A view of the city of Munich - slightly different (II)
As announced we are going to continue our series about city inhabiting tardigrades
in Munich. Even in the most cemented urban areas you will find traces of moss and
therefore tardigrades as well.
Macrobiotus sp. tardigrade
from Munich pavement moss. Lateral view in full movement, illustrating the
typical movements, in this case resembling a lizard. Typical hollow-back
habitus. Black eye pigment and green stomach content. Body length below
Well-fed, elderly tardigrade (Macrobiotus sp.)
from Munich pavement moss checking out a single moss stem.
Photographed by means of incident light which is rendering the body volume
in a whitish colour. Note the age-related dorsal pigment stains.
The yellow image background reminding of the 1970s is due to the low colour
temperature of some remaining transmitted light.
High focus depth causing a relatively low detail resolution.
Macrobiotus sp., frontal view,
illustrating the "bear face" character. Once a gain, a difficult perspective
and therefore little detail visible. Nevertheless the mouth tube,
stylets and stomach are (faintly) visible. In combination those weak
informations will suffice to form a kind of "face" impression in our brain.
Macrobiotus sp., slightly different,
a mixture of total view and anatomical detail. Testis (H) and stomach (M)
are visible. The miniaturization of the sperm cells is a serious challenge
for nature as all organs of a tardigrade are already marvels of miniaturization -
as a consequence the sperm cells cannot be further miniaturized down to
the same scale. So they appear to be rather big in relation to the tardigrade body size.
Macrobiotus sp., as seen from top.
The so-called macroplacoids within the pharyngeal bulb (M) are used to crush
any remaining particles within the nutrition. Their morphology and pattern
are of taxonomic importance. Image width ca. 200 µm.
Macrobiotus sp., detail view
of the last pair of legs with typical, symmetric Macrobiotus claws.
"L" points to a so-called lunula, i.e. a dented spheroid claw
base plate, "T" marks a so-called triangle, a dark structure
at the claw base reminding of a tringle. Furthermore it becomes apparent
that the Macrobiotus claws have a single stem which is branching
like a Y towards the claw tips. Image width ca. 100 µm.
Macrobiotus sp., typical
"kissing" mouth. Image width ca. 100 µm
Macrobiotus sp., in a more
detailed anatomical view. The focus is set exactly on the walls of the
mouth tube. Traces of an eloborate mouth tube locking system become visible.
The "H" is marking a lobe of the brain which confines the eye.
Furthermore you can see the muscles "M" which are controlling
the stylets and the salivary glands (marked by the letter "S").
© Text, images and video clips by
Martin Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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