years old, it’s no surprise that it has been through its fair share of changes. However, over the course of history, one thing is certain: in the natural world, survival is key. Much of survival is resilience or ability to adapt to changing conditions. Animals have been around even longer than humans, and, although there are some species that are more resilient than others, some can be used as good examples for how resilience is the key to longevity.
Here is a list of what is to be considered the 10 most resilient species of animals:
First, this list would not be complete without humans. Over millions of years, humans have transformed and evolved from apes living in the forests to being at the top of the food chain. Humans as a whole species adapt and transform any environment to meet the needs of that community, for good and bad.
The second on the list are sharks. Sharks made the list due to the fact that sharks have been around for millions of years, yet evolutionary they have changed very little while maintaining their position as apex predators¹. Sharks have amazing power and there are few animals who fail to recognize this.
Camels are able withstand extreme temperatures, survive on little water, and their other adaptations including their nostrils and eyebrows. They also have other impressive skills like their ability to drink water quickly which enables them to live in areas with very little water².
Over 500 million years old, jellyfish have had the ability to survive extreme ocean conditions throughout history. Their resilience is also increased due to their breeding efficiency³. They have very few natural predators and when the immortal jellyfish dies, instead of the body rotting away, it transforms back into their juvenile polyp stage⁹. If that’s not remarkable, I don’t know what is!
Although not very popular, rats are a very resilient animal. They survive in many different environments, are very agile, and can even build up immunity to poisons⁴. You may not want them in your house, but they definitely earned a spot as one of the most resilient animals.
#6 Planarian flat worms
This microscopic worm can live on land, in salt water and in freshwater. They are carnivores are also resilient due to their ability to hunt prey, sometimes even turning on their own species⁵.
Although tiny, ants are very resilient due to their widespread location, super strength, and the ability to create amazingly complex nests and structures⁶. When they work together in unison, they have been seen to carry relatively large creatures such as birds. This is all due to their impressive strength and teamwork.
Although not technically considered to be an “animal,” bacteria earned a spot on this list due to its ability to withstand and adapt to many changes and replicate quickly⁸. Their reproduction is done by cell division and they are able to reach outstanding numbers in short periods of time.
Although they give most of us the creeps, cockroaches are extremely resilient. They are one of the oldest insect groups and are more than 300 million years old as a species. They are very adaptable, will eat just about anything, and mature very quickly⁸.
#10 Tardigrades (water bears)
Finally, the most resilient animals are tardigrades (also called water bears). These microscopic creatures are approximately 1 mm in size and get their nickname due to their appearance under a microscope. They can live for hundreds of years even after being boiled or frozen. Except being able to survive the most extreme temperature changes, they are also capable of living without water for years without an issue and can even live in space⁷.
There are impressive animals living in the world around us. Every species is unique and each has their own set of adaptations to survive. From microscopic animals that can live in space, to camels living in the desert, there is one thing that we all have in common: our world is constantly changing and only the fittest will survive. In order to live for another million years, we all have to continue to adapt and be as resilient as the animals on this list have been.