Stalking the Wild Tardigrade

2016-05-25 14.50.00The recent rain has got me thinking about tardigrades. Tardigrades are, of course, one of the most awesome creatures of the animal kingdom–able to survive freezing, desiccation, radiation, intense pressure, and the vacuum of outer space, just to name a few. I mentioned them in a sci-fi short story I wrote over the summer, and have been meaning to go looking for them ever since.

Well, the moss is nice and wet now, so I figured it would be a good time to find some. I collected some moss, soaked it, squeezed out the water and, voila!

I found springtails,

And mites,

And paramecia,

And nematodes,

And some things that looked and acted like microscopic leeches…

But no tardigrades.

I peered down the microscope until my eyes crossed. I squeezed out more water from my moss.

No joy.

No tardigrades.

Of course, that just makes them all the more exciting. Now I have a challenge—stalking the wild tardigrade.

Stay tuned…

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