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Bdelloid rotifer: the microscopic worm that came back to life after being frozen for 24 thousand years

MOSCOW.

A microscopic organism revived Y reproduced asexually after staying frozen in the vast lands of permafrost northeast of Siberia during 24 thousand years.

Russian scientists they found the tiny and ancient animal called bdelloid rotifer in a soil sample taken from Alazeya river, in the Russian region of Yakutia, in the extreme 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 minus 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 the 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.

Permafrost-shrouded land, 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 that were more than 30,000 years old.

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