Every specie in this world has either one of the two ultimate goal, to reproduce and pass down the information gathered, or to remain immortal, While the elixir to immortality has been an area of extensive research by various alchemists.
There are a few species of animals that seem to have reached the stage of immortality throughout generations of evolution.
These creatures exhibit interesting characteristics as they grow older, and though they are not fully immortal, they hang nearer to the door of immortality than any other creature. These animals exhibit what is known as negligible senescence in the world of science.
Flatworms are said to exhibit negligible senescence; their death rate doesn’t increase as they get older, and they do not experience diminished functions as seen in other species. However, this is not the striking thing about them. In fact, that is not the true mark of immortality.
Planarians, a species of flatworms possess capability to remain young forever. They can regenerate with the help of an enzyme called telomerase that activates telomerase, a chemical that aids in cell division. They seem to yield promising results as far as studies on aging are concerned.
Lobsters are one of the most interesting creatures on earth. Their ability to live for very long periods of time, with the exception of dying by disease or being hunted.
The oldest lobster is said to be 140 years. Of course there might be older ones, but interesting thing about them is the ability that they grow more fertile as they grow older.
3. Tiny Water bears
In the world of science, they go by the name tardigrades. They are microscopic, and have very interesting characteristics. They can survive under extreme conditions. Research has proven that they can withstand a wide temperature range of about -459 to 304 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s more, they can survive in high radiation area.
Another research brought a number of these organisms to outer space for 10 days, and guess what, more than sixty percent survived, and some even reproduced young ones in a environment where human would implode in seconds of exposure. They can also survive high-pressure depths and hot deserts, making them the hardiest animals on the planet.
They have the ability to shed all the water in their bodies and stay dehydrated for 10 years, with no metabolism taking place in their bodies.
Jellyfish have the ability to morph back to infant state when faced with any danger of dying. A specific species called Turritopsis dohrnii, exhibits specifically this characteristic.
They sink to the bottom of the ocean to undergo the change from mature medusa stage to sexually immature polyp stage through a process called trans-differentiation.
5. Turtles and tortoises
These are one of the chosen few vertebrates that experience negligible senescence. They can live forever so long as they do not contract diseases or develop infections from wounds.
The oldest tortoise lived a total of 255 years and died only due to an infection resulting from its shell cracking. They do not display any change in functionality or reproduction as they grow older.
These are multicellular radially symmetrical organisms that are found in fresh water, and possess the capability to continuously regenerate their cells asexually. A gene, FoxO is responsible for this trait that inhibits biological defects and prevents loss of genetic information from the DNA to m-RNA.
Effectively, with each offspring, there are no unwanted genes, only the best ones are passed on to their descendants.