Tardigrade

An animal that can survive in Antartica, the Amazon Rainforest, the Sahara desert, and even space. Such an animal does not exist, right?

Well, yes, it does. It’s called the tardigrade, aka the water bear, and it is probaly one of the most amazing and resilient creatures ever known in history. 

Tardigrades can survive without water. The water is replaced with trelahose, a sugar that helps them survive in boiling water, Antartica, and even space!

Since the tardigrade can survive in space, and isn’t like any other creature on Earth, (which rules out evolution) some people think the tardigrade came from earth on an asteroid. 

All theories aside, the tardigrade, although resilient, is small; as small as this dot: —-> .  That’s pretty small… scientests have to look through a microscope to see it!

Speaking of seeing the tardigrade: here’s a picture: 

  
From http://tardigrade.us/nj-tardigrade-survey/

Here’s a “A color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a tardigrade found in moss samples from Croatia in its active state,” from New York Times.

  
Honestly, it’s pretty cute for a miscropscopic organism!

When tardigrades lose their water in order to survive extreme states, they become “tuns”. Every extreme tempature needs water to be harmful- freezing tempatures won’t be able to freeze water, and hot tempatures won’t be able to boil the water.

Micheal W. Shaw, a man who researches tardigrades, has found them in every county in New Jersey. They can be found anywhere in the world!

Some people even think that if their DNA is ever damaged, they can repair it, somehow, although no one is sure if this is true. 

Tardigrades survived against pressure 6,000 times the pressure of our atmosphere. Can you imagine being able to do that? I didn’t think so. 

Absolute zero is so cold that there is no molecular movement, no warmth. It is an impossible tempature- it has never been that cold on Earth. So, scientests saw if tardigrades could withstand a tempature just a little higher than absolute zero- 273.15c (the coldest tempature in the world)! They could!

Where do they come from? How can they survive so well? Can this help human kind in any way? Comment your opinions below and start a discussion, or give me any ideas for new articles!

Sources: 

Dean, Cornelia “The Tardigrade: Practically Invisible, Indestructible ‘Water Bears’” New York Times September 7, 2015 

http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/19/5-reasons-why-the-tardigrade-is-natures-toughest-animal/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280286/Meet-toughest-animal-planet-The-water-bear-survive-frozen-boiled-float-space-live-200-years.html

More things to explore: 

http://tardigrade.us/nj-tardigrade-survey/ 

This is an amazing site with interactive videos, pictures, information, and many links! 

Micheal W. Shaw was mentioned in this article. If you would like to try to find some tardigrades yourself, here is a great website where he explains how! 

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artoct11/ms-tardigrades.html

 


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