Image of the Day: Inside a moss piglet

Credit: Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa, Corinna Schulze and Ricardo Neves/Nikon Small World

The maximum size of a tardigrade is about 1.2 millimeters in length. You've probably never seen one, but they're everywhere, and that's what's amazing about them. Somehow, these tiny little animals are able to survive in environments that would kill a human (or just about anything else) hundreds of times over. For example, tardigrades can handle temperatures ranging from 300 degrees F to -300 degrees F. The vacuum of space? Not a problem, and neither is the pressure of 6,000 atmospheres. Ten years without water is doable for a tardigrade, and they scoff at 1,000 times the level of radiation required to kill humans.

For all that coolness, tardigrades have been tricky to study because they're small enough that they have to be classified based on external characteristics. The above image shows a new 3D view of the inside of a tardigrade, taken by a confocal laser scanning microscope that combines many narrow depth of field images (rendered in a different color) into one single overall picture.

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Via Discover

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