Introducing Mopsechiniscus franciscae, a new species of tardigrade — one of the hardiest creatures known to science. It's the first time this genus has been discovered as far south as Antarctica, a find that hints at this remarkable animal's ancient roots.
Also known as moss piglets, tardigrades are microscopic animals typically found in moss and lichen where they eat plant cells or small invertebrates. These critters are found virtually everywhere — from the tops of mountains and hot deserts to the deep ocean. And they're ridiculously tough. These guys can deal with extremes of cold, heat, pressure, dehydration, poison, and radioactivity that would kill almost anything else. And in fact, tardigrades can even survive in the vacuum of space.