Tardigrades, also called water bears, are a phylum of microscopic, aquatic animals with segmented bodies. These creatures are related to arthropods and onychophorans. They are known for their adaptation to extreme environments using a low metabolic state called cryptobiosis.
Wikipedia article about water bears including their anatomy, evolution and adaptations to life in extreme environments.
And Water Bear it Is!
Entry in the DNA and Diversity blog about Hypsibius dujardini, a species of tardigrade whose genome is being sequenced.
Creative Collaborations: Globe-Trotting for Tardigrades
A story about a pair of American college students traveling to China to search for tardigrades for a Google Lunar X Prize team.
Do microorganisms have biogeography?
Blog post explaining a theory that microorganisms, including many tardigrades, disperse around the world.
Eight legged treats - Making gummy water bears
How a few scientists made gummy water bears using a silicone candy mold custom made from their 3D-printed plastic mold.
How to Find and Care for a Pet Tardigrade (Water Bear)
Tips for finding your own water bears, and keeping them as pets.
International Society of Tardigrade Hunters
Advancing the study of tardigrade biology while engaging and collaborating with the public.
Julia's water bear world
Julia loves water bears.
Life at the Limits Now Open
Video about 2015 "Life at the Limits" exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
Two American college students looking for tardigrades in China to send to the moon, on a Google Lunar X Prize mission
NASA Selects 26 Space Biology Research Proposals
In August 2014, NASA announced upcoming space biology projects to be carried out on the International Space Station.
Science Lesson Plan: Animals, Grades K-1 | Common Core
Lesson plan on animals for grades K-1 includes a blank Know/Want to Know/Learned chart and a featured extension on tardigrades.
Tardigrada - Encyclopedia of Life
Tardigrades section of the Encyclopedia of Life project
Current research on tardigrades compiled by two researchers.
Introduction, taxonomy of the tardigrade genera, and a description of Pseudobiotus megalonys. In German and English.
Movies, pictures, protocols and publications from a research laboratory at the University of North Carolina.
A monthly web magazine, video clips, and images.
Tardigrades in Space
TARDIS, a research project evaluating the ability of tardigrades to survive in open space conditions.
Tardigrades on Tumblr
Tardigrade images on Tumblr, some animated
Top 10 Things Launched Into Space in 2008
Wired story about 2008 space launch cargo, including tardigrades
World's Hardiest Organisms to Face 3 Years in Space
News from Popular Mechanics that a Russian spaceship that will visit one of Mars' moons will carry tardigrades and some other hardy organisms there and back
Wunderkammer, A Handmade Cabinet of Curiosity: Tardigrade pattern
Instructions for making a crochet water bear, with some photos.
Tardigrades Have the Right Stuff to Resist Radiation
A short article from the New York Times on a new discovery about how water bears survive high levels of radiation (September 26, 2016)
Barbie Now Has a Giant Tardigrade Steed
News of a 3D-printable tardigrade (May 24, 2016)
Tardigrades Are One Giant Head
A Discover Magazine post about the evolutionary origins of tardigrades (January 26, 2016)
Tardigrades, Frozen for 30 Years, Spring Back to Life
Discovery Magazine blog story about tardigrades that were revived after being frozen for 30 years. (January 18, 2016)
9 Real Things In Nature That Look So Unreal, You Have To Look Twice
Story about surprising aspects of nature, with photographs. (December 22, 2015)
When labs clash over tardigrade DNA, that's just science working as it should
Washington Post article about research groups disputing how much foreign DNA is in a tardigrade genome (December 07, 2015)
College research team discovers new species of tardigrade
A news article reporting the finding of a previously undiscovered species of tardigrade. (September 29, 2015)
3D-printed tardigrades - Boing Boing
Image of a 3D-printed water bear and a link to a site to print your own. (July 09, 2015)
The 7 biggest unsolved mysteries in science
A list of some unsolved mysteries in science. (May 26, 2015)
The Few Tough Species That Survive the Rigors of Nothingness
Story about water bears and lichens surviving exposure to the vacuum of space. (September 03, 2014)
The pied piper of cool science tools
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash and his students developed an inexpensive, paper microscope for seeing all sorts of things, including water bears. (April 10, 2014)
The Virtually Indestructible Water Bear
A news story for kids about water bears (April 05, 2014)
Absurd Creature of the Week: The Incredible Critter That's Tough Enough to Survive in Space
Wired Science column about strange organisms features water bears. (March 21, 2014)
This tiny creature is called a tardigrade
Image of the day from EarthSky: a colorful tardigrade image produced by confocal microscopy. (March 13, 2014)
Just another reason why tardigrades are the best micro-animals
Nicknamed water bears and moss piglets, the tiny creatures called tardigrades are adorable under the laser scanning microscope. Plus they can survive in the vacuum of space. (February 25, 2014)
New to nature No 105: Austeruseus faroensis
A series in The Guardian focuses this time on a new tardigrade species (June 08, 2013)
ET enjoys the simple things in life
A scientist considers the possibility of habitable worlds in the universe, the chances of them harbouring life, what aliens, if they exist, might be like, and how we might one day communicate with them across space and time. (May 20, 2013)
Tardigrade is plump, loveable
Blog post with a photo of a water bear (November 26, 2012)
How Does the Tiny Waterbear Survive in Outer Space?
Special adaptations allow the tiny animal known as the tardigrade to dry up and survive in suspended animation for years. (September 11, 2012)
Unusual Creatures, Beautiful Sounds: Composer Michael Hearst's New Album
An album of songs inspired by animals, including one song inspired by tardigrades. (June 07, 2012)
Nature Studies: We've lost touch with the tiny, microscopic things
A newspaper article about a lost appreciation for microscopic organisms. (May 10, 2012)
10 Intrepid Animal Astronauts
Ten animals who played an indispensable role in paving the inter-planetary way to space. (December 12, 2011)
Nothing frozen in Biomatrica’s storage process
San Diego Union-Tribune story about a company developing a storage process for biological samples, exploiting natural processes from tardigrades. (December 04, 2011)
Baby Squid, Bugs and Microbes Launched Into Space
Wired Science story about tardigrades and other organisms on the Space Shuttle Endeavor's final mission. (May 16, 2011)
Charismatic microfauna: A scientist dishes on the wild kingdom beneath our feet
An interview with a conservation scientist discussing the strange organisms she finds in soil, from an online environmental news magazine. (February 17, 2011)
Soil organisms: It's pretty vicious down there
Conservancy scientist Sophie Parker dishes the dirt on soil organisms and why you should care. (February 08, 2011)
The Indomitable Water Bear
Blog post about a short water bear zine by Chicago artist Alex Chitty (August 05, 2010)
Five Creatures That Prove Life Could Exist On Other Planets (Or In Space)
A blog post about animals and microbes that can survive extremes. (May 12, 2010)
Can Life Survive Deep Space? Let’s Send It There!
Wired Science story about an experiment sending organisms to a Martian moon, and then back to Earth. (October 09, 2009)
Behold the Mighty, Microscopic Water Bear
A short video from NPR's Science Friday about tardigrade research. (January 23, 2009)
Tiny water bears become first creatures to survive in space
Daily Mail story about tardigrades surviving a trip in open space (September 10, 2008)
'Water Bears' are First Animal to Survive Vacuum of Space
News article reporting that tardigrades exposed to the harsh combination of low pressure and intense radiation found in space, have survived and reproduced. (September 08, 2008)
A Science Prodigy in an Unlikely Place
A New York Times article about a student who, as an eighth grader, studied whether power plants affect local tardigrade diversity (March 09, 2008)
Hardy Li'l Critters will be First Tested in Open Space
News entry in the Boing Boing blog about tardigrades in space. (September 26, 2007)
Nature's Secrets: What is the Most Common Species in Southwest Florida?
A newspaper article about tardigrades from the Herald Tribune of Southwest Florida. (September 11, 2005)
A Tardigrade from Scotland
A tardigrade from Scotland, Isohypsibius annulatus, described in Microscopy UK's online magazine. (August 01, 2000)
The Incredible Water Bear
Article from Microscopy UK, illustrated with still images and video clips. (June 01, 2000)
Hunting for 'Bears' in the Backyard
Illustrated method for finding terrestrial tardigrades, an article from the Microscopy UK web magazine. (May 01, 1999)
Tardigrades - Bears of the Moss
An article from the Kansas School Naturalist features information about the habitat, anatomy, physiology, and special adaptations to extreme weather. Also, describes how to collect and study samples. Includes photos and diagrams. (May 01, 1997)
A Time Magazine article that mentions Abbe Spallanzani, who discovered tardigrades in 1776, approaching the French philosopher Voltaire to ask about the soul of organisms that can be rehydrated and brought back to life. (April 28, 1952)
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