Scientists coax ancient creature to life

A lake near Lindstrom, Minn., is host to a remarkable scientific achievement announced this week.

Scientists in Oklahoma have managed to hatch the eggs of a creature that lived in South Center Lake hundreds of years ago.

The eggs belong to a tiny shrimp-like animal called a water flea. They were laid long before European settlement of this region and now they are believed to be the oldest animals ever resurrected.

Scientists are now comparing these creatures to their relatives who still live in South Center Lake today. What they're seeing is teaching scientists a lot about the effect human settlement has had on the lake.

MPR News' Cathy Wurzer spoke with University of Oklahoma biology professor Lawrence Weider, one of the authors of a study about the water fleas published this week in the journal "Ecology Letters."

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