[Title fragment 1.1] [Title fragment 1.2] [Title fragment 1.3]
[Title fragment 2.1] [Title fragment 2.2] [Title fragment 2.3]
[Title fragment 3.1] [Title fragment 3.2] [Title fragment 3.3]

The Krka National Park in Croatia - a tardigrade home (II)

We have seen in the previous issue that the Croatian Krka National Park is home of Echiniscus tardigrades. At the same time it is offering a fascinating variety of different shades of the "soul" of water, for example

- the water as it is trying to flow smoothly and majestically towards the center of our planet

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

- the crazy water

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

- the colorful water, acting as a mysterious mirror

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

- the treacherous and dangerous water with its nasty traps for harmless underwater micro tourists

[ Krka National Park, Croatia ]

- and moreover the microscopic water for us microscopists

[ Krka National Park, Croatia, Ceratium sp. ]

Ceratium sp. alga from the Krka Park (a freshwater micro organism, less than 0.5 mm in length.

[ Krka National Park, Croatia: rotifer ]

A marvelous rotifer, as seen from above, presenting its perfect "wheels".

- plus many tardigrades, residing in the water and along its banks

[ Krka National Park, Croatia, Eutardigrade ]

Tardigrade from the Krka Park, with macroplacoids and claws similar to those of Macrobiotus hufelandi

[ Krka National Park, Croatia, Eutardigrade egg ]

An egg, apparently belonging to the kind of tardigrade as shown above. Its overall diameter is ca. 90 µm, without protrusions 70 µm. It might fit to the species Macrobiotus hufelandi - almost (see below).

As already known, the biologists of the 20th century felt to be in an inferior "soft" position, in particular when compared with allegedly "tougher" scientific disciplines like chemistry or physics. This might explain the emergence and reason behind many of those myriads of measurements and data tables collected in unending hours of painstaking microscopic study. How on earth should one otherwise cope with the complexity of life?

Ernst Marcus, one of the best tardigrade scientists described the Macrobiotus hufelandi egg as follows: "the diameter of the globular eggs is 72 - 90 µm without the protrusions, with the protrusions measuring 3 - 10 µm in length [...]. The perimeter protrusion count in one focus level is about 19 - 27" [translation from the German language by us].

The egg diameter as stated by Ernst Marcus is similar to the one noted by us above but there is a problem with the perimeter count: we do count 30 at our egg - so it doesn't fit perfectly into Ernst Marcus' description of the Macrobiotus hufelandi egg. A nasty nature, isn't it? Always causing problems in taxonomy and ignoring our wishes with respect to precision and a safer biological science!


Ernst Marcus: Tardigrada. p. 145. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena 1928.

© 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.

Main Page