Voldemort's sand satellite. In Finland, found a new species of “indestructible” tardigrades with claws (photo)
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Scientists discovered a tiny creature among mosses and lichens and named it after Lord Voldemort's snakes from the Harry Potter books.
Tiny tardigrades were found in samples of mosses, lichens and fallen leaves from different areas of the Rokua National Park in Finland, writes the Daily Mail.
The discovery was made by a team of scientists from the University of Jyväskylä. The researchers named the new species after Lord Voldemort's snake Nagini from the Harry Potter book series, Macrobiotus naginae. According to scientists, they were inspired by the story of Nagini, who was once a woman, but turned into a creature without limbs and was forced to live in the sands.
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According to the researchers, soil tardigrades tend to have shortened, reduced or completely absent limbs – this allows them to better pass between soil particles. However, a new species of tardigrade has evolved tiny claws that seem to enable them to better navigate between grains of sand.
In the course of research, scientists found that the Nagini tardigrade is a dioecious species, both males and females are present in the samples found. For example, in males, sperm is present in the core in the form of a corkscrew, in females – a sperm cell, which in insects is an organ of the female genital tract.
In addition, scientists also found Nagini eggs in soil samples – they had a whitish color and freely deposited in the environment. In total, scientists were able to study about fifty tardigrades and a dozen eggs.
Tardigrades are not the most attractive animals on Earth, but these tiny creatures have amazing vitality. Previous studies have already shown that tardigrades are able to adapt to even the harshest conditions.
Typically, these animals prefer to live in a more humid environment, however, their unique ability to excrete internal water and become dry allows them to feel quite comfortable yourself and in drier places like sand dunes.
In total, scientists know about 900 different species of tardigrades, which are found in different parts of the world – from the highest mountains to the deepest parts of the ocean.
In early research, scientists have already found that these tiny creatures have a very strong urge to live – they are almost impossible to kill. Researchers have tried to cook, crush, freeze and even irradiate them – the vitality of these creatures is amazing.