Scientists have awakened ANCIENT worms frozen under Arctic ice for more than 40,000 years.
This raises the possibility that species that have long disappeared or disappeared may be brought back to life.
Nematode worms have been found buried in Siberian permafrost and are the most complex creatures to have been re-established after a long frost.
Microbiologist Tatiana Vishnivetskaya of the University of Tennessee, United States, resurrected nematodes – half a millimeter long with a head, a brain and a nervous system -.
She said: "We were surprised and very excited."
She estimated that one of them was 41,000 years old – the oldest living organism to date.
Nematodes are known to be able to withstand extreme environments. They can go into suspended animation and form a temperature-resistant coating.
Nematode specialist Gaetan Borgonie of Extreme Life Isyensya in Gentbrugge, Belgium, said the nematodes are well equipped to survive for thousands of years in permafrost.
She said, "These bastards survive just about everything."
During this time, the moss was brought back to life after 150 years of burial in a glacier. Biologist Catherine La Farge explained that the color was pale and distorted when she found it, but also green.
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She said, "You would not think that a land buried for hundreds of years would be viable.
"The material has always been considered dead." But seeing the green fabric, I thought: "It's rather unusual."
She placed samples in nutrient-rich soils at the University of Alberta in Canada. Nearly a third has entered life.