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As far as tardigrade taxonomy is concerned we are able to refer to many, many publications. But only seldom we come across articles that discuss the daily life of the tardigrades: social behaviour, food intake and sexuality.

[ tardigrada, adult tardigrade and tardigrade baby ] [ tardigrada, adult tardigrade and tardigrade baby ]

Female adult tardigrade, tardigrade baby. There are virtually no informations about possible interactions of adult tardigrades and baby tardigrades. Possibly the mother does only control the safety ot the egg deposits and tends to forget them afterwards.

Detail: note the read eyes, mouth tube and 'nose' of the tardigrade baby and its high transparency. If you should be only a casual reader of the Water Bear web base do not miss our article about young and old tardigrades!

There are very few references to tardigrade sexuality in the scientific literature. Well, you will never be able to see mating in formalin ...
But in any case tardigrade mating has been observed and described e.g. by a German scientist many decades ago (see last button below).

[ tardigrada; tardigrade couple ]

Tardigrade couple

Please find below a few buttons to quotations about the existence of male and female tardigrades and about their interaction.

Disclaimer: the quotations have been taken out of their context. So, if you should prepare a seminar work or some kind of scientific lecture it is highly recommended to go back to the original literature. Keep our libraries alive!

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 Are they hermaphrodites?

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 What is the numerical relation between males and females?

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 It took 150 years in order to find those Echiniscus males ...

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 Only males do have it ...

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 The difference between females and males ...

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 Mating ...

Better literature:

Roberto Bertolani: Sexuality, reproduction and propagation in tardigrades. In: Biology of Tardigrades (Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on the Tardigrada. Modena, 3.-5. September 1985). p. 93-101. Modena 1987.

Hartmut Greven: Die Bärtierchen. p. 37 ff. Lutherstadt Wittenberg 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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