A new species of Tardigrades | Sunday Observer

A new species of Tardigrades

21 November, 2021

Tardigrades or water bears, are virtually indestructible. The eight-legged microscopic animals can withstand extreme temperatures, survive without food for decades, and even exist in a vacuum in space. But, despite being around for over 500 million years, they rarely appear on the fossil record.

Their miniature size and lack of hard tissue make it hard for them to fossilize. Even when they do get preserved, the tiny creatures are hard to spot and often get overlooked.

Over the years, only two tardigrade fossils have been found. Now, a third specimen — one of a new tardigrade species — has joined this exclusive group.

"The discovery of a fossil tardigrade is truly a once-in-a-generation event," Phil Barden, co-author of the October 6, 2021, study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, stated in a press release.

"What is so remarkable is that tardigrades are a ubiquitous ancient lineage that has seen it all on Earth, from the fall of the dinosaurs to the rise of terrestrial colonisation of plants.

Yet, they are like a ghost lineage for paleontologists, with almost no fossil record."

Source: DOGO News