Genetic Engineering, The Future

Animal Adaptations – Evolution to Ensure Survival

The Earth is changing constantly, and the survival of its species has always depended on an ability to adapt. Many animals have peculiarities that make them stronger than other species, thus ensuring their mass longevity. Some have even conformed to their environment so much that they are now found living in only one place on the Earth. Some of the animals that have undergone special evolutions include:

  1. Giant Kangaroo Rats

These rodents are related to beavers and have a lifespan of between 3 and 5 years. They drink no water during their lifetime, as they have adapted to absorb all the necessary moisture from their food. Their diet consists mostly of seeds, and they have also lost the ability to sweat so that they can retain their moisture. Giant Kangaroo Rats can be found in arid, shady habitats, such as the areas in and around Death Valley.

  1. Himalayan Jumping Spiders

These spiders live an average of 22,000 feet above ground, at the top of the Himalayas. At this height there is very little oxygen, and the spider is one of the few animals that has adapted to live in cracks and crevices in the mountain rocks. They feed on small prey that has been blown up by strong winds, propelling themselves into the air to catch them.

  1. Pompeii Worms

This species of worm is found in hydrothermal vents located in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. This is one of the hottest conditions on Earth, and the worms survive because of a bacterial covering which insulates and protects their cells. The temperature in their habitat can rise as high as 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists believe that in times of shortage, the worms adapted to live in these conditions to ensure a food source in the form of the bacteria that are able to thrive here.

  1. Greenland Sharks

The biggest shark species on the planet, Greenland Sharks have yet to be studied in depth. They live in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans at depths of up to 3900 feet. These waters are very cold, with an average temperature of between 34 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. To conserve their energy in the cold, the animals move very slowly which has earned them the nickname ‘sleeper sharks.’ There is a limited number of food sources this low in the ocean, causing the sharks to eat anything they can catch.

  1. Wood Frogs

Wood frogs, along with several other species of amphibians, have the ability to freeze and then revive themselves. Living in forests where it can become incredibly cold during the winter, the frogs hide under the leaves and freeze when temperatures get extremely low. They can survive for several weeks with up to two-thirds of their body frozen. As it gets colder their heart will eventually stop, but the frogs remain alive due to a large number of cytoprotectants that prevent their cells from freezing.

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