ARTIS Collectable of tardigrade. This soft toy is 10 cm tall.
The tardigrade is almost invisible, and yet it is a real animal. It has eight legs, eyes, nerves, muscles and a beak with a snout. They can survive extreme conditions for nearly 30 years. The tardigrade lives all around us. For example, between the moss, on stones or roof tiles that are covered with a little moss. But tardigrades have also been found on high mountains and in deep oceans. They can even survive a trip to space. To survive, the tardigrade puts itself into a kind of sleep mode. It shrivels into a small barrel that contains only 3% water. From that state he can even wake up again after 30 years, when he normally only lives a few months. As soon as the environment allows it, it comes back to life. A few water drops are enough.
Do you want to see the tardigrade in real life? This is possible in ARTIS-Micropia, the only microbe museum in the world. At www.micropia.nl you can plan your visit and take a look at the invisible world of microbes.