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A short review on tardigrades – some lesser known taxa of polyextremophilic invertebrates

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Author(s): Andrea Gagyi-Palffy | Laurenţiu C. Stoian

Journal: Extreme Life, Biospeology & Astrobiology
ISSN 2066-7671

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: tardigrades | extremophiles | extreme environments | adaptation

ABSTRACT
Tardigrades are polyextremophilic small organisms capable to survive in a variety of extremeconditions. By reversibly suspending their metabolism (cryptobiosis – tun state) tardigrades can dry orfreeze and, thus, survive the extreme conditions like very high or low pressure and temperatures,changes in salinity, lack of oxygen, lack of water, some noxious chemicals, boiling alcohol, even thevacuum of the outer space. Despite their peculiar morphology and amazing diversity of habitats,relatively little is known about these organisms. Tardigrades are considered some lesser known taxa.Studying tardigrades can teach us about the evolution of life on our planet, can help us understand whatextremophilic evolution and adaptation means and they can show us what forms of life may develop onother planets.
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