Tardigrades are awesome little creatures, but I always think they look like the ManBearPig monster from the 1979 horror film Prophecy, a clip of which you can see below the fold.
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Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, are tough as nails. They’ve been found all over the world from the peaks of mountains to the driest deserts to the barren cold of Antarctica. And now that frozen continent has yielded up a brand new species of the fascinating animal.
If you’re at all familiar with these half-millimeter-long creatures, it shouldn’t surprise you that they would be perfectly comfortable in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. They can survive temperatures near absolute zero, or thrive in boiling water. Dehydration, mass extinctions, radioactivity and even the vacuum of space are simply shrugged off by the mighty moss piglet.On top of all that, they’re even adorable under the microscope
Researchers led by Roberto Guidetti from Italy’s University of Modena and Reggio Emilia discovered the new tardigrade, which they named Mopsechiniscus franciscae, while on a trip to Victoria Land.