Tardigrades: 15 Fascinating Facts (Part 2)




Not long ago we brought you part one of this list of facts about the scientific anomaly, tardigrades. We learned that they have the ability to dry themselves out to survive without water and that they can even survive open space. Here is part two of our list of facts about this amazing animal.

Number Eight: Tubular Mouths and Dagger-Like Teeth

These are used to capture other living creatures along with algae. Although they are most typically herbivores who feed on plant cells and bacteria, there exist a few different species that are carnivorous predators and feed on animals even tinier than them.

Number Seven: The Longest Living Organism on Earth

These creatures have lived on earth for half a billion years and survived all five of earth’s mass extinctions. Evidence thus far points to the fact that they will likely out-survive human beings by a long stretch of time.

Number Six: Tardigrades Can Withstand Extreme Pressure

Most types of tardigrades can handle about 1,200 times the average atmospheric pressure. There are some types, however, that can withstand up to 6,000 times the normal amount, which goes far beyond the pressure of the Mariana trench.

Number Five: The Oviparous Animal

This means that the females lay eggs inside of the cuticle of their body, and the male tardigrade covers them with his sperm. Other species that are not oviparous practice internal reproduction.

Number Four: Extreme Heat

Scientists have really put these creatures to the test, and they have passed every one, including serious heat. In one experiment, they were placed in temperatures of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit and survived for a few minutes.

Number Three: They Can Halt Metabolic Activity

This also contributes to their amazing survival abilities. The creatures can go into a state called cryptobiosis which means they can reverse their metabolism and essentially pause their bodily functions.

Number Two: Self-Repairing DNA

This is why they can survive radiation as previously mentioned. They have the capability of repairing their own DNA.

Number One: Born With Adult Cells

Instead of regenerating new ones like a lot of other creatures, their existing cells simply expand as they mature. We hope you enjoyed part two of our article.

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