SPECIES IN NEWS 

Stygarctus Keralensis

#Prelims Fact #GS3 

Context:

  • Recently, New tardigrade species named Stygarctus keralensis were discovered from Vadakara.
  • They are tiny, they're tough, and the latest of their ilk to be identified has been named after Kerala.
  • The new tardigrade may be a species of the genus Stygarctus.
  • It is the eighth species named under the genus Stygarctus, which grows up to a length of 130 micrometres (0.13 mm).
  • Stygarctus keralensis is the first taxonomically described marine tardigrade from the Indian waters, which makes the invention a big one.
  • The present discovery is an outcome of an ongoing Ministry of earth sciences-National Centre for Earth Science Studies study on the ecology and variety of submarine groundwater habitats of Kerala.
New tardigrade species named after Kerala - The Hindu

Tardigrades  

  • Tardigrades are so small and a high-end microscope is required to review them .
  • Commonly called ‘water bears’ and ‘moss piglets’, they also rank among the hardiest animals on planet earth despite their minuscule size.  
  • They are very tough animals and are found everywhere on earth, from mountain tops to the deep sea.
  • They have survived five mass extinctions.
  • They are also associated with insects, spiders, and crustaceans and are the lesser-known taxa of invertebrates.
  • They employ a curious process to affect environmental stress. Called ‘cryptobiosis’, it brings their metabolic activities to a reversible standstill. A death-like state, more or less.
  • Certain tardigrade species can withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, radiation, and dehydration.

 

SOURCE: THE HINDU 

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