Tardigrades have attracted the attention of researchers with their amazing endurance. They withstand enormous temperatures, high doses of ionizing radiation, resistant to harsh atmospheric factors and high pressure, used in experiments in outer space and survive in conditions of many years of lack of moisture.

At the same time, they have tiny sizes (the body of tardigrades has a size of 0.1-1.5 mm) and a very slow speed of movement (only 2-3 mm per minute).

Suppose tardigrades would grow to the size of an average cat. Would they have the same survival rate if everything else (conditions and habitat) had not changed? Would size scaling affect their bodily functions in any way?

Partially, this topic answers my question, but I would like to know if tardigrades have any features here too.

What are some examples of scaling laws in biology?

EDIT: Very interesting topic left unattended

  • $\begingroup$ I doubt that this could be answered by any scientific study as it isn't something that is possible to do in science, so would mostly be speculation, which doesn't fit well here. There are giant plant cells (e.g. Caulerpa taxifolia (multi-nucleate) and Valonia ventricosa), and things like island gigantism in animals, but it isn't several orders of magnitude change there. You might look at reptiles (e.g. chameleons) for some animals with an order of magnitude size range. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Jul 8 at 20:47


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