UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Scientists found a new species of tardigrade.
What’s a tardigrade, you ask?
Tardigrades — also known as “water bears” or “moss piglets” — are microscopic, eight-legged creatures that are basically indestructible.
They can survive freezing and boiling temperatures and are found on every continent on the planet. They can even survive in outer space.
A study published this week in the journal PLOS One said the new water bear species was found in moss in a parking lot in Tsuruoka City, Japan.
It’s the 168th species of tardigrade found in Japan alone.
Not only is this new tardigrade genetically distinct from other tardigrades, it also has a unique fold on its leg. While most are carnivorous and eat other tiny creatures, this water bear prefers algae.
The species also has both sexes while most other species are just female.
Scientists say this new water bear will help them better understand tardigrade reproduction and behavior.