Tardigrade crawling at 400x magnification, big water bear!

Here is a view from the underside of a Tardigrade as it crawls on a glass slide. These water bears are often clear, showing their internal structures. The eyes and mouthparts are clearly visible from this tough yet cute microbial animal. The circles in the body are storage cells, and the dark area is ingested food (cyanobacteria). The movement of the little legs and claws are always fascinating to me. This animal is less than 1 millimeter in length. I collected this sample from a freshwater microbial mat in Florida and viewed with 400x magnification using DIC microscopy. Check out my Instagram Microbialecology for more videos of these types of microbial creatures!
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