Nematodes - on earth since prehsitoric times

Nematodes or roundworms are fascinating creatures and belong to the roundworm family. They are very numerous and highly adaptable and can colonize all kinds of natural habitats. They have existed on earth since prehistoric times.

After probably 46,000 years, frozen in the Siberian permafrost, nematodes of a previously unknown species were discovered in 2018. Scientists thawed them out - and they survived! The worms had produced a special sugar and formed a permanent larva, a mechanism that enabled them to survive in the ice for a long time.
This newly discovered species was named Panagrolaimus kolymaensis, after the Russian river Kolyma, where the first specimens were found.

However, nematodes have been around for much longer. They already existed when the dinosaurs inhabited the earth. We know this because nematodes have been found in amber, the fossilized resin of prehistoric pines.

Researchers have found insects in the amber that were infested with nematodes. This means that nematodes were already parasitizing insects in the Jurassic period (approx. 145 - 200 million years ago). A behavior that we use today with our beneficial nematodes in biocontrol against harmful insects.