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Web-Tardies (I)

All of us do know the Google® search engine. As a rule it works excellent when stepping into a new field. On the other hand we feel that some fine tardigrade web pages will never be noticed by a wider audience as they have a rather low ranking on the Google scale.
Furthermore, those link listings on tardigrade websites have a strong tendency to become outdated. So, from time to time, we should try to look beyond our own mental horizon and search out what the other human earth inhabitants (some billions) are actually doing in the field.

In January 2009 we did a small Google research on animal web page popularity and came up with the following results:

Search term

Google count



















Of course, as you can tell from the table, this is not a ranking due to body size or due to some kind of neutral 'animal importance'.

As an aside: who wants to be an "animal ranking judge" or better speaking an immoral ranking fool in those animal evaluation cases? Who really wants to join those myriads of journalists with their self-confined, ridiculous popular rankings like "What is in? What is out? What is fashionable this year?".

The table simply reveals a typical human ranking as defined by our own "Google-goggle-importance scale" based on human emotions, commercial interests, everyday existential needs etc.

As far as the tardigrades are concerned we recommend as first choice links (of course there are many more others not quoted here):

The  NASA Virtual Lab  which offers a virtual electron microscope with two tardigrade specimens. You will be able to screen a huge sample area, to choose among various magnifications and to focus like with a 'real' scanning electron microscope (SEM). Only drawback: ca. 150 MB (!) of data must be uploaded to your computer.

The reknowned German microscope amateurs' magazine MIKROKOSMOS is looking back to 100 years of publishing history. And it offers some early illustrated full text tardigrade articles on-line. Even if you should not be able to understand the German language you might consider to have a look at the historical illustrations in those articles by:

(1) Professor Ferdinand Richters (1908):  Die Bärtierchen  (5 MB).
(2) Pater Gilbert Rahm (1927):  Bärtierchen und Moosschweinchen  (7 MB).

How about Frank A. Romano III's  Introduction to tardigrades   (150 KB), from "Florida Entomologist"?

Do not miss the fascinating pages with today's scientific results and procedures as described by the   Goldstein Lab  .

John H. Crowe et al. are presenting a discussion of the tardigrade survival tricks in their article on   Cryptobiosis   (504 kB).

Search tip: consider to change your search strategy and do search for "tardigrades pdf" instead of "tardigrades".
Our next issue will come up with some further tardigrades' links, this time not so much from the scientific scenery but instead with surprising "around the edge" tardigrade content.

© 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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