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  1. TARDIGRADES: C Bears of the Moss • Dr. William R. Miller Southwestern College Winfield, KS 67152 316-442-6051 h2obear@horizon.hit.net

  2. WHAT IS A TARDIGRADE? A Tardigrade is a microscopic aquatic animal that lives in mosses and lichens. 0.5 mm It looks like a little caterpillar that is less than 1/2 mm in length.

  3. A TARDIGRADE has: • 5 body segments • Separate sexes, lays eggs • 4 pair of legs ending in claws • Nervous System with light sensitive spots • Full Digestive & Excretory Systems • Complex mouth & pharynx System • Well developed muscles • NO Respiratory or Circulatory Systems

  4. Phylum TARDIGRADA FUNGI ANIMALSPLANTS Arthropods Vertebrates Vascular Fungi Bryophytes Annelids Mushrooms Mollusks Echinoderms Ferns Tardigrada Mold Algae Roundworms Flatworms Sponges PROTISTA (Amoeba) (Ciliates) MONERA (Bacteria)

  5. Phylum TARDIGRADA Arthropods Nematodes Insects, Ticks, Mites Round Worms Legs* No legs Respiratory Sys No Respiratory Sys * Ladder Nervous Sys * Straight Nervous Sys Circulatory Sys No Circulatory Sys * Crossed Muscles * Longitudinal Muscles Chewing Mouth Parts Sucking Mouth Parts * * Tardigrade trait

  6. TARDIGRADE Structures: lateral view

  7. TARDIGRADE Life (stages)

  8. TARDIGRADES EXHIBIT: • CRYPTOBIOSIS (lack of life) Desiccation as environment dries Animal shrivels into a “Tun” Waits for moisture to return

  9. TARDIGRADES IN CRYPTOBIOSIS ARE CAPABLE OF SURVIVING: • 0.05 deg Kelvin (-272.95 deg C) 20 Hours • -200 deg C 20 Months • +120 deg C Above boiling • 1000 Atmospheres of Pressure 27,000 PSI • Pure Vacuum • Excessive concentrations: CO, CO2, N2, H2S • Live over 125 Years

  10. TARDIGRADES IN CRYPTOBIOSIS ARE CAPABLE OF SURVIVING: SPACE TRAVEL Cold, Heat, Time, Vacuum, Pressure, Gases have little or no effect on existing form

  11. TARDIGRADES IN CRYPTOBIOSIS ARE CAPABLE OF SURVIVING: • Cryptobiotic “Catch 22” • Water molecule required for metabolism ! • Water molecule expands at freezing point ! • Molecular expansion ruptures cells ! • NO metabolism !

  12. TARDIGRADE RESEARCH opportunities • Ecology, Habitat, & Distribution • Evolution & Phylogenetic positioning • Population Dynamics & Associations • Taxonomy & Speciation • Zoogeography • Biodiversity • Vectors • DNA

  13. Class TARDIGRADE Classification Heterotardigrada Eutardigrada Mesotardigrada Order Echiniscoidae Thermozodia Parachela Apochela Family Oreellidae Echiniscidae Thermozodidae Milnesiidae Family Necopinatidae Eohypsibidae Calohypsibidae Hypsibidae Macrobiotidae

  14. TARDIGRADE Identification Buccal Apparatus

  15. TARDIGRADE Identification Claws

  16. TARDIGRADE Identification Dorsal Plates

  17. TARDIGRADE Eggs (fragments)

  18. TARDIGRADES: a New Species? Echiniscus nov. sp.

  19. TARDIGRADES live in: • Moss • Lichen • Soil • Leaf Litter • Beach Sand • Marine Sediment • Fresh Water Algae On ALL Continents

  20. TARDIGRADES move around: On the Winds On Birds Feet OnFloating Plants Yet sometimes Tardigrades are not found?

  21. TARDIGRADES and Distribution DISTRIBUTION USA KANSAS DENSITY DIVERSITY

  22. Hunting TARDIGRADES (where)

  23. Working with TARDIGRADES (easy)

  24. TARDIGRADES and KanCRN INTERNATIONALTARDIGRADE SURVEY • Level 1 Collect moss & lichen, submit samples & get back a report of tardigrades in them. • Level 3 Collect Tardigrades, identify to species, and develop advanced projects using Tardigrades as indicators of results. Suitable for Science Fair presentations. • Level 2 Collect tardigrades, identify to family, and submit to International Survey.

  25. TARDIGRADE References • Miller, W.R., 1997, Bears of the Moss, The Kansas School Naturalist, Vol. 43, No. 3. pp. 16. • Kinchin, I.M., 1994, The Biology of Tardigrades, Portland Press, pp 186. • Ramazzotti, G. & Maucci, W., 1983, Il Phylum Tardigrada (3rd ed.), Memorie dell’Istuto italiano di Idrobiologia Marco Marchi, Vol. 41, pp. 1-1012. • Nelson, D.R. 1982, Proceedings of the third International Symposium on Tardigrades. August 3-6, 1980. Johnson City, Tennessee, USA. East Tennessee State University Press, pp. 1-236.