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Any of various slow-moving, microscopic invertebrates of the phylum Tardigrada that have four body segments, eight legs, and a chitinous cuticle, inhabit aquatic or moist terrestrial environments, and can withstand extreme temperatures. Also called water bear.
1. Of or belonging to the Tardigrada.
2. Slow in action; slow-moving.

[New Latin Tardigrada, phylum name, from neuter pl. of Latin tardigradus, slow-moving : tardus, slow + -gradus, walking, moving (from gradī, to go; see transgress). Adj., sense 2, from Latin tardigradus.]


(Animals) any minute aquatic segmented eight-legged invertebrate of the phylum Tardigrada, related to the arthropods, occurring in soil, ditches, etc. Popular name: water bear
(Animals) of, relating to, or belonging to the Tardigrada
[C17: via Latin tardigradus, from tardus sluggish + gradī to walk]


(ˈtɑr dɪˌgreɪd)

1. any microscopic, chiefly herbivorous invertebrate of the phylum Tardigrada, living in water or on mosses, lichens, etc.
2. slow in pace or movement.
[1615–25; < Latin tardigradus slow-paced. See tardy, -grade]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tardigrade - an arthropod of the division Tardigrada
arthropod - invertebrate having jointed limbs and a segmented body with an exoskeleton made of chitin
class Tardigrada, Tardigrada - in some classifications considered a separate phylum: microscopic arachnid-like invertebrates living in water or damp moss having 4 pairs of legs and instead of a mouth a pair of stylets or needlelike piercing organs connected with the pharynx
stylet - small needlelike appendage; especially the feeding organ of a tardigrade
References in periodicals archive ?
If they're going to say that the brain of&nbsp;Kerygmachela&nbsp;is like that of a tardigrade, you have to be really, really careful," Nicholas Strausfeld told National Geographic.
Even a tardigrade a microscopic, segmented, eight-legged thing becomes an animal with 'a cuddly body.
Striking, full-color photography offers an up-close and personal glimpse of animals such as the lungfish, the microscopic tardigrade, the chambered nautilus, the ferocious goblin shark, the New Zealand tuatara (closest living cousin of the dinosaurs), and much more.
Analysis of the opsin repertoire in the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini provides insights into the evolution of opsin genes in Panarthropoda.
Remember that story about the tardigrade genome being about 17% foreign DNA?
Tardigrade specimens were identified using keys in Ramazzotti and Maucci (1983), Nelson and McInnes (2002), and Pilato and Binda (2010), and by reference to original descriptions.
Later sections cover protozoa to tardigrade, phylum Mollusca, phylum Annelida, and phylum Athropoda.
When blessed with water, the tardigrade simply regains its rest state and moves on in life as if nothing happened.
Evolution attests that its proudest accomplishment is the incredibly resilient, microscopic and strangely adorable tardigrade.
2013, 2014), 46 new zoopsammon taxa for the Estonian fauna were registered, including 25 rotifers, 17 testate amoebae, 1 cercozoan, 1 clitellate, 1 tardigrade, and 1 harpacticoid.
New molecular data for tardigrade phylogeny, with the erection of Paramacrobiotus gen.
STRANGER THAN FICTION It looks like a Victorian illustration from Alice in Wonderland, but this image by Nicole Ottawa is in fact a tardigrade, or water bear, which is 1mm in length and was found on moss in Crater Lake, Tanzania