New Scientist Default Image

New species of tiny ‘fairy shrimp’ found in the world’s hottest desert

A male of the new species of fairy shrimp found in Iran’s Lut desert

Milan Pallmann

Tiny freshwater shrimp live in the world’s hottest desert – and their eggs can lay dormant for years when water is scarce.

In 2006, satellite measurements recorded ground temperatures in the Lut desert reaching 70.7°C – a world record. Since then, the desert’s surface has surpassed 80°C. The intense heat and relative dearth of knowledge about the region’s flora and fauna spurred scientists to make a series of expeditions to the Lut to survey biodiversity there.

Hossein Rajaei at the State Museum …