[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]

In  issue #26  we have come across the strange tardigrade Cornechiniscus cornutus . As there are in fact very few tardigrades with horns, we had no problems in finding out the correct genus name Cornechiniscus .

So what?

Taxonomy is a method to give a name and a systematic place to a certain animal in order to fight mental chaos. So it has its justification.
But at the same time the concentration on taxonomy bears the inherent risk that all those properties which are of no importance to taxonomy will be completely skipped.
There is no doubt that in the past serious publications simply had no other choice than to concentrate on a few characteristic properties: it would have been too expensive for text books to present tardigrades in full colour and as seen from different perspectives. Earlier publications were even more restricted, e.g. to text-only articles or to line drawings.
So it is no surprise that current publications tend to show the tardigrades from the top perspective only. But is this the right perspective for us amateurs?

For comparison just think of a photographer portraying humans from the sky perspective only: his/her portraits would show no faces, just top views of - possibly bold - heads and perhaps human backs.

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) portrait would show a grey skin only, no eye colours and by this disguise everything what we like to look at in everyday human conversation.

So, as we do not need to concentrate on taxonomy in our microscope amateur magazine and as we do have no scanning electron microscope at hand, we can try to portray the tardigrades in a similar way as we would do with humans. Just think of this method as a more shallow style complementary to serious scientific literature.

Click here for a fine  character portrait .

© 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