THE GUARDIAN: Tardigrades: Earth’s unlikely beacon of life that can survive a cosmic cataclysm

Press/Media: Expert comment

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Matthew Cobb, professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, who was not involved in the study said the findings were reassuring for the future of life on Earth.

“It suggests that the complete eradication of life on Earth is extremely unlikely until we get to the point that the sun enlarges and all the oceans boil away,” he said. “Many organisms, in particular animals and bacteria, live in the deep ocean, which the authors show would be unaffected by any conceivable cosmic cataclysm.”

But, he added, if the tardigrades were the only survivors, they would face a struggle. “For the tardigrades to inherit the Earth, whatever catastrophe swept over the planet would have to return to normal-ish conditions within a matter of decades at most, or it really could be curtains,” he said.

Period14 Jul 2017

Media contributions

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Media contributions

  • TitleTardigrades: Earth’s unlikely beacon of life that can survive a cosmic cataclysm
    Media name/outletThe Guardian
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Date14/07/17
    DescriptionMatthew Cobb, professor of zoology at the University of Manchester, who was not involved in the study said the findings were reassuring for the future of life on Earth.

    “It suggests that the complete eradication of life on Earth is extremely unlikely until we get to the point that the sun enlarges and all the oceans boil away,” he said. “Many organisms, in particular animals and bacteria, live in the deep ocean, which the authors show would be unaffected by any conceivable cosmic cataclysm.”

    But, he added, if the tardigrades were the only survivors, they would face a struggle. “For the tardigrades to inherit the Earth, whatever catastrophe swept over the planet would have to return to normal-ish conditions within a matter of decades at most, or it really could be curtains,” he said.
    URLhttps://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/14/tardigrades-earths-unlikely-beacon-of-life-that-can-survive-a-cosmic-catacylsm
    PersonsMatthew Cobb

Keywords

  • biology
  • zoology
  • tardigrades
  • extinction