Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nematodes are the Antarctic’s most abundant land creature

What's the most abundant animal in Antarctica? If you said penguins you'd be wrong.

Nematodes are the Antarctic’s most abundant land creature, beating out penguins (as most penguins spend most of their time at sea). And yet you’ll never see one- until you get behind a microscope that is.

Now you may be wondering, how does this tiny, little creature survive in the endless frozen desert that is t
he Antarctic? Well, when conditions get too dry, nematodes have the ability to drop into a death-like state.

They can stay in such a state for months, even years, before they finally revives themselves. First, they pump all the water out of their bodies until they’re dried out (this process in similar to freeze-drying).

Then, they literally just blow around in the wind until the moisture returns. When it does, they suck the water back into their bodies and voila-they’re alive!

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