Why Tardigrades Are Impossible To Kill

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Tardigrades
are a part of the phylum Tardigrada in the clade taxa PATA, which also includes the phylum Arthropoda, which is essentially every bug you've ever encountered. File limbs usually contain a very wide variety of creatures that can oftentimes share no immediately discernible traits with one another. Well, Arthropoda includes everything from crabs to spiders to fruit flies and centipedes.


Tardigrades
have a whole branch of evolution all to themselves. These little invertebrates are composed of five body segments, with four trunk segments that each support a pair of legs that end with claws or little fingers. The first three sets of legs are what tardigrades used for movement, while the last set is used primarily for grasping a substance and other matter.

There are over 1300 different species of tardigrades comprising three main classes try to Greta Meza Tata Greta and hetero Tata Greta there are differences between the three classes, but the one with the most diverse and most significant visual differences is hetero Tata Greta who has thick dentate plates covering their backs oh, what they're like little armored.


There's exactly German zoologist Johann Auguste Ephram goes first describes tardigrades and names them water bears because they're very commonly found in moist environments. And because of their resemblance to, obviously bears. They're also occasionally referred to as moss piglets for the exact same reasons. Their name TardiGrata means slow walkers, which was given to them by Italian biologist Lazaro Spelen Zani.

Typically, tardigrades grow to a range between half a millimeter to a millimeter long. So while it's possible to see a tardigrade with the naked eye, you'd be like trying to read a book that's sitting on the other side of a hockey rink.

So if you want to find them on your own, you're gonna need a microscope. Finding a tardigrade isn't actually all that hard. Tardigrades are so prolific that you can find them all over the world. They make their homes in three basic environments, saltwater, freshwater, and land. No matter where you find them, they will always be surrounded by water.

If you want to find these little guys in your own backyard, a patch of wet moss is the best place to look. Simply take a small patch of moss, place it in a small dish, ideally, a petri dish, and soak it with water. Once the moss is thoroughly wet, wring out the water in the moss into another dish and then take a look at it under a microscope. And while you may not spot a moss piggy on your first try, don't lose hope. It might take you a few tries to catch one.


Wow. Boo Boo, do you have an idea of the microscope? There's one under my bed. Go nuts. Oh, okay. I'll be right back. The fascinating thing about tardigrades is that they have a sort of celebrity status among invertebrates for being Nyan destructible or even immortal. But that's not entirely true. It's more accurate to say that they're better adapted to surviving inhospitable environments that would easily kill a human being. Tardigrades can survive temperatures as low as negative 20 degrees for decades.


Some have even been seen to survive environments as high as 150 degrees Celsius and as cold as negative 272 degrees Celsius for a few minutes. The witches are absolutely off-the-wall bonkers if you consider that absolute zero a theoretical temperature that can only be achieved by the existential heat death of the entire universe is only one point 15 degrees colder than that.


Tardigrades
accomplish this by going into what's called a ton state, a form of hibernation in which they dehydrate to almost 0% water and slow their metabolism to 0.01% of normal. In this form, tardigrades replaced the water content in their cells with a sugar mixture called tardigrades specific intrinsically disordered proteins, or tapas, which is a bunch of fancy words that mean a substance that tardigrades use to survive stuff, but we're not entirely sure how it works. All we need to know is that in a ton state using TVP, tardigrades can survive without water for up to a decade, pressures equal to 6000 atmospheres which is six times stronger than the lowest point in the ocean, and up to 1000 rays of gamma radiation, of which mammals can only survive five.


Researchers are fascinated by these creatures and their survival skills because they may hold secrets to how life might travel through this universe. In 2007, the European Space Agency sent samples of tungstate tardigrades into low.


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