Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species » Water Bears: Tardigrada - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Water Bears And People, Giant Yellow Water Bear (richtersius Coronifer): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

Water Bears: Tardigrada - Water Bears And People

tun tuns stage animals

The cryptobiotic abilities of water bears have long been of interest to scientists. Several species in the tun stage have been exposed to cosmic radiation, vacuum, and temperatures close to absolute zero and have survived, clearing the way to use them as experimental animals in space. Scientists are also analyzing the proteins and sugars produced by water bears during the tun stage to protect their delicate tissues under extreme conditions. These and other studies may help to explain how life began and developed on Earth.


Water bears are the only animals capable of stopping all life functions and still be alive. They survive harsh conditions in the barrel-like tun stage. Tun is another name for a wine barrel or cask. Water bear tuns can be picked up by winds and carried hundred of miles. Tuns have been revived from moss specimens collected more than 100 years ago. They can survive 20 days at temperatures of -328°F (-200°C).

Water Bears: Tardigrada - Giant Yellow Water Bear (richtersius Coronifer): Species Account [next] [back] Water Bears: Tardigrada - Behavior And Reproduction

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