By Josie June 8th, 2023
Typically, they grow 0.004 to 0.06 inches in length.
They have a segmented body with head, thorax, and abdomen.
They can survive almost any extreme environment — from boiling temperatures to cold ones, from the depths of an ocean trench to the driest deserts.
They are mainly water-dwelling, also found in moist terrestrial environments.
They're distributed worldwide and can be found in extremely diverse habitats worldwide.
Tardigrades have existed for over 500 million years and evolved into over 1,300 known species
These tiny creatures come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Despite their small size, tardigrades have a surprisingly complex nervous system that allows them to detect and respond to environmental changes.
While they don’t have eyes, studies suggest that tardigrades are sensitive to changes in light and can sense different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
Tardigrades are known for their remarkable ability to enter a state of cryptobiosis, in which they can survive extreme conditions that would kill most other organisms.
When faced with a threat, such as a drying out or freezing environment, tardigrades can enter a state of desiccation and effectively shut down their metabolism.
Tardigrades consume microorganisms, helping to regulate populations and maintain balance in their respective ecosystems.
These monogamous animals typically form pairs that last for several years.
Cooperative parenting behavior is crucial for the survival of the pups in the icy Arctic.