All life on Earth has been designed with survival in mind. Over countless thousands of years they have gradually adapted as those traits that prevented survival were gradually weaned out and those that promoted it were encouraged. Even the most basic creature has remarkable survival skills and are highly resilient in a huge number of ways. Still though, some are certainly better survivalists than others – just like those on this list of the top 10 most resilient animals.
10. Cockroaches – Cockroaches earn a worthy entry to the top 10 most resilient animals and are some of the most difficult to exterminate pests in the world. Common belief has it that they are the only macroscopic creatures to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust.
9. Dinosaurs – Everyone thinks of the Dinosaurs as an unsuccessful race using their extinction of proof of this, so it may surprise you to see them proudly on a list of the top ten most resilient animals. However while they’re dead now, they nevertheless ruled the planet for millions of years and much longer than any other macroscopic life-form.
8. Methuselah Flies – Methuselah flies are unique on this list of the top 10 most most resilient animals in that they are technically ‘man-made’ through selective breading. By selectively breeding fruit flies, it is possible to increase their lifespans to five times the usual length – so far…
7. Sharks – Sharks are resilient in a very specific way when compared to others on this list of the top ten most resilient animals. They are here for the often quoted fact that they haven’t evolved for millions of years – simply because they are such efficient predators that they haven’t had to.
6. Planarian – Planarian flat worms are amazingly resilient creatures that when cut in half become two organisms (it is a myth that this is true of normal worms). The same mechanism allows for regeneration of any body part.
5. Jellyfish – Not just any jellyfish make the top 10 most resilient animals – only the turritopsis nutricula jellyfish. A jellyfish that is actually biologically immortal. These creatures use ‘transdifferentiation’ after sexual intercourse in order to rejuvenate all of their cells in their body so that they can start life again as ‘polyps’.
4. Hydra – Hydra is a genus of animals any of which could be counted among the top 10 most resilient animals. Fresh water creatures, they all possess ‘radial symmetry’ and not one post-mitotic cells. This then means that their cells can divide in order to undo damage and prevent ageing, and they have telomeres that never shorten.
3. Bacteria – Bacteria are said to be immortal at the ‘level of the colony’ due to their ability to make near-exact copies of themselves at incredible rates thought of as rejuvenated copies of the original. This is why they are so difficult to exterminate in cases of illness and why they can adapt so quickly to medication and treatments.
2. Humans – In many ways humans could be considered a lot less resilient than many of the animals on this list. We’re not immortal and we’d have a hard time surviving a holocaust. Still though, we nevertheless have tremendous skills for using our intelligence and creativity to make uninhabitable areas into perfect homes, and we have.
1. Tardigrades – Tardigrades are also sometimes referred to as ‘water bears’ due to their appearance under the microscope. Again with indefinite senescence, they win this list of the top 10 most resilient animals for having the ability to slow their metabolism to near zero for up to ten years at a time and for even being able to survive in space as a result of this remarkable ability.