By Jack Williams
A lab technician was left stunned when a tiny tardigrade she was monitoring suddenly decided to let out a huge POO.
In the amusing and rarely-captured footage, the minute creature – also known as a water bear – can at first be seen moving along normally under the microscope as it is filmed by high school lab technician Kita Williams.
Suddenly, much to Kita’s shock, the the microscopic water bear stopped in its tracks, letting out a huge poo in comparison to its tiny body.
Kita, from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, said though many people have studied the creatures under a microscope, very few have seen a tardigrade poop – let alone film it.
The 27-year-old, who filmed the moment last week, said: “I was extremely excited!
“It was perfect timing.
“I’ve been observing tardigrades for around seven months, but this was the first – and only – poop event I’ve seen.
“These moments are rarely captured on film, so I always hoped I’d get to see it happen.
“It’s fun to add to the knowledge around tardigrade toileting.”
Kita located the tardigrade in a sample of sediment collected from her local creek.
Tardigrades are renowned for their survival skills, having been known to operate in temperatures ranging from -270 Celsius to 150 Celsius – even in outer space.
Kita added: “The response has been fantastic – I love seeing all the humour and enthusiasm.
“Microscopy is filled with strange, thrilling and funny moments, so it’s a joy to share with people.”