Bdelloids Frozen for 24,000 Years Return to Life and Reproduce

(p. D2) Bdelloids can . . . come back to life after tens of thousands of years in deep freeze, according to a study published Monday [June 7, 2021] in the journal Current Biology. Bdelloids are one of a handful of teensy creatures, including tardigrades, that are known to survive incredibly inhospitable conditions.

. . .

For the study, scientists collected samples by drilling about 11 feet below the surface of permafrost in northeastern Siberia. They discovered living bdelloid rotifers locked in the ancient permafrost, whose average temperature hovers around 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

. . .

Radiocarbon-dating revealed the bdelloids were 24,000 years old. They then bounced back and were still capable of reproducing once thawed.

For the full story see:

Marion Renault. “The Deepest Sleeper: It Makes Rip Van Winkle Look Like an Amateur.” The New York Times (Tuesday, June 15, 2021 [sic]): D2.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 7, 2021 [sic], and has the title “This Tiny Creature Survived 24,000 Years Frozen in Siberian Permafrost.” Where the versions differ, in the passages quoted above I follow the online version.)

The study mentioned above is:

Shmakova, Lyubov, Stas Malavin, Nataliia Iakovenko, Tatiana Vishnivetskaya, Daniel Shain, Michael Plewka, and Elizaveta Rivkina. “A Living Bdelloid Rotifer from 24,000-Year-Old Arctic Permafrost.” Current Biology 31, no. 11 (June 7, 2021): R712-R713.

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