• Question: How can a tardigrade survive in such extreme conditions?

    Asked by inazuma to Cassie, Karen, Sofia, Tommy on 21 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Sofia Franco

      Sofia Franco answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      There is not much known about them, though they are pretty impressive! What is known, however, is that they can enter a stage called Cryptobiosis and this is key to their survival in extreme places/conditions! Basically they suspend their metabolism, sometimes to 0.01% of the normal (pretty close to being dead, but is kind of an hibernation-type state!), which is equivalent to be stopped in time: there is no ageing, no reproduction, very little metabolic functions…and then they restart it when conditions are adequate! In a way is like having a mammoth frozen in ice, melting the ice and the mammoth would be alive and running 🙂 the difference is that the mammoth will be very well preserved but dead, and the tardigrade will be as active as it was before! Check this article if you wanna no more about them! http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/tardigrades/1

    • Photo: Thomas Doherty-Bone

      Thomas Doherty-Bone answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      pretty cool stuff, no other comments from me.