ("slow walker" in Latin) to move about slowly. The body covering, or cuticle, is not chitin, but a water-permeable protein compound capable of swelling. Water bears live in coastal waters, ditches, lakes & in clumps of moss. If the environment becomes desiccated, the tardigrade contracts its body into a highly resistant form called a barrel, which can survive as long as 60 years until a drop of water revives it. Magnific- ation: X 85 at 35mm size, X 600 at 8x10-inch size.

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Keywords: animal, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, scanning electron micrograph, tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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