How To Find Water Bears


Coma Niddy: Hey science-friends! Right now
I’m at the BioBase and we are going to go on an adventure to find Water Bears! Coma Niddy Narrated: Water Bear Don’t Care!
Tardigrades. They’re cute, they’re tiny, and they’re pretty tough. These 8-legged animals
can survive almost anything and live almost everywhere! And today I’m going to show you
how to find them. And joining us, I brought Dr Ben, founder of the BioBus. And here’s
Valeria, she’s an engineering student with sick photography skills and she’ll be filming
the action. To get started you’ll need some simple materials.
An envelope, a small knife, and a microscope. And the magnification doesn’t even have to
be crazy. Coma Niddy: Finding those water bears! Where
ever you are, going to find ya. So where you find moss, you might find water bears and
in this corridor there seems to be a lot of moss. Coma Niddy (Narrated): So yea. Let’s go! Step
1, find the moss, collect the moss. Coma Niddy: In order to collect the water
bears, what we’re going to do is use a simple knife and envelope. Coma Niddy (Narrated): And here’s another
tip. Collect a variety of moss and be thorough to increase your chances of finding those
tardigrades. Coma Niddy: As a kid you’re encouraged to
play in the dirt. And as an adult you should still play in the dirt. You’ll be surprised
at what you can find. Whoa, what in the world, why is this up there. Dr Ben: It’s not a water bear. Coma Niddy: Definitely not a water bear. To you and I a tree is just a tree. But if
you were the size of a water bear, this tree is like a planet. Coma Niddy (Narrated): Or maybe it’s more
like a continent. But regardless, water bears live in the trees as well. So you want to
scrape out as lichen and moss as possible. Get in those crevices. Get in those cracks.
Get lots of moss. And once you have your samples, you take it back to the base. And in this
case, it’s the BioBase. Now Water Bears can enter a state called Cryptobiosis
when they sense that it’s too dry. They dry themselves out like raisins and shrivel up.
And it’s in that cryptobiotic state that Water Bears can survive without oxygen without food
without water. And that’s why water bears are really tough. To reanimate the water bears we’re going to
use some good ole H2O. But not just any H2O, we’re talking about that spring water or distilled
water because tap water can kill some of the microorganisms. Water Bears do care about
that. Coma Niddy: So now that the moss is re-hydrated,
if there are any microorganisms in cryptobiosis they’ll sense that there’s water around them
and they’ll uh reanimate so to speak. Coma Niddy (narrated): Now it can take a couple
of hours to reanimate but this is youtube so we’re just going to skip that. So now we grab the moss and we squeeze it
out into another container. If there’s any water bears or other creatures in there, they’ll
fall out with the water. And now we’re on the hunt for those water bears. What do you see Dr Ben? Oh well that’s a nematode
or a small worm, those are pretty cool too but we’re looking for those water bears. Let’s
see what Valeria finds. And that eyebrow is saying that she doesn’t see a thing! But now Dr Ben…what do you see? Do you see
a Water Bear? Dr Ben: (laughs) Coma Niddy: Is that a? That’s a bear! Dr Ben: Not a Bear. It’s a creature, it’s
a critter… Coma Niddy Narrated: So, whatever that thing
is, it’s not the microorganism that we’re looking for. We continue searching but we’re
not having any luck. So let’s go to day 2. Yea! Here we are day 2 at the New York Hall
of Science and check out this tree right here! All of that lichen. So here we go again. You collect the moss.
Getting in all those cracks and crevices. Getting different parts of the tree. Being
thorough, like a pro. Look at that moss down there. That’s that fluffy moss. If you were
a water bear, you would probably want to be in there because it’s going to be moist and
you can hang out all you want. So let’s take this moss and check it out. So here we are, new location, moss re-hydrated,
searching through and…BAM! There ya go, water bear in your face! Coma Niddy: We found a Water Bear! We found
a Tardigrade, we found a Water Bear. It’s time to celebrate! So that was our Water Bear
adventure and if decide to go searching for tardigrades, share you adventure we me via
social media. Because doing science is awesome! Thanks for watching. Hit subscribe and I’ll
see you next time.

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