Would you like to see a tardigrade up close? The best way is by looking at it through a microscope.
If you don’t have one yourself, maybe you could use one at your school or at a nature center. A microscope that magnifies 15 to 30 times is strong enough to show tardigrades.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
- paper bag or envelope
- small cup or other container
- distilled or spring water
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO
- Go outside and find some moss. It could be growing on the ground or even on a tree.
- Pull up a small clump of moss. Try to get a piece with as little dirt on it as possible.
- Put the moss into the paper bag or envelope to transport it to where there is a microscope.
- Put the moss face-down into the container. Add some water to cover it and leave overnight.
- The next day, take the moss out of the container and squeeze it so that the water goes into the container.
- Use the eyedropper to suck up some water. Squirt it onto a slide, then look at it under the microscope.
You may see a number of things moving around, since tardigrades aren’t the only tiny creatures that live in moss! But soon you may spot a tardigrade. It will look barrel-shaped and move slowly, and you might be able to see its legs as it crawls along. Once you find one tardigrade, you may start recognizing others. Happy hunting!