Friday, 9 December 2016

Rare tiny creatures found in loch near Kinross

9 December 2016

Tiny crustaceans previously recorded at two locations in the British Isles have been found in a loch near Kinross.

Cytherissa lacustris, a species of creature called ostracods, only grow to about a millimetre in length.

Until now, this species had only been known to be living at Loch Assynt in Scotland and a site in north England.

David Horne, professor of micropalaeontology at Queen Mary University of London, found Cytherissa lacustris in Loch Leven.

The species is rare in Britain, but "quite well-known" elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, including parts of Europe and Canada, said Prof Horne.

He was alerted to the possibility that the creatures were living in Loch Leven during a visit to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Prof Horne had gone there to study a large archive of ostracods collected by a 19th Century naturalist, George Brady.

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