100 and 100,000
The Water Bear Web Base is getting older, well, not 100 years
but 100 issues.
The second number in the title is referring to a new page click
record: 100,000 pages per month. Thank you for your continued interest!
Of course, all microscopy amateurs and nature
photographers dream to become witness of something rare, never photographed
or filmed before. With respect to the tardigrades our favourite would be
some strange miracle like a tardigrade with green eyes or with ten legs.
In the meantime we will spend our time on less dramatic filming, keep
our camera lenses clean and try to master those myriads of camera battery
loading devices and storage cards.
But, sometimes, when waiting we will come across situations in which the
everyday tardigrade existence with its numerous constraints and challenges
becomes more obvious and visually understandable. For example, every time
when a tardigrade falls into the dry state it does not know whether
its current position will receive some water in the future, essential for
its survival. Furthermore the tardigrade has to undergo many moultings,
each of which being linked to the danger of starving or being devoured
during the complicated process. In particular the maritime tardigrades
appear to live in a certain haste. As a consequence, we will have to
wait patiently before the sand grain until the moment of moulting will
come. It will be finished in seconds! In this case, shown below we were
lucky to have a moulting tardigrade in focus reach on a sand grain,
mastering the challenge - undisturbed by us:
Video (1.7 MB): moulting of a Batillipes female,
clinged to sand grain. Actual speed. Size of the tardigrade ca. 0.2 mm.
Please remember: this is a 1 millionth gram body mass
individuum striving for improved life conditions.
© Text, images and video clips by
Martin Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of
the German language monthly magazine
Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.