Water bears or moss piglets

Little survivors all over the place

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The water bear or moss piglet is a real animal despite its small size. It has legs (8), eyes, nerves, muscles and a snout-like mouth. It can survive extreme conditions for nearly 30 years.

The water bear or moss piglet is a real animal despite its small size. It has legs (8), eyes, nerves, muscles and a snout-like mouth. It can survive extreme conditions for nearly 30 years.

Live and survive anywhere

Water bears live everywhere around us, for example in moss, on stones or roof tiles which have a bit of moss on them. They are also found, though, on high mountains and in the depths of the sea. 

Survival ball

The water bear can put itself into a kind of sleep mode in order to survive. It crumples up into a small ball with water content of just 3%. It can wake from this state after a period of 30 years even though its normal lifespan is just a few months. It ‘comes alive’ again as soon as the environmental conditions allow. A few drops of water are enough.

Space experiment

In 2007, a number of water bears were sent on a rocket into space. Some of the tiny animals were still alive when they came back to earth ten days later. They had survived extreme cold, a vacuum and high concentrations of cosmic and UV radiation.