Monday, January 14, 2008

Amazing Video of World's Toughest Anima

Amazing Video of World's Toughest Animal | Wired Science from Wired.com: "Amazing Video of World's Toughest Animal
By Brandon Keim January 14, 2008 | 8:42:33 AM

You'd never guess from looking at these clips that the millimeter-long tardigrade is the world's toughest animal, found from deep ocean to Himalayan mountaintops, able to survive at a single degree above absolute zero.

How tough are tardigrades? They require water to live, but in a pinch can drop their metabolism to a hundredth of normal and wait -- up to a decade if necessary -- until it's wet again. In this so-called cryptobiotic state they can shrug off lethal radiation doses and even the vacuum of space.

But for all that, if you've got a pond nearby, or even a patch of rocks and moss, you've probably got yourself some tardigrades. They're egalitarian as well as exceptional. And to help imagine them, take a look at these videos; maybe it's just Monday morning, but they seem simultaneously ethereal and earthy, more soulful than I'd ever expect a few thousand cells to be." You'd never guess from looking at these clips that the millimeter-long tardigrade is the world's toughest animal, found from deep ocean to Himalayan mountaintops, able to survive at a single degree above absolute zero.

Click on Title Link for more videos of the "water bear."

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