A group of Finnish scientists have just discovered a new species of tardigrade, animals also called “water bears” and recognized for their resistance and ability to survive in the harshest conditions.This new individual was baptized as Nagini, in honor of the snake that accompanies Lord Voldemort, the villain of Harry Potter.
According to what was published by scientists from the University of Jyväskylä, this animal has eight tiny legs that allow it to crawl, something that not all of its species can do.
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In addition, it can excrete internal water, dry out, and survive the harshest environments. It was present in the mosses, lichens and leaf litter of Rokua National Park, where it managed to adapt and obtain limbs, something that its peers do not have.
“Rokua National Park is located in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. As one of the northernmost locations in Finland, it is a key habitat for the rare and endangered esker (long, sinuous ridge of stratified sand and gravel ), including many plant species adapted to dry environments, which in turn support many Lepidopteran and Hymenopteran taxa,” notes the study published in Zoological Studies.
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It was the physical characteristics of this animal developed to adapt to the most extreme environments such as esker which led scientists to name it after Nagini, the snake that accompanies the unmentionable villain of the Harry Potter saga.
“Formerly a cursed woman who is permanently and irreversibly transformed into a limbless beast, this fictional character provides an appropriate name for the new species in the complex. pseudohufelandiwhich in turn is characterized by reduced legs and claws”, the researchers highlight.
The tardigrade or water bear, a microanimal, is the most resistant species in the world, so much so that it would be able to survive on Earth as long as the Sun continues to shine, according to a study by Scientific Reports.
This curious animal would survive the risk of extinction caused by all kinds of astrophysical catastrophes and would remain on our planet for another 10 billion years, when scientists believe the Sun will go extinct, according to a study by the universities of Oxford and Harvard.
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The water bear is the toughest and most resistant life form on Earth, with a size of 0.5 millimeters and an average life of 60 years, this animal is capable of going 30 years without eating or drinking, it resists temperatures up to 150 degrees and can live in the abyssal depths.
The researchers consider that the tardigrade would be the species on our planet with the best chances of surviving any type of astrophysical calamity, since its consequences would never be such as to boil the water of the oceans.