Read this amazing post about the superpowers of tardigrades, or water bears!
Science fiction and superhero stories are filled with people who have extraordinary abilities. People who can heal, who can walk through walls, survive vacuums, see perfectly in the dark. It’s quite a glamorous affair, especially when the characters jump off the page and onto the silver screen.
There are real animals on Earth, though, that do possess superpower-like qualities, many of which are specialized traits that have evolved as survival mechanisms. This post will delve into just one such creature: the tardigrade.
Hello! My name is Tardigrade! (Image courtesy of Alex Ferri Land)
The tardigrade is a microscopic aquatic invertebrate with four pairs of stubby legs. First discovered in 1773 by German zoologist Goeze, over 900 species have since been discovered around the world, and it seems only recently have researchers begun to decipher the molecular mechanisms that allow for this “extremophile” to survive the harshest of environments.
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