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The intrigue deepened when biologists realized that at least some of the beasts from Lake Mercer were landlubbers.The eight-legged tardigrade resembles species known to inhabit damp soils.The crustaceans and a tardigrade, or ‘water bear’ — all smaller than poppy seeds — were found in Subglacial Lake Mercer, a body of water that had lain undisturbed for thousands of years.Until now, humans had seen the lake only indirectly, through ice-penetrating radar and other remote-sensing techniques.How the crustaceans and tardigrade reached Lake Mercer is still a matter of debate.
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"It takes a bit of time.""And it's the same with Earth's climate.
If you ratchet up the level of CO2 at 400 parts-per-million, it won't suddenly get to an equilibrium overnight.
The researchers now think that the creatures inhabited ponds and streams in the Transantarctic Mountains, roughly 50 kilometres from Lake Mercer, during brief warm periods in which the glaciers receded — either in the past 10,000 years, or 120,000 years ago.
Later, as the climate cooled, ice smothered these oases of animal life.