SEM of a tardigrade or waterbear

SEM of a tardigrade or waterbear

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Credit: ROBERT SCHUSTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (composite image) of a tardigrade, or waterbear, Hypsibius sp, a tiny segmented monster between 0.1mm & 1.0mm. The body is cylindrical with four stumpy legs terminating in large claws. The claws enable the tardigrade (slow walker) to move, as the name indicates, slowly. The body covering, or cuticle, is not chitin, but a water-permeable protein compound capable of swelling. Waterbears live in costal waters, ditches, lakes & in moss clumps on rocks, walls & roofs. Such environments are subject to temperature changes & desiccation. In response the tardigrade contracts its body into a resistant form called the barrel. Mag: X 850 (at 10x8 size).

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Keywords: animal, hypsibius sp., invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, tardigrada, tardigrade, water bear, wildlife, zoology

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