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New species of tardigrade from 16 million-years-ago found preserved in amber


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A fossilized tardigrade found in Dominican amber constitutes a rare branch of the family tree for these weirdly indestructible beasties.

The specimen hails back to the Miocene, around 16 million years ago, and is only the third tardigrade preserved in amber to be fully described and named. Scientists say this scarcity is because they're so small, and their bodies don't produce minerals that survive the ages... and not because they just don't die, but who can say, really?

At any rate, the wee beastie, representing a new species, can help us fill in the evolutionary history of tardigrades, a phylum that somehow managed to survive every mass extinction we know of. Its discoverers have named it Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus, and identified it as a member of the modern tardigrade superfamily, Isohypsibioidea.

"The discovery of a fossil tardigrade is truly a once-in-a-generation event," says biologist Phil Barden of New Jersey Institute of Technology.

https://www.sciencealert.com/an-extraordinarily-rare-tardigrade-fossil-has-been-found-in-16-million-year-old-amber

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2021.1760

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1 hour ago, jethrofloyd said:

Tardigrades are truly a fantastic little creatures. They should be declared as 'The official animal of planet Earth', :)

If that's where they are really from.....

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  • 1 month later...

Tardigrades are truelly amazing creatures.

What in hell did they endure through time that made them evolve into a creature that is almost impossible to kill?

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