The phylum Tardigrada is more than 600 million years old and its members are at home in Antarctica, the tropical rain forest, and nearly everywhere in between.
These microscopic eight-legged wonders are tough little survivors, yet they’re so winsome that zoologists keep giving them cute nicknames:
Moss Piglets... Slow Steppers... Little Water Bears
Adorable, right? And tardigrades are plucky heroes who undergo cryptobiosis, which means they can “die” in inhospitable conditions (e.g. lack of oxygen or water), hold out until things improve, and then come back to life.
Who doesn’t love an optimist?
Uh-oh, new cute nickname coming on: Miraculous Tiny Death-Defying Tube Sock Double Ponies!
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