New tardigrade species withstands lethal UV radiation thanks to fluorescent 'shield'

Another amazing tardigrade survival skill is discovered.

Credit: Suma et al., Biology Letters (2020)
  • Apparently, some water bears can even beat extreme UV light.
  • It may be an adaptation to the summer heat in India.
  • Special under-skin pigments neutralize harmful rays.
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Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
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Scientists finally figure out why the water bear is nearly indestructible

Freeze it, boil it, or expose it to radiation. The water bear shrugs it off. Now we know why. 

 

Medically accurate model of a tardigrade or water bear.

The tardigrade, also known as the moss piglet or water bear, is a bizarre, microscopic creature that looks like something out of a Disney nightmare scene: strange but not particularly threatening. The pudgy, eight-legged, water-borne creature appears to be perpetually puckering. It's the farthest thing from what you'd expect an unstoppable organism to look like.

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