It is autumn and although not very rainy in the Canary Islands, we have been granted some rain these days. Mosses have awoken from a silent sleep. After exhibiting a brownish and dried complexion for months, they have switched into bright green patches glistening beautifully in the dull pavements of my neighbourhood.
Bryophytes did it. They left acuatic environments behind and headed to terrestrial habitats. I ignore how long it took but evolution takes it time. Our very first living creatures considered as plants, therefore, lack true tissues and consequently need moisture in order not to dissecate, to absorb water throughout the general surface, to fertilize gametes, to open sporangia end expell spora, …. When severe conditions outcome, they simply end a biological cycle or stay dormant, which is where my post started. Well then, the thing is that living as fauna associated to mosses must be really tough too. This toughness, anyway, definitely has led to incredible creatures such as tardigrades or water bears. Their capability to endure adverse conditions make them fascinating, not only for the fact of living for so long and surviving extreme conditions, but for the ability to incorporate genes from other living things! Wow! I believe Genetic knowledge will change quite a bit in the near future.
Last week I could not avoid picking up a sample of mosses and watch through my foldscope. The fresh and velvety green was so appealing! To my amazement, as if shooting stars, I stumbled across a tardigrade. I suppose it went into hiding due to the intense light, but it hid among the leaves, not real ones although. So each time I see images as the one that follows, I think they have revealed a little secret which I want to share with you: it can be one of them.
The video (sorry, the quality is not the best, I was so excited!).
Sunny weather is back again. They probably must be making their tons as are uncapable to breathe without water. I feel so lucky for having been able to see them! Nevertheless, looking forward to watch them better, I have implemented my own procedure.