The Largest Tardigrade? Echiniscoides sigismundi

Science of the people, for the people

It’s not really giant

It’s only 1.5 mm long

This will be the shortest and the most disappointing text in our “Tardigrade Series”, but let’s see that Giant Tardigrade together

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Echiniscoides sigismundi, 

Echiniscoides sigismundi is a marine Tardigrade, known to science since 1930’s and it can be found  all across the world from the Coasts of Britain to Mediterranean See and China in tidal regions among barnacles (odd animals that looks like shells, but they are not shells) and algae.

This species of Tardigrades is herbivorous and they can be up to 1.5 mm in length.

This year (2024), it was shown that this species of Tardigrades can “surf” on plastics.

I don’t know about you, but for me, those look like cows and among Tardigrades, Echiniscoides sigismundi is very “chubby”.

References (I really read them in order to write 3 sentences. Life of a scientist…):

Lacerda, A.L., Frias, J. and Pedrotti, M.L., 2024. Tardigrades in the marine plastisphere: New hitchhikers surfing plasticsMarine Pollution Bulletin200, p.116071.

Crisp, D.J. and Hobart, J., 1954. LXVIII.—A note on the habitat of the marine tardigrade Echiniscoides sigismundi (Schultze)Annals and Magazine of Natural History7(79), pp.554-560.

Green, J., 1950. Habits of the marine tardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundiNature166(4212), pp.153-154.

Clausen, L.K., Andersen, K.N., Hygum, T.L., Jørgensen, A. and Møbjerg, N., 2014. First record of cysts in the tidal tardigrade Echiniscoides sigismundiHelgoland Marine Research68, pp.531-537.

Schill, R.O., Jönsson, K.I., Pfannkuchen, M. and Brümmer, F., 2011. Food of tardigrades: a case study to understand food choice, intake and digestionJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research49, pp.66-70.

Largest Tardigrade, Echiniscoides sigismundi

Learn More About Tardigrades, Join the Challenge

After reading this curiosity fact, I hope that you like Tardigrades even more.

We have decided to make a series of posts devoted to Tardigrades:

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