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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Water Bear

Water Bear

Rick Gillis and Roger J. Haro Department of Biology University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Water Bear
Known scientifically as "tardigrades," are minute creatures ranging in size from 0.1 to 1.5 millimeters. Thanks to their ability to enter a state of cryptobiosis, (suspended animation) when faced with hostile conditions, these creatures have been found in nearly every environment on Earth: from the high Himalayas to the deep oceans, and from the arctic ice-caps to the tropics. Tardigrades are extraordinarily hardy and can survive extremes of heat and cold, high and low pressure, high radiation, and dehydration.

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