June 11, 2021 (Excelsior).- A microscopic organism revived and reproduced asexually after remaining frozen in the vast permafrost lands of northeastern Siberia for 24,000 years.
Russian scientists found the tiny, ancient animal called the ‘bdelloid rotifer’ in a soil sample taken from the Alazeya River in Russia’s Yakutia region in the far north of the country.
The bdelloid rotifer, a multicellular organism found in freshwater habitats around the world, is known to be able to withstand extreme cold.
Previous research suggested that it could survive for a decade when frozen at -20 degrees Celsius.
This new case, which was detailed in a study in the journal Current Biology, is by far the longest recorded survival period for a creature in a frozen state.
The organism was recovered from samples taken 3.5 meters underground.
The material dates from between 23,960 and 24,485 years ago, according to the study.
The land shrouded in permafrost, where the ground is frozen all year round, has yielded surprising scientific discoveries for years.
Scientists previously revived microscopic worms called nematodes from sediments at two locations in northern Siberia, which were more than 30,000 years old.
Source: Reporteros Hoy