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An Even-Weirder-Than-Usual Tardigrade Just Turned Up in a Parking Lot

A newfound species of tardigrade, or "water bear," with tendril-festooned eggs has been discovered in the parking lot of an apartment building in Japan. The newfound tardigrade, Macrobiotus shonaicus, is the 168th species of this sturdy micro-animal ever discovered in Japan. Tardigrades are famous for their toughness: They can survive in extreme cold (down to minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 200 Celsius), extreme heat (more than 300 degrees F, or 149 degrees C), and even the unrelenting radiation and vacuum of space, as one 2008 study reported. They're bizarre and adorable at the same time, with eight legs on a rotund little body (they're usually far less than a millimeter in length) and circular mouths that make them look perpetually surprised. Kazuharu Arakawa, a researcher who studies the molecular biology of tardigrades at Japan's Keio University, discovered the newfound species in a small sample of moss. He'd scraped the moss from the parking lot of his apartment in Tsuruoka City along the Sea of Japan.

Read More: Live Science

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