There are more than a thousand different species of tardigrades, a group of tiny creatures that has been on earth for at least 500 million years. Short, plump and eight-legged, they grow to half a millimetre long. They have been found in most environments on earth, and can survive most conditions (including the vacuum and radiation of deep space) by drying themselves out to a tiny capsule. They are also known as water bears or moss piglets.
(For more about tardigrades, look in the Dark Sky Park Zone. They are the real heroes of that book.)
Published: 19 June, 2018