Well some creatures that are Nearly indestructible
There is only one creature known to man which can survive the ravages of deep space. It is the water bear – officially known as the tardigrade – and despite being a fraction of a millimetre in length and mostly consigned to a lazy life exploring pond moss, it is almost indestructible. You can freeze it at close to absolute zero – at minus 273C – or heat it to above 151C.
Or you could keep it without water for a decade, subject it to almost any kind of pressure, or send it into the radiation-filled vacuum of space where it can survive beyond ten days without any damage. It is just one of the micro-sized and extraordinary bugs living in our back gardens – or even in our own bodies.
Tardigrades (also known as waterbears or moss piglets) are water-dwelling, segmented micro-animals, with eight legs.
They were first described by the German pastor Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. The name Tardigrada (meaning “slow stepper”) was given three years later by the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani. Since 1778, over 1,150 tardigrade species have been identified.
Tardigrade – Magnified 500x: The green fronds seen here are tiny moss leaves
In this set of images, under a powerful microscope, shows them in an incredible new light. Magnified tens of thousands of times, details not usually detected by the human eye are revealed with stunning clarity. The animals are pictured using three-dimensional microscopes, which create the image by bouncing electrons off the specimen. These show us almost human characteristics of the creatures, with the water bear, with its strange conical nose, appearing almost as if it is smiling after being magnified 500 times. Another insect, called the springtail, bears an uncanny resemblance to a rabbit with its large ear-like feelers. The hexapod, which is found in leaf litter, can jump a hundred times their body length in one leap.
The springtail is one of the most abundant ‘micro-creature’ on the planet, with an estimated 100,000 of them for each cubic metre of soil
Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern hexapods that are no longer considered insects (the other two are the Protura and Diplura). Although the three orders are sometimes grouped together in a class called Entognatha because they have internal mouthparts, they do not appear to be any more closely related to one another than they all are to insects, which have external mouthparts.
A mosquito larva is viewed in close-up – magnified more than a thousand times – to show us the intricate details of its young face
The Velvet Mite
Anystides Red Velvet Mites or Rain Bugs are arachnids found in soil litter known for their bright red colours but are often mistaken for spiders. They are active predators as grown adults but as early instars are often parasites on insects. It is also called Beer Bahuti in the Indian subcontinent.
The pattern of stages is shared with that of other members of the Prostigmata: egg, pre-larva, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph and adult (male or female). They usually have only one breeding cycle per year. One well known species from the Palearctic is Trombidium holosericeum.
The systematics of this group has been in flux and many former subfamilies of this are now raised to families within the Trombidioidea.
The oil from the red velvet mite Trombidium grandissimum is used in traditional Indian medicine to treat paralysis. Also, due to their alleged ability to increase sexual desire, Trombidium mites are known locally as “Indian Viagra”.
Out of all the creatures here, the velvet mite can get quite big – up to 2cm in length.
Maggot Munches on Compost
up close as you would expect: A maggot munches its way through compost
The silkworm and spikey-looking processionary moth caterpillar also form part of the collection. Both can spin threads of silk and in the picture of the moth it is even possible to see the tiny hook-like feelers, called spinnerets, which help create the strands. In one image a maggot appears almost demonic with it’s red eyes and in another a harmless bluebottle fly larva bears fang-like teeth.
A processionary moth caterpillar, found in south and central Europe, is not a friend to humans – it can cause skin irritation and asthma
Human Head Lice and Cat Hair Lice
This head louse is two millimetres long and inhabits the hair of the head. Each head louse female lays 80-100 eggs and the life cycle from egg to adult is only three weeks
A cat flea pictured among cat hairs
Bluebottle Fly Maggot
This is the head of a maggot – the offspring of a bluebottle fly.
Well these surly have to be my main pet hate. If you have ever been to Scotland……You will know.
The Rocky Mountain Wood tick. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most lethal and most frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States. It has been diagnosed throughout the Americas. Some synonyms for Rocky Mountain spotted fever in other countries include “tick typhus,” “Tobia fever” (Colombia), “São Paulo fever” or “febre maculosa” (Brazil), and “fiebre manchada” (Mexico). It is distinct from the viral tick-borne infection, Colorado tick fever. The disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a species of bacterium that is spread to humans by Dermacentor ticks. Initial signs and symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle pain, followed by development of rash. The disease can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be fatal.
The name “Rocky Mountain spotted fever” is something of a misnomer. Beginning in the 1930s, it became clear that this disease occurred in many areas of the United States other than the Rocky Mountain region. It is now recognized that this disease is broadly distributed throughout the contiguous United States, and occurs as far north as Canada and as far south as Central America and parts of South America. Between 1981 and 1996, this disease was reported from every state of the United States except for Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever remains a serious and potentially life-threatening infectious disease. Despite the availability of effective treatment and advances in medical care, approximately three to five percent of patients who become ill with Rocky Mountain spotted fever die from the infection. However, effective antibiotic therapy has dramatically reduced the number of deaths caused by Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Before the discovery of tetracycline and chloramphenicol during the latter 1940s, as many as 30 percent of persons infected with R. rickettsii died.
his is a blood-filled tick, swollen in size after feeding on the blood of its mammal host
Not quite quenched your thirst, well here is a short video showing some of the 10 Near Indestructible Creatures. Enjoy!