Colémbolo «fantasma»: insecto de la Antártida sobreviviente a 30 eras de hielo.

Esta criatura constituye todo un hallazgo para la comunidad científica, que se ha sido sorprendida con el descubrimiento de una especie que se creía extinta. Los científicos le pusieron el sobre nombre de “fantasma”, por su color blanco.

Foto: Europa Press

Los colémbolos, son organismos cercanos a los insectos que habitan los suelos. Familiares cercanos de las lepismas, estos artrópodos incluyen más de 6,000 especies diferentes en todo el mundo.

Foto: Brigham Young University

Aunque ha dejado de considerárseles insectos, aun se les cuenta como artrópodos por cuestiones de clasificación. Estos diminutos animales, viven en el suelo y poseen una movilidad muy limitada y solo pueden colonizar áreas libres de hielo.

Foto: Brigham Young University

Byron Adams, profesor de biología de la Brigham Young University, ha realizado varias investigaciones en la Antártida. Él dice que la historia evolutiva de los organismos biológicos puede corroborar lo que inferimos de la glaciología y la geología sobre el cambio climático en el pasado. Al hacerlo, podemos predecir mejor cómo la vida en la tierra podría responder a este tipo de cambios ahora.

Esta criatura, que se creía extinta, es una especie primitiva parecida a un insecto, que ha logrado sobrevivir a 30 eras de hielo.

Recientemente descubierta por un equipo de biólogos, comandados por Adams, también encontraron otras cuatro especies de criaturas que se creían extintas.

Foto: Brigham Young University

Todas mostraban poblaciones genéticamente distintas en lugares probablemente aislados durante millones de años. Con el deshielo que ha presentado la Antártida,  los investigadores han tenido la oportunidad de recolectar las muestras de otras seis especies diferentes de microartrópodos.

Con información de la Revista Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Somos Extremo Mundial.

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