Tardigrade-The toughest animal in the world.

Picture of a Tardigrade

Toughest animal in the world

The tardigrade, an animal less than half a millimeter in length, is thought to be the toughest form of life on earth.

Commonly called a water bear because of its chubby appearance under a microscope, it has eight legs and looks as though it were covered with armor plating.

It can survive temperatures from -460 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit [-270°C to 151°C], exposure to X rays or to a vacuum, and pressures six times greater than those at the bottom of the deepest ocean.

It can be found in roof gutters and between cracks in paving stones.

Some of these little creatures have even been revived after lying dormant for more than 100 years in museum collections of dried moss.

What makes this possible?

A state of suspended animation when the volume of the body is reduced by 50 per cent or more, accompanied by an almost total loss of water.