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5 Species Most Likely To Survive A Climate Change Disaster

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These industrious creatures are already lauded as one of the world’s most adaptable species. As some of the planet’s oldest known insects, ants were recognized for their can-do attitude way back when the Greeks were writing their famous myths. Their colonial culture means that ants already know how to work together to guarantee survival of their Queen, and thus the species. There are approximately 20,000 different species of ant, with colonies of millions located all over the world. They were here long before humans, and the odds are good that they’ll be here long after.


Called one of the world’s most resilient and versatile species, algae is a strong contender in the race to survive climate change. Why? Well for starters, algae is an incredibly simple organism. Consisting of just a single cell, algae only needs a tiny amount of water, sunlight and nutrients to grow and multiply. Once of the few species that has been around since the beginning of evolution (remember the primordial slime?), there are over 200,000 varieties known to man. The chances of more than a couple making it through are pretty good.


As gross as they may appear, you’ve got to applaud the resilience of the cockroach. The bane of residential exterminators, these creepy crawlers have an amazing ability to survive in the most dire of circumstances. In laboratory experiments performed at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa., entomologist Christopher Tipping discovered that American cockroaches could survive for several weeks in a jar after having their heads removed and the wound sealed with dental wax! Often cited as the species most likely to endure a nuclear attack, climate change will be a walk in the park for the durable cockroach.

Related Reading:

We Can (and Should) Care About Both People And Animals

It’s Time For Climate Change Adaptation

Migratory Birds Struggle To Adapt To New Climate

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8:03AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

all amazing life forms :) I am sure there are MANY others (bacteria especially) that will not only survive but flourish

4:32PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013


12:11PM PST on Jan 10, 2013


7:10AM PST on Jan 5, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

11:17AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

I have to disagree that humans wouldn't be among the survivors. We are one of the most adaptable species that have ever existed. Civilization, on the other hand doesn't stand a chance. It might we well to remember that while humanity is likely to survive, most individuals would not. It would also be well to remember that all of the easy to obtain natural resources have already been exploited, so there's little chance another technological civilization could ever arise.

8:06AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

You do not mention the house cat and is tough and adapting! Lots feral cats they make a living well.

9:26PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

Thanks, what about rats and mice?

4:47PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

At present, with fairly noticeable seasonality in the temperate zones, cockroaches tend to require environments created by human beings. I.e., once human beings go extinct, their water supply ceases and their buildings fall into disrepair, conditions will not be better for cockroaches than for many other arthropods. As it is, in the US, the invasive German cockroaches (the smaller kind) tend to do better up North than the American cockroaches, aka palmetto bugs (the larger kind, and more solitary), whose natural range is in the South.

It is likely true that highly mobile animals who like to wander, such as wolves and coyotes, and who can eat many kinds of food, stand a better chance of getting through an extinction event than others. That is probably how the ancestral birds, who are really a kind of dinosaur, got through the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period: birds are now the most mobile of modern terrestrial vertebrates, and they were among the most mobile back then. So probably generalist birds should be on this list of potential survivors, such as corvids.

4:46PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

It was interesting to read about the Amazonian Trees.....

4:08PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

So to the people who don't believe in climate change:
Unless you're a werewolf start taking it seriously.

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