First off...An Introduction

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     Tardigrades are of a phyla that belongs to the kingdom of Animalia. Tardigrades are sometimes mistakenly classified under the phylum of Arthropoda, as they somewhat resemble arachnids, but are actually categorized by their own phyla, Tardigrada. The word "tardigrade" literally means "slow stepper". They were first described by German clergyman Johann Goeze.

     Tardigrades grow to an average of 1mm long, and inhabit aquatic, and semi-aquatic environments. They like mosses, and you can probably find a great number of them in your own back yard!

     Furthermore, they have been shown to survive some of the harshest battery of tests and environments the world (and beyond!) have to offer.

Just To Give You An Idea...

     Here is a video of a rendered tardigrade swimming, to give you an idea of what to think of when you hear "water bear"!


Video courtesy of Curtis Lawrence; if the video does not load, here is a youtube link!

Now that that's out of the way...

     Feel free to browse around the site; there's plenty more information to be had about these very interesting (and shockingly adorable!) little critters.    

This image is used with the gracious permission of Goldstein Labs at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill