What is your personal method to decide about a holiday location? Do you choose
among glossy catalogue photographs? Thinking about specific leisure time activities?
Are you in urgent need for local shopping activities? Looking out for more serious cultural
programmes and historic sites? Or are you - possibly - looking out for a place where you
might come across a tardigrade?
Don't worry. With respect to tardigrades there needn't be a family conflict: tardigrade
inhabited regions are abundant and in fact it might turn out as difficult to find a region
without any tardigrade. You can choose dramatic locations like an Ocean abyss or the Antarctica.
But, with respect to tardigrades, "softer" regions, like e.g. the Kiel Bay in Northern Germany
will offer nice tardigrade habitats, too.
A few years ago, most of our colleagues and friends appeared to make holiday in
Croatia. So, why not do the same? Obviously, with respect to those maritime and marine
tardigrades, we preferred a place close to the Mediterranean Sea and decided
to go to the island of Losinj. You will find the exact location when
copy-pasting the following coordinates into Google Maps:
A picturesque, turquoise bay with crystal clear water, immorally close to a
View in direction NNW, as seen from
the Hotel Aurora, Mali Losinj, Croatia.
Our favourite diving area is depicted on the image below,
directly below the person with the red T-shirt. At a depth of about 3.5 m there
were several small lacunae filled with a rather coarse sand and clean shell debris.
As already described in previous issues our favourite and most successful collection
method is the use of a small plastic film container (you will remember, from the
analogue photography period) in order to collect some of this seemingly inorganic material
and this was all we did.
Bay in front of the Hotel Aurora,
Mali Losinj. View in Eastern direction showing our favourite diving area.
After the usual hours of search by means of the dissecting microscope
we came across our first Croatian tardigrade, a species which has not yet been described
in our magazine. On the following photograph it is shaking its head in a rather typical, vivid manner.
Two claws on each leg, so obviously a youngster.
First tardigrade finding from Croatia! Body length ca. 0.1 mm.
Go on reading in our next issue.
© Text, images and video clips by
Martin Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of
the German language monthly magazine
Style and grammar amendments by native speakers are warmly welcomed.