Student researcher discovers new tardigrade species

Alex Young, a student at Lewis and Clark College, recalls his discovery of a new tardigrade species during his undergraduate research internship:

Suspended from a single branch, 60 feet up in a Red Oak, looking over the Wakarusa River, I knew I had chosen the right undergraduate research internship. With support from the National Science Foundation, I spent my summer teamed with intrepid researchers studying the microscopic world of water bears and their taxonomy. Water bears, formally known as tardigrades, are microscopic invertebrates that have eight legs, each with a set of claws. They occur on every continent and occupy an extraordinary range of habitats. An average day of research ranged from tree-top views of miles and miles of Kansas prairie to viewing microns of detail in the lab. The two perspectives complemented each other beautifully! Modern microscopes enabled us to view morphological characteristics previously unmentioned in any scientific literature, empowering the addition of a new species to the vast tree of life. This particular species is an elusive top predator in the microcosm where it lives, feasting on anything it can fit down its “throat”. I firmly believe that there are still whole worlds yet to be discovered, and would like to highlight the need to document and conserve the world’s biological assets. I can think of no better way to promote forest conservation than to offer the naming of this top predator to preserve entire swaths of forests in Ethiopia.

Whole Body
You can bid on the opportunity to name this new species of tardigrade

You can bid on the opportunity to name this new species of tardigrade here:
[custom_button text=”Bid Now!” title=”Bid Now!” url=”″ size=”large” bg_color=”#006400″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” align=”left” target=”_self”]