Image Credit: The Print

One such worm has been discovered near the lifeless lake, Mono Lake in California is considered an inhospitable for most of the species. Due to its super salty property, bacteria, algae, brine shrimp and diving flies are prominent.

Eight more species of microscopic worms were found by researchers of California Institute of Technology, which were moving near to a lake and one of them is of a new kind that falls under the nematode category. They have named it – Auanema sp., it has not one, two, but three different sexes, according to the researcher’s team, it can survive a dose of arsenic 500 times what is humanly possible.

Normally nematode species keep simple when it comes to the differentiation of sex, dividing into hermaphrodites and males. But Auanema sp.also has worms of the female sex . in addition to it, they have interesting sex characteristics as per researchers,” the  arrangement of genital papillae in Auanema sp. males is unique in the genus.”

The team added, that microscopic worm also gives birth to live offsprings, a unique approach followed by nematode species, the strange characteristics of worm only would help them to survive in the hyper salty water of Mono lakes.

“Extremophiles can teach us so much about innovative strategies for dealing with stress,” says Pei-Yin Shih.

“Our study shows we still have much to learn about how these 1,000-celled animals have mastered survival in extreme environments.”

On comparing the new species of the nematode to other species of the same kind, the team found similar high arsenic resistance among two sisters.

Nematodes might be pre-adapted to life as an extremophile. They could have genetic resiliency and flexibility that makes it easier for them to live in places like Mono Lake. Researchers have found two other species before this discovery in this lake, which is three times saltier than the ocean and Ph value is more than baking soda.

Hence we can conclude that nematodes are dominant animals in Mono Lakes. For every single human, there are around 57 billion nematodes.



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