A small phylum that comprises the water bears.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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 recently published Ecdysozoa hypothesis suggests a closer relationship of the Scalidophora, Nematode, Nematomorpha, Tardigrada, Onychophora, and Arthropoda.’
- ‘The phylum Tardigrada is often classified as one of the ‘lesser-known’ groups of protostomes.’
Modern Latin (plural), from Latin tardigradus, from tardus slow + gradi to walk.