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A male water bear

[ male tardigrade ]

As we have already seen in a previous chapter on
tardigrade reproduction , males are rare among the terrestric tardigrades. As far as the  Echiniscus  group is concerned, even scientists thought a long time that those males didn't exist at all. But then, at the end of the 20th century also echiniscus water bear males were detected.

Just click on the various regions in the image area on the left in order to find out what might be characteristic for a tardigrade male. The animal shown is a  Macrobiotus  male.

In order to preemt curious questions: the small differences between males and females are even smaller when compared to those of the human counterparts.

Body length of the tardigrade: ca. 0.5 mm.


Baccio Baccetti: The evolution of the sperm cell in the phylum Tardigrada (Electron Microscopy of Tardigrades). In: R. Bertolani (Ed.): Biology of Tardigrades. p. 87 - 91. Modena 1987.

Roberto Bertolani: Sexuality, reproduction and propagation in tardigrades.
In: R. Bertolani (Ed.): Biology of Tardigrades. p. 93 - 101. Modena 1987.

Hartmut Greven: Die Bärtierchen. p. 45 - 50. Wittenberg Lutherstadt 1980.

© Text, images and video clips by  Martin Mach  (webmaster@baertierchen.de).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of the German language monthly magazine  Bärtierchen-Journal . Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.

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