Russian scientists defrosted and resurrected several prehistoric worms. The two worms began to move and eat. One is 41,700 years old and the other 32,000 years old.
Skeptics cite the possibility of ancient samples’ contamination by contemporary organisms.
According to New Atlas’ Michael Irving, a team of Russian scientists working in collaboration with Princeton University found the viable specimens while analyzing more than 300 soil samples taken from the Arctic permafrost. One of the samples was retrieved from a squirrel burrow located in the Duvanny Yar outcrop and dates to about 32,000 years ago. The older sample, which dates to about 41,700 years ago, was found in a glacial deposit near the Alazeya River. Both nematodes are believed to be female.
Researchers claim that they “defrosted” two ancient nematodes, which began moving and eating. If the claims hold up, it will be a scientific discovery for the ages (Shatilovich, et al.)
The return of the woolly mammoth may remain far in the future, but in the meantime, we have two 40,000-year-old roundworms to spark our dreams of a Pleistocene revival.