In this video excerpt from NOVA, meet organisms that thrive in a wide variety of harsh conditions, such as dry deserts, toxin-laden lakes, dark caves, and acidic rivers. These microbes—dubbed extremophiles—show life’s adaptiveness and are broadening scientist’s understanding of the diverse environmental conditions life can withstand. Since similar conditions have been detected or inferred on other planets or moons, microbes might live there as well. In activity four from the Education Collection that accompanies this video, students match a microbe to an extreme environment in which it could live using cards that show extremophiles and some of Earth’s extreme environments.
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