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Tardigrades Are most likely Not Extraterrestrials

Tardigrades are a unique Animal

Tardigrades are often called Water Bears, or Moss Piglets. They are so odd that an extraterrestrial origin has even been suggested. There in more about this later in the article. They are normally referred to as being microscopic, but the biggest of them are just within exactly what a Human can see without aid, being up to about one millimetre long.

Eight Legs

Tardigrades have eight stumpy legs. They walk over sand grains and plants looking like tiny bears.


Some tardigrades eat small animals and algae whole, while some suck out the cell items in these things.

Discovery and Classification

These were discovered by an amateur microscopist in 1773. Biologists had some trouble trying to fit this new animal to their classification systems. Description of how the happen to be given their own phylum, the Tardigrada.

When classifying living organisms, the best classification may be the Kingdom, as an example the plant kingdom or even the animal kingdom. Apart from subkingdom, the second highest classification may be the phylum. The truth that the Tardigrades happen to be given such as high classification (Vertebrates only rate the classification of sub-phylum) shows that they aren't closely associated with anything else.

However, they have some similarities to both annelids and the arthropods. This means that they are of Earthly origin. Advocates of Panspermia might disagree with this particular.

There are approximately 750 types of tardigrade facts which have been described. It is very sure there are others not scientifically described, and it is very likely there are a lot more undiscovered ones than discovered tardigrades.


Tardigrades are over the place. You'll probably find millions out side my window in our front yard, residing in moss along with other things. The fact that the majority of the yard gets hot and dry in the summertime wouldn't matter to these creatures.

Tardigrades reside in the Antarctic dry valleys and the deep Atlantic Ocean. Most of them are aquatic, living in fresh or salt water, but others reside in dry areas, but to become active, they require some liquid water.


Tardigrades can dry up and be apparently dead, but will revive when water in available again. This ability is known as cryptobiosis. Within this state, Tardigrades are resistant against an array of things including cold right down to at least minus 200 degrees C (minus 328 degrees F). This is quite cold. They can also survive heating to 151 degrees C (304 degrees F) for a shirt time, and radiation countless times what a Human can survive.

Tardigrades in Space

Tardigrades are so tough, especially in the dry state that the chance was considered of them having the ability to survive in outer space.


A project was stared to check this, called Tardigrades In Space or TARDIS for short.

It was found that the dry tardigrades didn't have trouble with the vacuum of space, but there is some aftereffect of rays, although many of then even survived this. The two species tested were different in connection with this.

There is little change doubt when a bit of our planet was knocked off by a meteorite with tardigrades inside it that the tardigrades could survive in space and if there have been things like algae together, they might colonise suitable habitats on other planets or moons.

Survival on Mars

A meteorite from the Earth might take just a little as a year to achieve Mars, or it might take longer, even vast amounts of years. No habitat so far discovered on Mars could support tardigrades, but our exploration of the Red Planet is not very well advanced.
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