FEB 28, 2018 5:17 PM PST

Researchers Find New Tardigrade Species in Japan

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Tardigrades are some of the most durable life forms on the planet, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that scientists want to learn more about them. In fact, a team of researchers from Jagiellonian University recently traveled from Poland to Japan in an attempt to locate some for scientific research.

When they arrived, they stumbled upon a moss-infested parking lot. Tardigrades love these types of environments, so the researchers began taking samples that they could analyze later. And it’s a good thing they did…

A closer look at some eggs from a newly-discovered tardigrade species.

Image Credit: Stec et al (2018)

Related: Study sheds more light on tardigrades

After studying their samples with phase contrast light microscopy (PCM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), among other methods, the researchers discovered more than they initially bargained for. They found tardigrades, but they also stumbled upon an entirely new species. The findings have been published in the journal PLOS ONE this week.

Citing the paper, the team paid particular attention to the tardigrades’ eggs and found features consistent with the persimilis subgroup of the hufelandi complex. Solid surfaces and flexible filaments, which are consistent with two known tardigrades from Africa and South America, were just some of the features they discerned.

But the primary differentiator was the DNA analysis, which confirmed that the species didn’t match any known tardigrades in existence. That said, M. shonaicus is now being recognized as an entirely different species, and that raises the number of known tardigrade species native to Japan from 167 to 168.

Related: What would it take to wipe out the tardigrade?

There are more than a thousand known tardigrade species around the globe, but the latest discovery emphasizes how we still have much to learn about the microscopic world. Given just how vast and diverse our planet is, probing additional parts of the globe may yield fascinating new results.

Source: Gizmodo, Science Daily

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 18, 2022
Neuroscience
Human Neurons Found to be Surprisingly Different From Other Mammals
FEB 18, 2022
Human Neurons Found to be Surprisingly Different From Other Mammals
Ion channels are crucial for neural communication; they control the flow and gradient of charged particles, creating ele ...
FEB 24, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
Can Evolutionary Changes Happen Suddenly?
FEB 24, 2022
Can Evolutionary Changes Happen Suddenly?
When we think of evolutionary changes, we tend to consider long stretches of time. But can evolution happen rapidly? The ...
FEB 23, 2022
Technology
That Whale Photo You Took On Vacation Could Help With Conservation Efforts
FEB 23, 2022
That Whale Photo You Took On Vacation Could Help With Conservation Efforts
Animal diversity has consistently been on the decline for a number of reasons (including habitat loss and human-driven c ...
MAR 15, 2022
Plants & Animals
Could Artificial Eggs Prevent the Extinction of the Northern White Rhino?
MAR 15, 2022
Could Artificial Eggs Prevent the Extinction of the Northern White Rhino?
Due to both conflicts in various regions in Africa and a desire for rhino horn (which has been used in traditional medic ...
MAR 20, 2022
Plants & Animals
For Fruit Flies, Evolution is Anything but a Gradual Process
MAR 20, 2022
For Fruit Flies, Evolution is Anything but a Gradual Process
It’s generally believed that evolution is a gradual process that takes place over significant periods of time.&nbs ...
APR 01, 2022
Earth & The Environment
460-Million-Year-Old Ancestor of the Vampire Squid Discovered with Ten Functional Arms
APR 01, 2022
460-Million-Year-Old Ancestor of the Vampire Squid Discovered with Ten Functional Arms
A recent discovery within the coleiod cephalopod species has further pushed back its known origin by approximately 82 mi ...
Loading Comments...