This Creature Is Virtually Indestructible!
Date: 2020-06-18 13:45:03
The toughest creature on Earth! From the ability to enter a dormant state for up to 30 years to the fortitude to withstand minus 328 degrees fahrenheit.
#8 Suspended Animation
Tardigrades are incredibly durable. They can withstand a wide variety of hazardous conditions and thrive without issue. But in some extreme cases, the tiny water bears must rely on a hidden talent to continue their survival. Entering a state called cryptobiosis, the roots of which mean “hidden life”, these organisms are able to enter a type of suspended animation, which leaves them appearing deceased to the outside world. In reality, though, these creatures have lost much of their hydration and shut down in their bodily functions, dropping their metabolic rate to a mere .01 percent of its normal state. This is the same process Sea Monkeys endure, which is why adding water will make the otherwise dry organisms spring to life. Tardigrades can survive in this dehydrated state for up to 5 years or even longer in some cases. They even last even longer without food or water, surviving as long as 30 years…however, they still need a form of hydration at some point. As tardigrades enter this dehydrated state, they utilize a specific disordered protein to replace water in their cells, leading to the glassy appearance they maintain while in suspended animation.
#7 Dry Migrations
As tardigrades lose up to 99 percent of their bodyweight, the microscopic organisms revert to a stage known as a “tun”. Tuns are in the previously mentioned state of suspended animation, and with such little energy output, they become extremely lightweight and lose the ability to grasp onto a surface. This makes them susceptible to the hazards of nature as they become prone to being swept up in wind currents, only to be displaced in a fashion similar to seeds and spores. Once they enter a new habitat which can rehydrate and sustain them, a single tardigrade can produce an entire colony by themselves using a form of self-fertilization in a process called parthenogenesis. This form of reproduction isn’t their main method however as male and female water bears are capable of spawning offspring through combined egg-laying efforts as well. Each adolescent tardigrade is born already equipped with adult cells. Throughout their lifespan, rather than having their cells divide and multiply with maturity, their cells simply get bigger. As their bodies expand, these creatures will molt off excess layers up to 12 times during their lifetime. In females, who tend to grow larger than their male counterparts, the cuticles they shed can be filled with eggs, ready to be fertilized and continue the cycle of colony expansion.