Oxygen-Free Animals Discovered—A First
Deep in the Mediterranean, scientists have discovered the first complex animals known to live without oxygen.
It was previously thought that only viruses and single-celled microbes could survive without oxygen long-term.
But three new species of multicellular animals found during recent research expeditions live comfortably in oxygen-free depths, said team leader Roberto Danovaro of Italy's Polytechnic University of Marche.
"The bodies of multicellular animals have previously been discovered [in oxygen-free zones] but were thought to have sunk there from upper, oxygenated waters," Danovaro said in a statement. "Our results indicate that the animals we recovered were alive. Some, in fact, also contained eggs."
The new animals are microscopic—each measuring less than a millimeter across—and they resemble tiny jellyfish. (Read about giant mucus