Source: From the Danish Polar Institute
In the chilly depths of a well in Greenland, researchers have discovered a remarkable new animal. According to one report published in the October issue of the Journal of Morphology and another published this week in the Danish magazine Polarfronten, the 0.1-millimeter-long freshwater organism, dubbed Limnognathia maerski, does not fit into any of the previously known animal classes. Researchers have thus created a new branch on the animal family tree to represent this novel class, which they are calling Micrognathia.
Studies of L. maerski (right) have revealed that the diminutive creature has a set of surprisingly complex jaws, which it uses to extricate the bacteria and algae it feeds on from the aquatic moss that grows in the well. It also shares some features with certain marine animals. An all-female colony of the organisms, which reproduce asexually, is being kept in a refrigerator at the University of Copenhagen for further study.