Water bear. Light microscopy of a water bear dehydrating to enter a dormant state, known as a tun. Water bears (or tardigrades) are tiny invertebrates that live in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats such as lichen and damp moss. In dry conditions, they can enter a cryptobiotic state of dessication, in which they can survive for up to a decade. They are found throughout the world, including regions of extreme temperature, such as hot springs, and extreme pressure, such as deep underwater. Water bears can also survive the high levels of radiation and vacuum of space.
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