Definition of Tardigrada in English:


plural noun

  • A small phylum that comprises the water bears.

    • ‘The recently published Ecdysozoa hypothesis suggests a closer relationship of the Scalidophora, Nematode, Nematomorpha, Tardigrada, Onychophora, and Arthropoda.’
    • ‘Other ecdysozoan phyla include Nematoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora; this classification thus removes onychophorans from the Arthropoda and makes them an outgroup.’
    • ‘Despite their overall abundance and cosmopolitan distribution, the Tardigrada have been relatively neglected by invertebrate zoologists.’
    • ‘The phylum Tardigrada is often classified as one of the ‘lesser-known’ groups of protostomes.’
    • ‘However, on both morphological and molecular grounds it seems that two groups that are sometimes given phylum rank, the Onychophora and the Tardigrada, are the closest living relatives of the arthropods.’


Modern Latin (plural), from Latin tardigradus, from tardus slow + gradi to walk.