Tardigrades at Stanford

Waterbears  live all around the world. They are commonly found around moss or lichen, so I encourage you to look for them.



Quick tutorial on finding tardigrades:

  1. Collect some lichen or moss (I found lichen on the bark of a tree. Be careful not to damage the bark while scraping off the lichen, it houses many microorganisms and protects the tree.)
  2. dav
  3. Place the lichen in a petridish and cover with tap water. Leave the sample soaking over night. This allows the waterbear to hydrate and become active.
  4. Prepare some slides and search your sample under the foldscope! This may take a while, so have patience.
  5. I assembled a slide with one well in which I placed a chunk of lichen and a view drops of water from the petridish. I did this step 10 times, always renewing the lichen and water, until I saw my first tartigrade!
  6. I actually got really inpatient and used a big light microscope to scan my petridish and check for living organisms before I reutrned to the foldscope.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. RebeccaKonte says:

    Ah, you found a Tardigrade!!!! These videos are just beautiful! 🙂

    1. Anna says:

      Yes!! It took me half the day to find this guy haha. But it was totally worth it:)

  2. Manu Prakash says:

    Wow wow wow @Anna. I am so happy. As our official Mascot – tardigrades hold a special place in our heart. And a cardinal tardigrade – that is indeed special.

    If you can share (even if briefly) how you went about finding them – community members all across can try out your technique.

    Also; I just saw a note from Twitter by an Indian Tardigrade Hunter – who works in Himalayas looking for new tardigrade species:

    Quote: I will copy twitter handle for the same in next comment –
    “Great find, an eutardigrade… Notice there’s no armour on the back… Probably a Milnesium or a Echiniscoides, need to study claws and buccal apparatus to be sure of it.”

    A warm welcome to the foldscope community.


    1. Anna says:

      Hahaha cardinal tardigrade indeed! I will try to identify more of it’s features and maybe the species from other videos.
      Unfortunately I lost him at the Patio in Palo Alto.. Demonstration’s in bars are fun but not recommended😄

  3. Manu Prakash says:

    Twitter handle of person who suggested species identification –


  4. Namrata mishra says:

    Woww it’s amazing

  5. Hey Anna and Manu,
    @Anna, lovely find by the way.. Keep up the good work, they really are hard to find but worth the efforts. Amazing creatures aren’t they ??
    @Manu, Thank you very much, soon I will be documenting about the samples that I brought from the Himalayas here..


    1. Anna says:

      Hi Yashas,
      Thank you, they are so cool! I just saw your post’s from the Himalayas, stunning nature. Hope you found them:)

      1. There’s a surprise waiting 😉

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