Animals with superpowers

Tardigrades: immunity

tardigrades Sebastian Kolitzky / Science Photo Library

This microscopic animal, also called water bear, is almost indestructible. From 0.1 to just over 1 mm, tardigrades are animals that can survive in extreme environments such as temperatures from 272 to 150 °C, pressures up to 6000 bar and extreme environments.Expose to UV or X-rays. Survive in the void of space. Japanese researchers explain this unusual resistance by having a protein in their DNA that allows them to rebuild themselves quickly. In fact, tardigrades can turn into cryptobiosis, that is, their metabolism stops and they are on a halt from life. This stagnant state can last about thirty years.

⋙ A nearly indestructible animal can share its superpowers

Naked mole rat: immune to cancer and insensitive to pain

Naked mole rat. GlobalP

Heterocephalus, also known as the naked mole rat, is a rodent found in East Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia) and lives underground. In addition to an unfavorable physique, they have exceptional longevity and can live for about thirty years. By comparison, mice live an average of four years. This exceptional age is explained by their brain and arteries, which never age. Thus they belong to the species that have negligible aging, that is, their organism does not show signs of biological aging. The naked rat is thus immune to cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. Finally, these hairless animals would also be insensitive to pain and able to survive 18 minutes of oxygen deprivation. After losing consciousness, the naked rat resumes its normal activity without sequelae once the air returns. So what can kill them are predators like snakes or birds of prey.

Pistol Prawns: Supersonic Detonation

Pistol shrimp. Arthur Anker

This 3-5cm shrimp has a formidable weapon: a disproportionate “gun” claw compared to its size, which it uses to stun its prey (a small fish or other shrimp). By cutting their claws, they produce a violent explosion of nearly 220 decibels and strong heat that can reach 5,000 K, accompanied by a powerful jet of water, which will strike and kill their prey. The explosion was so powerful that its noise could be heard for miles around and interfered with the proper functioning of the submarine’s sonars at the time.

Lizard Jesus Christ: Running on the water

Lizard Jesus Christ. Joe MacDonald

The green basiliscus (Basiliscus plumifrons), or Christ’s orchid, is native to Central America. It can reach 90 cm in length and weigh about 200 grams when fully grown. His name Jesus Christ lizard comes from his amazing ability to run in water on his hind legs. To achieve this feat, this lizard runs at a speed of up to ten kilometers per hour and hits the surface of the water with its hind legs in such a way that it creates pockets of air. The animal then uses these pockets to quickly get support and stay out of the water. In a study published in 1996, scientists showed that it would take a man weighing 80 kg running on water at a speed of 110 km / h with muscles about fifteen times stronger than usual to achieve this.

Chrysanthemum: the flying snake

educational pictures

These snakes, found in India or Southeast Asia, manage to shed twigs and flatten their ribs to increase their lift. Thus the chrysophilia travels from one tree to another and can cover a distance of about 100 meters in a few seconds.

Cuvier’s Whale: A Record of Apnea

Cuvier whale. Dr. John A. Horsvall

The Cuvier whale is the most abundant and widespread beaked whale in the oceans. Found in the Mediterranean and Sea of ​​Japan, the mammals are capable of diving the deepest and longest with a record observed at depths of nearly 3000m and their apnea can last approximately 138 minutes. In 2020, scientists observed two samples that dived for 3 hours and 42 minutes and the second for 2 hours and 43 minutes. According to scientists, these records are due to an extremely slow metabolism and an unusual ability to store oxygen in the lungs.

planarians: regeneration, up to the head

planarian. Sinhyu

Planarians are aquatic worms that can live in the sea, in fresh water, or in very moist soil. The planarians rarely exceed 4 cm in length, and have an incredible ability to regenerate. In fact, if one part of the planarian is separated from the rest of the body, the animal completely recreates the other missing part. This amazing ability is due to the abundance of stem cells, called neoblastic cells, which allow a part of the worm to form a whole animal. These modern aromatics will ensure the regeneration of any tissue or organ in the plane.

Hydra: Immortal

hydra CHOKSAWATDIKORN / Science Photo Library

Hydra is a living organism that can reach 15 mm in length and does not have a skeleton. It is a freshwater descendant and has a reputation for being virtually impossible to kill. A mystery that scientists have been searching for for years, trying to understand the mechanism of the immortality of this tiny animal with incredible regenerative abilities. Thanks to stem cells, the body of the hydra is constantly being renewed and renewed. In addition, the hydra is able to regrow parts of its own body that may have been amputated, and from these separated parts it can even grow a new animal.


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These marine mollusks are able to decapitate themselves and regenerate their bodies

These marine mollusks are able to decapitate themselves and regenerate their bodies

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A wood frog is able to freeze without dying

A wood frog is able to freeze without dying

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