APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

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APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:10 am

Image Tardigrade in Moss

Explanation: Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA and reduce their body water content to a few percent. Some of these miniature water-bears almost became extraterrestrials recently when they were launched toward to the Martian moon Phobos on board the Russian mission Fobos-Grunt, but stayed terrestrial when a rocket failed and the capsule remained in Earth orbit. Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth. Pictured here in a color-enhanced electron micrograph, a millimeter-long tardigrade crawls on moss.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:19 am

No wonder it can survive... it looks like it is wearing a SPACE SUIT...

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by ta152h0 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:23 am

getting us ready for Enveladus ?
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Ann » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:35 am

Boomer12k wrote:No wonder it can survive... it looks like it is wearing a SPACE SUIT...

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Absolutely! To me, it looks like it's wearing some sort of massive, heavy tarpaulin spacesuit.
APOD Robot wrote:
Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate.
Why should we ask ourselves if a tardigrade is less of an Earthling than earthworms, ladybugs, magpies and people? What reasons do we have to even consider that its origins may be extraterrestrial, in contrast to all other animals on the Earth?

After all, humans, too, can survive in space for extended periods, by building our own spacesuits. That doesn't turn us into aliens.

But hey, tardigrades rock! How can you not like them? And they look good on moss, too, not just among stars!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by RedFishBlueFish » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:42 am

Nature, in the journal's Futures http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v5 ... 7128a.html feature did see an unanticipated future for these slow-stepping water-bears...

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Wadsworth » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:04 pm

Ann wrote: What reasons do we have to even consider that its origins may be extraterrestrial, in contrast to all other animals on the Earth?
Ann
To me, because tardigrades are such extremophiles, the possibility of them surviving an accidental trip to earth becomes more of a possibility than say, an earthworm, making the trip.

Perhaps they were one of the original life forms displaced here on earth. Hitching a ride on a big rock left over from a previous nova that our sun formed from.
That being said, how long does something have to be on earth before it becomes an 'earthling'..? If they were the original earthlings with extraterrestrial origins, what would we call them....

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:16 pm

Wadsworth wrote:
Ann wrote: What reasons do we have to even consider that its origins may be extraterrestrial, in contrast to all other animals on the Earth?
Ann
To me, because tardigrades are such extremophiles, the possibility of them surviving an accidental trip to earth becomes more of a possibility than say, an earthworm, making the trip.

Perhaps they were one of the original life forms displaced here on earth. Hitching a ride on a big rock left over from a previous nova that our sun formed from.
That is not the case, beyond reasonable doubt. Tardigrades have a similar genetic structure to all other living things on Earth. That is, most of its fundamental metabolic pathways utilize the same genes as all other living things. It is virtually impossible that an independently evolved creature (even one with the same DNA chemistry) would do so. That would mean, then, that all life evolved from the tardigrade if it was the original seeder of life on Earth. But the shape of the radiation pattern that describes species evolution just doesn't support that idea.

No, the tardigrade is just one more animal, one which evolved to survive a common enough problem on Earth- desiccation.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by FLPhotoCatcher » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:43 pm

Tardigrades can endure a lot of extreme conditions, but can they survive a photo-shoot of the close-up variety? I guess it would be ironic if getting their electron micrograph for their visa to visit the Martian moon Phobos killed them instead of the trip itself.

sunson

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by sunson » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:55 pm

Every thing looks wierd! But that "platic coupling" doing the function of ....mouth? Oh well!!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by lefthip » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:30 pm

Seriously now, does anything eat them? :|

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by starsurfer » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:49 pm

Isn't it a bit early for April Fools? :D :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:53 pm

FLPhotoCatcher wrote:Tardigrades can endure a lot of extreme conditions, but can they survive a photo-shoot of the close-up variety? I guess it would be ironic if getting their electron micrograph for their visa to visit the Martian moon Phobos killed them instead of the trip itself.
There are some little ticks that can survive being imaged in an electron microscope even without being desiccated first. I think that tardigrades can survive electron microscopy, but only if they're in their desiccated state.
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:20 pm

APOD Robot wrote:Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth.
Isn't that like saying that ants are more common than humans across most of the Earth? :mrgreen:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Ann » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:34 pm

lefthip wrote:Seriously now, does anything eat them? :|
Looks like it. This poor thing appears to be full of parasites.


Can't keep two other pictures from you, though...


















Also check out this picture of a brave tardigrade astronaut! :D

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by majoraward » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:08 pm

I have been viewing APOD for years and have never replied before....and now that I think about it I'm textless (speechless)! :lol2:

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by heehaw » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:06 pm

Perhaps we should seed the atmosphere of Venus with these critters.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by JohnD » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:15 pm

Some tardigrades have more fearsome looking mouths.
See image in the middle of this page: https://uk.pinterest.com/continents/tar ... s/?lp=true
'Proper' jaws 'n' teeth!

John

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by heehaw » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:05 pm

heehaw wrote:Perhaps we should seed the atmosphere of Venus with these critters.
The almost total lack of water on Venus would mean they would die rather quickly. However, on Mars they might actually be able to live. But I can't see where they would get their energy from - literally nothing to eat.

Catalina

Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Catalina » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:44 pm

heehaw wrote:Perhaps we should seed the atmosphere of Venus with these critters.
God forbid we should contaminate any other planet, moon, or asteroid with alien (to that body) life form!

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by paddy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:37 am

Just as an aside. It is Mothering Sunday in the UK and they release that image ???

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by neufer » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:41 am

JohnD wrote:
Some tardigrades have more fearsome looking mouths.

See image in the middle of this page: https://uk.pinterest.com/continents/tar ... s/?lp=true
'Proper' jaws 'n' teeth!
  • Hydrothermal Worms are tardigrade undersea Morlock cousins.
https://www.fei.com/image-gallery/the-hydrothermal-worm/ wrote: This Terrifying Monster Is a Real Animal
Jesus Diaz 7/18/11 8:49am

<<This [~0.5 mm long] beast is a hydrothermal worm found in a hydrothermal vent, an Earth fissure that puts water and hot gasses in contact, generating rich life environments. Worms like this don't have a digestive tract, but bacteria that transforms hemoglobin into carbon compounds. The worm can absorb the carbon compounds directly.>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade wrote: <<Usually, tardigrades are about 0.5 mm long when they are fully grown. Tardigrades are prevalent in mosses and lichens and feed on plant cells, algae, and small invertebrates. Most tardigrades are phytophagous (plant eaters) or bacteriophagous (bacteria eaters), but some are carnivorous to the extent of eating other smaller species of tardigrades (e.g., Milnesium tardigradum). Others are cannibalistic to their own species. Their tubular mouth is armed with stylets, which are used to pierce the plant cells, algae, or small invertebrates on which the tardigrades feed, releasing the body fluids or cell contents. The mouth opens into a triradiate, muscular, sucking pharynx. The stylets are lost when the animal molts, and a new pair is secreted from a pair of glands that lie on either side of the mouth. The pharynx connects to a short esophagus, and then to an intestine that occupies much of the length of the body, which is the main site of digestion. The intestine opens, via a short rectum, to an anus located at the terminal end of the body. Some species only defecate when they molt, leaving the feces behind with the shed cuticle.>>
Last edited by neufer on Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:47 am

JohnD wrote:Some tardigrades have more fearsome looking mouths.
See image in the middle of this page: https://uk.pinterest.com/continents/tar ... s/?lp=true
'Proper' jaws 'n' teeth!
Didn't get very far before the Web site grayed everything out and demanded that I sign in. Sorry, Pinterest, you're just not that important to me.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by sillyworm » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:07 am

If only we humans could be so efficient.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:30 am

sillyworm wrote:If only we humans could be so efficient.
Anyone into tardigrade-like beings should pick up the hard sci-fi novel Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Can't help the reference after reading this. Don't read a plot synopsis if you have any plans at all to read it.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: Tardigrade in Moss (2017 Mar 26)

Post by JohnD » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:11 am

Cousin Ricky wrote:
JohnD wrote:Some tardigrades have more fearsome looking mouths.
See image in the middle of this page: https://uk.pinterest.com/continents/tar ... s/?lp=true
'Proper' jaws 'n' teeth!
Didn't get very far before the Web site grayed everything out and demanded that I sign in. Sorry, Pinterest, you're just not that important to me.
My own thinking about that website, Ricky, which I why I only linked to the front page, where a reasonable picture of the jawful monster could be seen.
Neufer is braver than us!

John