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  • 07.14.17

After humanity is toast, this critter could be the last creature standing on Earth

When the apocalypse comes, Earth’s only survivors might be water bears. This dire news of the future comes courtesy of scientists at Oxford University who determined that, even in the face of events like a nearby star going supernova or an asteroid impact, water bears might have the resiliency to keep going on about their day. The research was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Water bears, which are also known as the very Doctor Who-sounding name tardigrades, are eight-legged micro-animals that look a bit like mutant piglets. They are scientifically proven to have “weird DNA,” prefer to live in water, but can withstand absolutely anything that scientists or nature can throw at them—the vacuum of space, freezing temperatures, incredibly high temperatures. So, yeah, while humanity will be toast if average temperatures rise just a few more degrees, water bears will be just fine. [via the Independent]

[Photo: Schokraie E, Warnken U, Hotz-Wagenblatt A, Grohme MA, Hengherr S, et al. (2012) via Wikimedia Commons]ML