We have learnt already about five years ago that bacteria
are a serious danger to tardigrade health. In the scientific literature
Dewel & Dewel presented a fine description of parasitic take-over strategies
(Tardigrade Symposium in Modena 1985, see literature): Some fungus parasites
clinge to the tardigrade skin, enter by a hole and continue their detrimental
life cycle within the tardigrade body fluid. Most tardigrade parasites are
comparatively small, still invisible by means of the low magnification under a dissecting microscope.
But when looking closer the attacks become clearly evident. The photomicrograph below
depicts a late stage of the infection. It is obvious that the balloon like structures
on the outer surface are exerting some kind of a negative influence within the
inner volume, too.