'Most ancient' species is alive and well in Scotland
Friday 30 July 2010
A rare shrimp that may be the most ancient animal species on Earth is alive and well in Scotland, scientists have discovered.
Two colonies of the tadpole shrimp, Triops cancriformis, were found at Caerlaverock on the Solway Coast of Dumfriesshire. Experts think there could be more "hidden" populations of the crustacean – a designated endangered species – elsewhere.
The tadpole shrimp may have the oldest pedigree of any living animal, scientists believe. Fossil finds show that the shrimp is virtually the same today as it was 200 million years ago, when the first dinosaurs evolved.
The shrimps are adapted to living in temporary water pools. When the water dries up, the adults die but leave behind eggs that can remain dormant for years until wet conditions return.
Understanding the animal's unusual lifestyle helped researchers from the University of Glasgow make the discovery announced today.
Mud thought to contain tadpole shrimp eggs was sampled from pools around Caerlaverock, dried, re-wetted and placed in small aquaria.
The scientists were startled to find a large shrimp swimming in one of the tanks within a couple of weeks.
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Russell Brand opposes anti-Semitism after death threats: 'We must disavow all forms of prejudice that lead to exclusion and execution'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station, say reports
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...