Who lives at the top of the highest active volcano in the world?

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2020-03-25 17:20:16

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Who lives at the top of the highest active volcano in the world? Source:

Llullaillaco the highest current a volcano on the planet. It is located on the border of Chile and Argentina and stands at a whopping 6739 meters above sea level. Its snow covered peak lies at extreme altitude, where the oxygen concentration below normal by as much as 45%, and the temperature sometimes drops to -60 degrees Celsius. It would be logical to assume that these places are uninhabited, but not in 2013 climber Matt Farson (Matt Farson) saw this little rodent. Learning this, scientists began to wonder what other animals can live in such harsh conditions and what they eat there, because on top of the volcano there is no vegetation. A few years later, the answers to some questions of interest to scientists has finally been found.

The Fact that the climber Matt Farson noticed on top of a huge active volcano rodent, caught the interest of the biologist Jay Storz. According to the animals theoretically can't dwell on the height, above 5 km. And rodent, noted climber, walked at an altitude of about 6.7 km. To find out whether rodents are able to survive at extreme altitude, a biologist climbed the volcano Llullaillaco together with climber Mario Perez Mamani (Mario Mamani Prez).

Biologist Jay Storz (left) and climber Mario Perez Mamani (right)

The hardiest animals

To everyone's surprise, on the way to the top of a huge volcano, the researchers did meet several species of rodents. For example, they encountered individuals so-called Andean gerbil (Eligmodontia puerulus), which are usually found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Also the biologist and the climber was lucky enough to see long-eared Lima (Phyllotis limatus), which belongs to the genus listwhich hamsters and usually inhabit savannas, bushland and desert.

body Length listwhich hamsters (Phyllotis) is from 7 to 15 inches, and the tail length reaches 17 cm

But the most interesting rodent researchers have been listoni hamster species Phyllotis xanthopygus rupestris. He was seen at the height of 6700 m, i.e. almost at the very top of the volcano Llullaillaco. Now it is believed that this tiny rodent is the record for the height of the dwelling. Really be able to live in conditions where little oxygen and almost no food. What can we say, at this altitude, even well-trained people feel bad.

Listoria hamsters of the species Phyllotis xanthopygus rupestris able to survive in cold environments with low oxygen, but how they do it in science is still unknown.

But as a tiny hamster manages to survive in such extreme conditions, scientists are still not clear. Also surprising is that rodents of the same species feel great, and in the lowlands, so the researchers wonder so far only adaptation of the hamsters are so different to the surrounding conditions.

a Beautiful view of the volcano Llullaillaco

How to live without food and oxygen?

To find out what to eat animals at high altitude, the researchers want to study the contents of their digestive system. At the moment there is speculation that they feed on lichens and insects, which are rare, but do occur on the tops of the giant volcanoes. The researchers also want to take in rodents blood tests and study red blood cells, which are saturated with oxygen in the lungs and distribute it throughout the body of living beings. Perhaps this study will reveal the secret of how rodents survive in environments with oxygen deficiency.

According to biologist Jay Storz, at high altitudes can be inhabited and other animals. Perhaps scientists have just not explored the world's highest peaks and in the future we will have more discoveries.

the highest volcano in the world

Volcano Ojos del Salado

It is Important to understand that Llullaillaco is the highest current a volcano. In General, the highest volcano is Ojos del Salado, which is 6891 meter. While Llullaillaco is active and it happened in 1877, the volcano Ojos del Salado is considered to be completely extinct, because in the entire history of watching him, no activity was observed. In General, there are a huge number of volcanoes and the last time with them is a lot of weirdness. You can read about them right now, in our .

Llullaillaco Volcano located on the border of Chile and Argentina, in the driest desert in the world Atacama

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