You may not know it, but your plush Giant Isopod dreams of having a friend and that friend is this awesome plush Tardigrade.

Tardigrades, also known as “water bears” or “moss piglets,” are microscopic creatures considered to be the world’s most resilient animal. The can survive temperatures ranging from near absolute zero (−458 °F) up to 300 °F, withstand pressures 6 times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches or radiation hundreds of times higher than what’s lethal for humans, and even survive in the vacuum of outer space. They can also survive without food and water for over 30 years. So perhaps it’s no surprise that these awesomely tough little life forms are also ridiculously cute in plush toy form.

Plush Water Bears are currently available in tan and brown versions via Japanese online shop Village/Vanguard or Amazon.

[via Gizmodo]

So typette and I seem to share a special place in our hearts for tardigrades and also similar artwork. This is all really coincidental and kinda strange but typette has been really gracious and non-accusatory. So you should totally check her out whilst I try to validate myself and put up my own sketches as some sort of proof that I independently thought of this and so did she.

If any of you would be interested in buying a plushie of this than please go here and vote!


Science + Cuteness = Super Awesome Science!

There’s a #cuteoff happening on Twitter and we’re loving it. Scientists from around the world have challenged each other to share their cutest work-related animal photos. Pictured above are a few of the most squee-worthy specimens shared thus far, starting with a tiny Brown antechinus peeking between wooden boards, a trio of adorable Mouse lemurs, a chubby little Breviceps frog, an itty-bitty Eastern red-backed salamander, impossibly round and furry Gray bee flies, a fuzzy Least Tern chick with pale pink feets, and an endangered baby Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit.

And, demonstrating that cuteness is truly in the eye of the beholder, the American Museum of Natural History shared this photos of a microscopic Tardigrades, aka a waterbear or moss piglets. We’ll leave it up to you do decide if you think it’s cute:

Check out the #cuteoff hashtag on Twitter to see more of science’s cutest critters.

[via mental_floss]

Meet the tardigrade—a tiny, nearly indestructible creature, and one of the stars of the upcoming exhibition, Life at the Limits: Stories of Amazing Species, opening 4/4.
Typically found near water, tardigrades can survive just about anywhere, from the bottom of the ocean, to a Himalayan mountain, to the surface of a glacier. “They can survive the loss of almost 100% of their water,” said Dr. Mark Siddall, a parasitologist and curator of the upcoming exhibition. Tardigrades even survived when they were blasted into space and left outside in the subzero, oxygen-deprived vacuum for 10 days.
Pictured is Paramacrobiotus craterlaki, a carnivorous tardigrade found living in moss at a crater lake in Kenya. 

Learn more about tardigrades in a recent buzzfeed story, and read all about the upcoming exhibition, Life at the Limits

Image: Eye of Science/Science Source


Tardigrade AKA Water Bear / Moss Piglet (!)

Tardigrades are notable for being one of the most complex of all known polyextremophiles. (An extremophile is an organism that can thrive in a physically or geochemically extreme condition that would be detrimental to most life on Earth.[3][4]) For example, tardigrades can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, as well as pressures greater than any found in the deepest ocean trenches, along with solar radiation, gamma radiation, ionic radiation— at doses hundreds of times higher than would kill a person and have lived through the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for nearly 120 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.[citation needed]

Usually, tardigrades are 1 millimetre (0.039 in) long when they are fully grown. They are short and plump with 4 pairs of legs, each with 4-8 claws also known as “disks.” The animals are prevalent in moss and lichen and, when collected, may be viewed under a very low-power microscope, making them accessible to the student or amateur scientist as well as the professional.


Fauna Fact of the Day

The tardigrade, better known as a water bear or moss piglet, is a microscopic animal that can be found all over the world. They get their name from the way they move- a rolling gait that resembles the movement of a bear. Water bears are able to survive in environments that would kill any other animal- temperatures as low as -459 F (close to absolute zero) and as high as 304 F, 1,000 times more radiation than other animals, and almost a decade without water. They can even withstand space travel and radiation directly from the sun! They are the ultimate survivors- and are fucking adorable.


My Tardigrade plush design was accepted by and now it needs positive votes and scores so that it may be chosen to be made into an actual plush. All help is appreciated if you can’t vote please reblog to get the word out. Vote here:

This design was motivated by the wonderful Hank Green and his SciShow episode about the awesome Tardigrade as well as all the comments calling for a plushie version of this fabulous beast.

(Hey everyone! I’m not the only one making awesome tardigrades check this out. She has some awesome work on her tumblr.


Tardigrades, also called water bears or moss piglets are tiny 1mm long animals that can survive in unbelievably hostile conditions. 

They are capable of surviving…

  • 6000 metres up a mountain, and 4000 metres below the sea
  • temperatures as high as 150 degrees Celsius and almost as low as absolute zero
  • crushing pressures of up to 6000 atmospheres, six times that of the deepest trench in the ocean   
  • 10 years without water
  • thousands of times more radiation than humans can survive
  • The Vacuum and solar radiation of open SPACE for ten days