Tardigrades and Electron Microscopes

Water Bear
These images have been bopping around for a while, but we are just so fascinated every time we look at them. For those of you that didn’t know they existed until now, here are some particulars.

Tardigrade

The creatures are called Tardigrades. They are tiny animals that rarely get as big as a millimeter. They are outrageously durable, multi-cellular, and have a complex physical structure very similar to animals much larger than themselves. Tardigrades are fairly common and come in over 400 species. The claws on their eight legs look bear-like, so they are popularly called “water bears.”

Tardigrade through an electron microscope

Water Bears

Anyway, there are tons of articles about Tardigrades online, so we won’t bother delving any further. This video is a nice (and hectic) synopsis of what tardigrades are and provides some quick notes on what makes them so incredible.

All we want for Christmas is an electron microscpe. Will you put us on your wish list?

So this whole thing about looking into the microscopic universe is awesome. Since peering into microscopes in middle school science classes, we’ve been intrigued by the things too tiny for us to see with the naked eye. Somewhere along the science class experience we discovered images shot by electron microscopes. The thing that makes them so utterly cool is that they can create crystal clear pictures in a full three-dimensional format. And, they can also show things just about as small as an atom. Well, ain’t that a fine howdy-do? Here are some cool subparticle images. Welcome to the world of the weird.

Human Sperm through an Electron Microscope
It’s hard to believe that one of these little guys is going to marry that egg and their offspring will grow up to be an immature, entitled brat from Jersey Shore.

Bacteriophages attacking cell

12 thoughts on “Tardigrades and Electron Microscopes

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