Tough Little Water Bears

8 July 2020

With COVID-19 raging around the world, we humans feel a little less invincible that we did a few months ago. Despite our own fragility there’s a tiny creature, less than 1mm long, that has survived all five mass extinctions. The tardigrade or water bear is practically indestructible.

Tardigrades have a second nickname — moss piglets — because moss and lichen are their favored habitat. Tardigrades don’t care how cold it is. They live in glacier mice and …

… a lot of harsh locations as shown in the video below.

Tardigrades’ only weakness seems to be prolonged heat, so climate change may be bad for them in some places on Earth. However, they’re so versatile and widespread I think most will survive. They are tough little water bears.

p.s. If you missed the blog post on glacier mice, click here to catch up.

(water bear screenshot from the Dodo video above; glacier mouse by cariberry via Flickr)

4 thoughts on “Tough Little Water Bears

  1. I am continuously amazed at how every day you bring us some fascinating information on an aspect of nature, often on a not well-known plant or animal like today. Thank you so very much. I have starnosed moles in my Squirrel Hill garden and I have found that they too are extraordinary creatures. I think your readers would be intrigued by them, if you ever wanted to write about their unusual anatomy and abilities.

  2. I agree with Betty R. This was fascinating. I hope these critters stick to lichen and mosses and never end up in our water supply. Yuck!?

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