Behold the Mightly Tardegrade aka: I love Water Bears.

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justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 1, 2010 - 10:14pm PT
Before I was an artist I was a science nerd. I just think water bears (aka "moss piglets") are cool. They are natures true immortal and pretty darn cute for a microscopic critter.


QUOTE: Water bears are unique microscopic organisms which can be found in almost every environment on Earth. The first water bears were observed in 1773, by Johann Goeze, a German clergyman and zoologist. He observed small creatures in water samples when he magnified them, and he called them little “water bears” after their lumbering movements and bear-like appearance. Under high magnification, water bears really do look remarkably like bears, although they have two extra sets of feet and obviously segmented bodies. Their faces are also quite expressive, and some beautiful prints of magnified water bears can be found in natural history museums.

The thing that makes water bears remarkable is their ability to survive in extreme situations. These creatures can tolerate far more radiation than most other organisms can, and they can also survive in temperature extremes, high pressure areas like hydrothermal vents deep under the ocean, and in the vacuum of space. They can also be dehydrated for up to a decade without any ill effects. Water bears also appear to be capable of dealing with many environmental toxins.

Because of their amazing versatility, water bears can be found in incredibly diverse environments all over the world. Scientists have also conducted tests with these hardy animals, subjecting them to extreme pressure, intense cold, and severe radiation exposure. The average water bear can take as much as 570 times the amount of radiation it takes to kill a human!

Water bears have another interesting trait; they are eutelic organisms, meaning that mature adults retain the same number of cells throughout their lives. Once a tardigrade reaches maturity, growth is accomplished by cell expansion, rather than cell division. A typical adult water bear has around 40,000 cells in its body.



Credit: justthemaid


They even have their AWESOME own video and song!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKamWp610ng



OK... I'm done geeking out now.





MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Dec 1, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
I'll be your "moss Pooh" to your "moss Piglet"!

:^)
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
Dec 1, 2010 - 10:17pm PT
Geek! Hey, wanna buy a microscope? Trade ya for some glass.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 1, 2010 - 10:17pm PT
Where does that leave 'moss-Tigger'?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2010 - 10:24pm PT
Aw^^ ... and where does that leave poor moss- Tiger?

BTW- Just a warning...

That waterbear song starts replaying in your head worse than It's a Small World once you listen too it.

LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Dec 1, 2010 - 11:24pm PT
best post of the night Maidie!

"Pressure never leaves you in despair
When
You're a
WATER BEAR"
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 1, 2010 - 11:27pm PT
Thanks Maidy. Truly weird.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 2, 2010 - 12:29am PT
Bump for tardegrades, of which I have recently learned - notwithstanding what at first blush seems a politically incorrect name. Is there such a thing as a water tigger?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 12:58am PT
The colonel once me that many of the'floaters' on sees through one's eyes, were in reality water bears...
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 01:33am PT
I would be honored to have water bears living in my eyes.


More about their cryptobiosis (deathlike state):

The most common type of cryptobiosis studied in tardigrades is anhydrobiosis. Anton van Leeuwenhoek first documented cryptobiosis in 1702, when he observed tiny animalcules in sediment collected from house roofs. He dried them out, added water, and found that the animals began moving around again. The animalcules were likely nematodes or rotifers, other types of cryptobiotic animals. Tardigrades can survive dry periods by curling up into a little ball called a tun. Tun formation requires metabolism and synthesis of a protective sugar known as trehalose, which moves into the cells and replaces lost water. While in a tun, their metabolism can lower to less than 0.01% of normal. Revival typically takes a few hours, depending on how long the tardigrade has been in the cryptobiotic state.

Live tardigrades have been regenerated from dried moss kept in a museum for over 100 years! Once the moss was moistened, they successfully recovered from their tuns. While tardigrades can survive in extreme environments, they are not considered extremophiles because they are not adapted to live in these conditions. Their chances of dying increase the longer they are exposed to the extreme environment.





Credit: justthemaid



Credit: justthemaid




Credit: justthemaid
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 02:17am PT
Jeebus, I never was much for drinking water but now you've put me totally
off that shite! I'm not sure I can even get it up to take a shower now.
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:56am PT
Tardigrade, the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUC0_HjNFBs

http://www.baertierchen.de/sweets_e.html

Please note the following mental and health risks: in some case addictive behaviour towards tardigrades has been noted.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 11:35am PT
"Water Bear Survives Naked in Space"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26613502/ns/technology_and_science-space/


"The tardigrades were aboard the FOTON-M3 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency in September 2007 and were exposed to open space conditions, the scientists reported today. They were examined upon return to Earth.

Most survived exposure to the vacuum and cosmic rays, and some even survived the exposure to the deadly levels of solar UV radiation, which are more than 1,000 times higher than on the surface of the Earth.

The survivors "could reproduce fine after their space trip," according to a statement released Monday by Cell Press, the journal that published results of the test."




Credit: justthemaid




MisterE

Social climber
Dec 13, 2012 - 12:05am PT
Water you do when you can't bear it?
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Dec 13, 2012 - 12:07am PT
I don't know - water you do ?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:19am PT
JTM, are you related to Warrant Officer Ripley?
MisterE

Social climber
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:23am PT
I find this whole aside very tardigrading.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 13, 2012 - 01:26am PT
Can Mighty Tardegrades Hike, or do they just swim, and float in space?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2012 - 09:50am PT
Can Mighty Tardegrades Hike, or do they just swim, and float in space?


Monks have sat on mountaintops for aeons contemplating the answer to that very question.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 13, 2012 - 12:00pm PT
The only reason I know what a taregrade even is (in spite of being a biologist) is that there is a totally wacky house in Berkeley that was built using the tardegrade as its inspiration. Apparently, it's a super indestructible creature, and the architect wanted a super indestructible house.

Check out their line of clothing as well. This is someone who is really committed to living their life in a wacky way with no apparent sense of irony.

http://www.tdrinc.com/tsuihs.html



MisterE

Gym climber
Being In Sierra Happy Of Place
Jun 1, 2015 - 09:04pm PT
bump!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jun 1, 2015 - 09:56pm PT
What an Amosszing Thread!!!
MisterE

Gym climber
Being In Sierra Happy Of Place
Jun 1, 2015 - 10:39pm PT
I always thought Tardigrade was a short-bus venture until I met my wife...
thebravecowboy

climber
liberated libertine
Jun 1, 2015 - 11:21pm PT
Abandoned in dry water holes, these barren animals can be exposed to heavy doses of X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, proton beams, high energy electrons, and ultraviolet radiation with no ill effects. Embryonic cysts of an ephemeral pool crustacean were actually dangled outside of the space shuttle, exposed directly to the cold and radiation of outer space, and were later brought back to earth and added to water, where they came to life within minutes. The universe could be accidentally colonized by such creatures. In a sadistic array of experiments, adult tardigrades, also known as water bears, were once kept for eight days in a vacuum, transferred into helium gas at room temperature for three days, and then exposed for several hours to nearly -450 degrees Fahrenheit. Placed in water at room temperature, they returned to life, no questions asked.

Perhaps the most telling experiment is that anhydrobiotic cysts of crustaceans are packaged and sold to children. Often they are sold as "sea monkeys," presented on packages with the females wearing pink bows in their sensory organs, and families of smiling crustaceans reclining in underwater living rooms (the wife wearing an apron, the husband smoking a pipe). At a toy store I once bought an envelope of Triops eggs (Desert Dan brand); the print on the back informed me that they would live twenty to seventy days, "unless, of course, they are eaten alive by their cannibal siblings."

The packaging read:
TRIOPS
From The Age Of
DINOSAURS
Watch
Their
AMAZING
AQUA-BATICS
They're
ALIVE
Just Add Water
They Hatch In
24 Hours
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GROW INSTANT PETS

I put them in a cup and within twenty-four hours small objects could be seen scuttling across the bottom. No false advertising. I instantly had pets. And they were, indeed, from the age of the dinosaurs, as Desert Dan had professed. The aquabatics would come later as they were eating each other. What truly separates these dehydrated organisms from every other living thing is that they have no metabolism. Even scientists who contend that all life requires a metabolism admit that anhydrobiotes must exist at the minutest fraction of the speed of normally metabolizing specimens. If this were a human, the heart would beat three times every year. But there does not appear to be even a slow heartbeat in anyhydrobiotes. Using radiochemical assay, researchers have not been able to detect enzyme activity in any "live" organisms below 8 percent water content by body weight. There appear to be no working parts in these organisms: they are as dead as rocks. If a Mars lander were to be in given a scoop of dust from a dry water hole and allowed to run all of the spores and shrimp eggs and desiccated adults of various species through its battery of life-finding tests, it would conclude that no life was ever present.


Craig Childs, Secret Knowledge of Water
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 1, 2015 - 11:59pm PT
Yes, they definitely challenge us to redefine our traditional notion of 'life' and their genome reveals much about resilience and repair of proteins and DNA. Fascinating all the way around.
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