Dr. Hossein Rajaei from the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History, together with Dr. Alexander V Rudov from Tehran University, conducted an expedition across the Lut Desert from Iran. Although the purpose was to understand the desert’s environment better, they discovered a new species of freshwater Crustacea named Phallocryptus fahimii. The species belongs to the genus Phallocryptus.
The name Phallocryptus fahimii of the new species was given in honor of the Iranian biologist Hadi Fahimi.
They didn’t see it coming
The newfound Crustaceans can survive even for decades in the dried-out sediment. Surprisingly enough, they are seamlessly adapted to live in desert environments.
Credit for the image goes to: M. Pallmann SMNS / Pallmann
There’s no wonder why the researchers were amazed by the discovery. The Lut Desert from Iran is one of the hottest places on Earth. Dr. Rajaei from State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart was the lucky scientist who found the new species. He declared:
During an expedition to such an extreme place you are always on alert, in particular when finding water. Discovering crustaceans in this otherwise hot and dry environment was really sensational.
The heat in the Lut Desert from Iran is truly unbearable. After collecting data for seven years by using satellites, researchers concluded that the desert is the hottest place on Earth. The highest temperature ever recorded here was back in 2005: 70.7°C (159.3°F).
Lut is a large salt desert that exists in the Iranian provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan. The place also represents the world’s 25th-largest desert, and in 2016 it was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
It’s ironic that as many scientists are wondering what shapes and forms would life take on other planets, Earth is here and ready to prove to us that we have a lot to discover on our own world.
The new findings were published in Zoology in the Middle East.