"Size matters!" - in search for
the Locus typicus of Batillipes mirus (II)
Many among us are travelling fast, strongly fuel consuming, far away,
and all this preferrably cheaply. By this attitude we kindly support related
professionals like the kerosene trader, the tourism attorney, and - in case
eyerthing goes wrong - the ransom mediator and the victim helper psychologist.
Of course, we do not want to make fun of individual tourism tragedies but instead
point out once more in a positive manner that you need not travel far in order
to find interesting water bears.
The Water Bear Web Base is situated in Germany,
so we are quite close to the "Mekka and Jerusalem" of maritime tardigrades,
the Kieler Föhrde (the latter term indicating a sea arm of the Baltic
Ocean near the North German city of Kiel). But any ocean sand beach worldwide should be suited
for a similar expedition, with an estimated > 60% chance of success.
Lets have a look into our perfectly adapted backpack first: above all beer cans there is an
Small dissecting microscope
for the screening of sand samples in petri dishes at low magnifications (~20 x).
Furthermore, there might be a tiny field microscope for higher magnifications,
possibly low-priced like the one shown here.
In fact, any standard RMS optics lightweight microscope might do the job as well.
For those who like to be slightly snobbish we do recommend the tiny
Chinese military field microscope
which is really rare, not just stylish but powerful like a high quality standard
bright-field desktop microscope. The problem with this instrument is that it
is a really scarce guest on Ebay, not to be compared with nowadays' artificially hyped
and constantly overprized electronic gadgets.
The rest of our equipment is fairly simple: Petri dishes (take polycarbonate,
not glass, when going to a beach!), a standard "Pasteur shape" pipette,
a plastic bottle for the original tardigrade fitted sea water (in order to have ample supply
later on) and a few of those meanwhile precious plastic film containers from the analogue era.
For documentation and photography you might add a digital camera
and a GPS device.