A Unique Creature on Earth That Can Never Be Killed

05 Jul 2018 13:48 2,078
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Earth is the only planet in our solar system, our galaxy, and potentially our entire universe that sustains life. Us humans believe we’re practically indestructible, but it turns out there’s a unique creature tougher than us that can’t be killed. Meet the tardigrade, one of the most resilient animals in the world – and possibly the universe.

TIMESTAMPS
It’s also called the water bear. 1:18
It’s really small. 2:20
It’s really, really old. 3:08
It can live anywhere. 4:02
It’s (mostly) harmless. 5:00
It’s practically unkillable. 6:04
It survives extinction events. 10:45
It might survive on another planet. 12:33

Music:
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SUMMARY
-A tardigrade is commonly called a water bear because it is most often found in water, where it prefers to dwell, and because of its slow gait, which resembles that of a bear.
-The biggest full-grown tardigrade is about 0.5 mm or about 1/50 of an inch, which is smaller than flea and tick larva.
-The earliest fossils we have of the tardigrade species date back to the Cambrian period, some 530 million years ago.
-Tardigrades have been found on the high-altitude peaks of the Himalayas, in deep trenches in the ocean, in mud volcanoes, and in tropical rainforests.
-These unique creatures move into a new environment and help to establish an ecosystem, not unlike a gold prospector setting up shop out in the frontier.
-Many tardigrades can enter a dehydrated state to survive almost any dangerous outside environment. They curl up into a barrel shape, their bodies become glass-like, and they put themselves in stasis, during which time they’re pretty much indestructible.
-The tardigrade has survived all possible extinction events, from the Ordovician-Silurian extinction 440 million years ago all the way up to the extinction events that took out the dinosaurs.
-The conditions on Mars are within the tardigrades’ capabilities to survive, assuming that a sufficient amount of water exists to support them.

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