WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WIM VAN EGMOND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tardigrade (Hypsibius dujardini) walking under a microscope. Tardigrades are commonly known as water bears or moss piglets. They are found in practically every habitat on Earth. Experiments have shown they can survive being frozen to near absolute zero and heated to 150 degrees Celsius. They have survived pressures of more than 6000 atmospheres, as well as prolonged exposure to the vacuum and radiation found in space. In unfavourable conditions they can dehydrate to 1% of their normal water content and remain alive in stasis for over a decade. Normally they prefer moist environments where they feed on algae and bacteria. Hypsibius dujardini is often used as a model organism in biological research, and its genome is being sequenced.
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