The sandy-saline desert Deshte-Lut, or just Lut, located in Iran, is considered as the hottest place on our planet. During the last expedition to study the features of the desert, the scientists discovered previously unknown organisms. It is a completely new species of freshwater crustacean. They may belong to the genus Phallocryptus. Previously, only four species of that genus were known that could adapt to arid regions.
The discovery was made by Hossein Rajai from the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History and Alexander Rudov from the University of Tehran. They and their colleagues called the event sensational.
Finding crustaceans in a dry and hot desert is fantastic. The scientists explain: the found species differs significantly from other similar species in its general morphology and genetic characteristics.
Examining them, they came to the conclusion that the new species is able to survive for decades in dry places. They can hatch during the rainy season and adapt perfectly to the further dry season. The Lut Desert is known for its record temperatures.
Space data from NASA satellites in 2006 recorded the highest temperature in the area, on the surface it exceeded 80 degrees Celsius. In addition to sand, it contains pebbles that heats up much more than sand.
Average daily temperatures in the desert range from minus 2.6 degrees in winter to plus 50 degrees in summer. The average annual rainfall does not exceed 30 millimeters. The desert is almost completely devoid of vegetation, but it is home to various types of living organisms that do not need permanent aquatic biotopes.
Rains fill astatic water bodies, including the Rud-e-Shur River in the northwest of the desert. The features of the desert are recognized as limited, and due to that fact the discovery of new species of living organisms becomes especially rare.