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Eight-legged Water Bear Thrives in Indiana Dunes

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Here’s an animal I’ve never heard of: the tardigrade. There are at least a thousand known species of the eight-legged aquatic animal, which is found all over the world.

In the picture above, William R. Miller, an assistant professor of biology at Baker University, Kansas, is holding a wooden model of a tardigrade, more commonly known as a water bear.

The model shows what the animal would look like if it was many, many times larger than it is in life. Tardigrades are so small that it could take as many as 50 of them in a row to measure one inch. It requires a microscope to get a good look at them.

Baker found several specimens of tardigrades in moss in the Indiana Dunes Bioblitz today. You can read more about this on my colleague Ford Cochran’s blog BlogWILD.