A physiological state in which metabolic activity is reduced to an undetectable level without disappearing altogether. It is known in certain plant and animal groups adapted to survive periods of extremely dry conditions.
- ‘This phenomenon, named cryptobiosis, involves a reversible suspension of the metabolism and an effective isolation from the environmental changes.’
- ‘Bdelloids are known for their remarkable ability to survive drying through a process known as cryptobiosis.’
- ‘The ability of tardigrades to undergo cryptobiosis has long intrigued scientists.’
- ‘This is known as cryptobiosis, and is a feature nematodes share with rotifers and tardigrades.’
1920s (denoting the practice of living in concealed habitats): from crypto- ‘concealed, secret’ + Greek biōsis ‘mode of life’ (from bios ‘life’).