Changing Planet

Eight-legged Water Bear Thrives in Indiana Dunes

tardigrade picture.jpg

Here’s an animal I’ve never heard of: the tardigrade. There are at least a thousand known species of the eight-legged aquatic animal, which is found all over the world.

In the picture above, William R. Miller, an assistant professor of biology at Baker University, Kansas, is holding a wooden model of a tardigrade, more commonly known as a water bear.

The model shows what the animal would look like if it was many, many times larger than it is in life. Tardigrades are so small that it could take as many as 50 of them in a row to measure one inch. It requires a microscope to get a good look at them.

Baker found several specimens of tardigrades in moss in the Indiana Dunes Bioblitz today. You can read more about this on my colleague Ford Cochran’s blog BlogWILD.

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

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