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Russian scientists’ team have discovered ancient nematode worms, that have been napping for 40,000 years in Siberia. Early than this month, it is announced in the journal Doklady Biological Sciences. The worms are said to be capable of resurrecting themselves after being buried in permafrost for at least 32,000 years. According to www.firstpost.com “If this finding turns out to be legitimate it would be the longest-surviving return that has never been seen before in a complex, multi-celled organism. This might even dwarf the tardigrade they are also well known for surviving extreme conditions”.
The worms were taken out from the frozen soil in Kolyma River Lowlands in northeastern Siberia. It was found more than 300 samples of frozen soil out of which 2 samples held the worms. One of them belonging to the genus Panagrolaimus were from a buried squirrel burrow which dated back 32,000 years and the other from genus Plexus were from a glacier dating back 40,000 years. These ancient nematode worms were kept at 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit). Also the worms ate the food and even created new family members.
According to the new study “Also, the researchers argue that it is impossible for the new-age nematodes to wriggle their way 100 feet and 15 feet down where the ice samples were buried. Scientists have pulled out spores from Bacillus bacteria which were hidden inside 250 million-year-old salt crystals and bring them back to life”.
Researchers indicate that there is no any danger for people by ancient nematode worms.
The nematodes are a diverse animal phylum inhabiting a broad range of environments. Nematode species can be difficult to distinguish, and although over 25,000 have been described, of which more than half are parasitic, it is estimated that over 40,000 species exist. It is estimated they are classified along with insects and other moulting animals in the clade Ecdysozoa.