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National Geographic: Water bears could survive most Earth-shattering disasters

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tardigrade/: Kazuharu Arakawa, Hiroki Higashiyama

From Casey Smith at National Geographic:

In essence, the researchers say, only the death of the sun will ultimately lead to the total extinction of life on Earth, including tardigrade [water bears].

“It seems that life, once it gets going, is hard to wipe out entirely,” Sloan says. “Huge numbers of species, or even entire genera, may become extinct, but life as a whole will go on.” And that’s an encouraging message for scientists seeking signs of life beyond our planetary shores.

“Tardigrades are as close to indestructible as it gets on Earth,” Alves Batista says, “but it’s possible that there are other resilient species examples elsewhere in the universe.” More.

Provided, that is, it can get started there. Someone should tell Stephen Hawking and other celebrity doomsayers: Exterminating all life is actually hard, not easy.

And the water bears shall inherit the Earth... Seversky

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