|The tardigrade or Water Bear|
out, woke up and resumed their activities as if nothing Rip van Winkle-like had happened!
|Diana Northup in cave|
In an interview with NOVA, Diana spoke about the Tough Bugs she studies:
We think we're superior beings, but these guys are really where it's at ... Yeah, I get pretty attached to them, because I think they're pretty cool-looking. Some of the ones I see have long stalks; they look like sperm on testosterone. Some of them look like braided ropes. They're really cool. And the stuff they produce is just incredible. I can go on and on about blue goo and slime balls and "snottites," the slimy bacterial stalactites found in Cueva de Villa Luz. My husband teases me about whether he should start enticing me with manganese slime.
SnottitesWell, take snottites.
When you're in Cueva de Villa Luz, you see these things that look just like a two-year-old's runny nose, and when you look at them with the scanning electron microscope, they're nothing but bacteria and mucilaginous products and a little bit of minerals that get produced from these microbes.
They're so tiny that we can't see them, yet they can build up these snottite structures that can then, if you use your imagination a bit, turn to rock and represent some of the formations we see in caves such as Lechuguilla.
|Dr. Sergei Markov|