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Batillipes chandrayaani

  • Context (TH): A New tardigrade species was discovered on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is the third marine tardigrade species described from Indian waters and second from the East Coast.
  • It is named Batillipes Chandrayaani after the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
  • Similar in size to other tardigrades, it grows to a length of 0.15 millimetres and 0.04 millimetres in width.
  • It has a trapezoid-shaped head and four pairs of legs with sharp-tipped sensory spines.
  • Both sexes are similar in terms of morphology and size.
  • Batillipes chandrayaani is also the 39th species described under the genus Batillipes.
  • Earlier tardigrade species from the southwest coast (Stygarctus keralensis) in 2021 and another from the southeast coast (Batillipes kalami) in 2023 were also discovered.


  • Tardigrades are microscopic multicellular organisms commonly known as ‘water bears, although they are not related to actual bears.

Tardigrades - PMF IAS

Credits: The Guardian

  • Marine tardigrades account for 17% of all known tardigrade species and are found in all the oceans.
  • These are among the hardiest animals, enduring mass extinctions with great survival skills.
  • They can survive in extreme physiochemical conditions with the process of cryptobiosis.
  • Cryptobiosis is a state of extreme inactivity in response to adverse environmental conditions. In the cryptobiotic state, all metabolic procedures stop, preventing reproduction, development, and repair.
  • For example, they turn the cytoplasmic fluid of cells into a glass-like structure to survive dehydration.
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