Also found in: Encyclopedia.


A dormant state induced by unfavorable environmental conditions such as high or low temperature, reduced oxygen, or drought, in which an organism's metabolic activity is reduced to an imperceptible level.

cryp′to·bi·ot′ic (-ŏt′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.cryptobiotic - of or related to the state of cryptobiosis
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
(2002) Species richness and abundance patterns of microarthropods on cryptobiotic crusts in a pinon-juniper habitat: a call for greater knowledge.
Terrestrial species occur in mosses, lichens, liverworts, and leaf litter, and are renowned for their ability to enter a cryptobiotic state (anhydrobiosis) in response to desiccation.
McKnight et al., 'Reactivation of a Cryptobiotic Stream Ecosystem in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: A Long-Term Geomorphological Experiment', Geomorphology 89/1-2 (2007).
Although these taxa could have come from upstream perennial water sources, they also could have come from other sources, such as cryptobiotic states (e.g., the tadpole shrimp genus Triops) or the hyporheic zone, or as transients on birds and other wildlife (e.g., the leech E.
And over there--indicating the dark, almost burned-looking ground--is cryptobiotic soil, or literally, "hidden life." Made of blue-green algae, lichen, and mosses, the crunchy, knobby crust thwarts water and wind erosion while feeding nitrogen and carbon to the soil--essentially preventing everything from becoming sand dunes.
It is possible that mice will have retained landscape information under brighter conditions and then move into cryptobiotic crust areas under darker conditions to reduce predation while foraging (Zollner and Lima, 1999).
When they next encounter moisture, they can come back to life in just a few hours; tardigrades can survive in this cryptobiotic state for a few decades.
1985 Behavior of the cryptobiotic predaceous ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata, n.
Living deserts are covered by a thin layer of bio-crust called "cryptobiotic crust." It is an interconnected mass of algae, moss and lichens that stabilize the soil and permit plant life to exist.
Causes and consequences of excess resistance in cryptobiotic metazoans.
On the trail out, we teach the "small things do big things" theme by pointing out the importance of cryptobiotic soil in the healthy maintenance of our local ecosystems, further embellishing the site and trail etiquette concepts.