A minute animal with a short plump body and four pairs of stubby legs, living in water or in the film of water on plants such as mosses.
- Phylum Tardigrada.
- Some of these we're quite familiar with, like squid, lobsters, corals, and jellyfish, but there's a whole universe of lesser-known invertebrates out there, like tardigrades or ‘water bears,’ chitons, and flatworms.
- Hiking under the massive Sitka spruce, hemlocks, and Douglas firs on the Quinault Loop Trail, eight of us learned about water bears - microscopic moss-eating creatures that can hibernate as desiccated flakes for decades.
- Strangely enough, water bears are at the same time among the most unknown and the most fascinating creatures on earth.
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