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rhamphotheca: Tardigrades  … commonly known as waterbears or moss piglets, are small, water-dwelling, segmented animals with eight legs. They form the phylum Tardigrada, part of the superphylum Ecdysozoa.  The largest adults may reach a body length of 1.5 mm (0.059 in), the smallest below 0.1 mm. Freshly hatched tardigrades may be smaller than 0.05 mm. Some 1,150 species of tardigrades have been described. Tardigrades occur throughout the world, from the Himalayas above 6,000 metres (20,000 ft)), to the deep sea (below 4,000 metres (13,000 ft)) and from the polar regions to the equator. The most convenient place to find tardigrades is on lichens and mosses. Other environments are dunes, beaches, soil, andmarine or freshwater sediments, where they may occur quite frequently (up to 25,000 animals per litre). Tardigrades often can be found by soaking a piece of moss in spring water. Tardigrades are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of close to absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin (−273 °C (−459 °F)), temperatures as high as 151 °C (304 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water... (read more: Wikipedia)       (image: Kage Microphotography)

Egg of a Water Bear (Tardigrade M. sapiens) Courtesy of Oliver Meckes ( SEM 1000 x)

tardigrade, tardigrades

tardigrades (also called “water bears”) are the only known animal capable of surviving prolonged exposure to the vacuum of space.

Fabulous shot of a Panther Chameleon, from Nosy Mangabe, Madagascar (Endangered)