Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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    Tardigrade trapped in 16-million-year-old amber a ‘once in a generation’ find

    This side view of Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus shows what it looks like under a stereomicroscope.

    Ninon Robin (Harvard / NJIT)

    Long ago, small animals ended up with a sticky trap of wood resin. Sixteen million years later, the fossil of the little tardigrade was found in Dominican amber. It’s like a science celebrity now. Talk about glow up.

    The fossil tardigrade is notable for its rarity and its new species and genus.

    Tardigrades are known as “tardigrades” because of their appearance under a microscope (Here’s what they look like when they walk). They are almost invincible and can withstand exposure to space, Even if shot from a gas gun (To some extent).

    Fossil micro-animals looked like modern tardigrades, but researchers could also look inside them. “Of the officially known officially-named bear beetle amber fossils (three so far, including this Dominican amber fossil), this is the first fossil to visualize the internal structure (foregut).” Mark Maparo, A Harvard PhD candidate told me. Mapalo is the lead author This week’s paper on discoveries published in the Royal Society Bulletin B..

    Tardigrades were so different from known specimens that they were given their own genus and the name Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus.

    This artistic rendering shows what the Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus looked like.

    Holly Sullivan (Harvard / NJIT)

    “The discovery of fossil tardigrades is a once-in-a-generation event,” the co-author said. Phil Baden In a statement from the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Tuesday. Baden’s lab has discovered a fossil.

    Finding a small tardigrade 0.5 mm long in ancient amber is not an easy task. “At first I thought it was an amber artifact, a crack or crevice that happened to look like a tardigrade,” Baden said. A small claw turned him into a real figure.

    Humans can buy tardigrade stuffed animals, tardigrade embroidered T-shirts, and even tardigrade jewelry. “As microbes, they live on a scale that is difficult to understand, yet they sometimes have these funny little legs and a prominent cute face that looks familiar, like the bears they are named for. “I’m doing it,” Baden said.

    The amber part of the Dominican Republic with the tardigrade also contained three ants, a beetle and a flower.

    Phillip Barden (Harvard / NJIT)

    Other tardigrade fossils may still be found in other amber samples, but that is a challenging mission. He considers this discovery to be “sufficient tardigrade luck for one career.”

    Mapalo hopes that this finding will encourage researchers to pay attention when studying amber and keep an eye on living things. Fossilized animals tell us how tardigrades have changed over time. Much remains to be learned about these powerful tardigrades, both ancient and modern.

    Tardigrade trapped in 16-million-year-old amber a ‘once in a generation’ find Source link Tardigrade trapped in 16-million-year-old amber a ‘once in a generation’ find

    The post Tardigrade trapped in 16-million-year-old amber a ‘once in a generation’ find appeared first on California News Times.

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