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Micro-animals are animals so small that they can only be visually observed under a microscope. Microscopic arthropods include dust mites, spider mites, and some crustaceans such as copepods and certain cladocera. Another common group of microscopic animals are the rotifers, which are filter feeders that are usually found in fresh water. Some nematode species are microscopic,[1] as well as many loricifera, including the recently discovered anaerobic species, which spend their entire lives in an anoxic environment.[2][3] The tardigrades, water-dwelling micro-animals, can survive extreme living conditions that they are not evolved for and have survived the hard vacuum of space, solar and UV radiation in an astrobiology experiment into space.[4]


  1. ^ "Microscopic Animals". Natural Recources Conservation Service. Archived from the original on 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  2. ^ "Animals thrive without oxygen at sea bottom". nature.com.
  3. ^ "Briny deep basin may be home to animals thriving without oxygen". Science News.
  4. ^ Simon, Matt (March 21, 2014). "Absurd Creature of the Week: The Incredible Critter That's Tough Enough to Survive in Space". Wired. Retrieved 2014-03-21.