Question from Chuck & Ginny:
Could you please explain cryptobiosis?
Also, compared to a copepod, how big are Water Bears?
Answer from Dr. Water Bear:
Cryptobiosis is the process in which water bears can survive pretty much anything.
They basically expel all the water from their bodies and tuck in all their appendages.
Then their metabolism goes down to practically nothing. They can survive like this from 5 – 125 years without dying. So they can essentially die and come back to life.
Tardigradologists are still trying to figure out the exact process that their body under goes to do this.
The biggest water bear is 1 millimeter long. So copepods are larger in most cases. Also water bears are usually about 50 microns.