A microscopic animal has been revived after slumbering in the Arctic permafrost for 24,000 years. Bdelloid rotifers typically live in watery environments and have an incredible ability to survive. Russian scientists found the creatures in a core of frozen soil extracted from the Siberian permafrost using a drilling rig.
Earlier research by other groups had shown that the rotifers could survive up to 10 years when frozen. In a new study, the Russian researchers used radiocarbon dating to determine that the critters they recovered from the permafrost (ground frozen year-round, apart from a thin layer near the surface) were about 24,000 years old.