According to a new study, a microscopic freshwater animal known as a “bdelloid rotifer” or “wheel animalcule,” has survived after being frozen for 24,000 years in Siberian permafrost.
“Our report is the hardest proof as of today that multicellular animals could withstand tens of thousands of years in cryptobiosis, the state of almost completely arrested metabolism,” said Stas Malavin, of the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Russia, in a Cell Press statement.
Malavin was the co-author of “A living bdelloid rotifer from 24,000-year-old Arctic permafrost,” published in Current Biology.
“In natural, permanently frozen habitats, some organisms may be preserved for hundreds to tens of thousands of years. For example, stems of Antarctic moss were successfully regrown from an over millennium-old sample covered by ice for about 400 years,” wrote the scientists.
“Bdelloid rotifers, microscopic multicellular animals, are known for their ability to survive extremely low temperatures,” the authors continued. While stating that previous reports suggested a survival after