The Unseen World of Micro Animals
They are essentially micro animals, which can be found all around the globe. They differ from microorganisms that have organs and skin. They can be found anywhere life can flourish, including lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, and even the air.
The microscopic arthropods include spider mites, dust mites, and a few crustaceans such as cladocerans and copepods. Some nematode species include tardigrades. Many loricifera spend their entire lives living in anoxic environments, including some newly discovered anaerobic species.
An arthropod refers to an invertebrate species or animal with an exoskeleton (or outer skeletal case), a segmented body and paired jointed appendages.
The phylum Euarthropoda includes insects, myriapods and crustaceans. Arthropoda is a term that refers to the proposed Euarthropod grouping and also the Onychophora species.
Arthropods are distinguished by their jointed joints and cuticle, which is often mineralised with carbonate.
Each segment of the arthropod body is made up of two pairs of appendages. The rigid cuticle can slow down or inhibit growth, so arthropods either replace it regularly or moulting in segments.
Arthropods have a skeleton, which is an outer skeleton. They are bilaterally symmetrical. Some species possess wings.
House Dust Mites
House dust mites can be barely seen by the unaided eye due to their small size and translucent bodies.
The average size of a house dust mite is between 0.2 and 0.3 millimetres. The house dust mite’s body has a striated, striated cuticle.
Spider mites belong to the Acari (mite family) Tetranychidae. There are approximately 1,200 species.
They typically survive on the undersides of leaves of plants, where they’ll spin protective silk webs, & they can cause damage by puncturing or eating a hole in the plant cells to feed. Spider mites have been known to attack several hundred species.
Crustaceans form an oversized, diverse arthropod taxon that includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimps, prawns, krill, woodlice, and barnacles.
The crustacean subphylum is often considered to be part of the clade Mandibulata. However, recent molecular research has established that the crustacean category is paraphyletic.
It includes all animals in the clade Pancrustacea except hexapods. Some crustaceans are closer to insects and other Hexapods than certain other crustaceans.
Water bears, Tardigrade and moss piglets
Tardigrades are among the most resilient animals known, with individual species ready to survive extreme conditions – such as exposure to extreme temperatures of heat and radiation, extreme pressures, such as outer space and the deep ocean (both high and low), air deprivation, radiation, dehydration, and starvation that would quickly kill most other known sorts of life.
Tardigrades are eight-legged, segmented micro-animals. Johann August Ephraim Goeze, a German Zoologist, first identified them and named them little water bears. They were named Tardigrada by Lazzaro Spallanzani, an Italian biologist, in 1777. This means “slow steppers”.
They can be found all over the globe, from high mountains to deep seas and hot mud volcanoes to tropical rainforests and jungles to Antarctica.
Tardigrades are one of the most resilient species of animals. Individual species can survive extreme conditions such as radiation and extreme temperatures, pressures such as outer space, high and low, starvation, air deprivation and radiation.
The space-exposed Tardigrades survived. The phylum Tardigrada is home to approximately 1,300 species. It’s a sub-phylum of Ecdysozoa, which includes animals that are ecdysitic, like arthropods or nematodes.
Although the Cretaceous amber in North America is where the first true or particular members of this group were discovered, they are modern forms that likely had a much earlier origin. They diverged from their Cambrian closest relatives more than 500 million years ago.
When fully grown, tardigrades measure approximately 0.5mm (0.02 in). They are short and plump with four pairs of legs. Each pair ends in claws (usually four to eight) or suction disks.
Tardigrades can be found in mosses, lichens and prey on tiny invertebrates, plant cells, and algae. They can be seen under a low power microscope, making them easily accessible for students and amateur scientists.
Sign up to received regular emails about new articles the might interest you.
Your personal information is protected by law and will not be disclosed.