Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

 

PacSci-Doku: “Extinction Survivor”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

What animal should survive the next extinction event on the Earth?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

E  e  A  a  b  W  T  R  r

PacSci-Doku: Extinction Survivor

The Puzzle

Puzzle Difficulty: Hard

The Answer
PacSci-Doku Extinction Survivor Answer

The Answer

The question in this edition is:

What animal should survive the next extinction event on the Earth?

The answer: Water Bear

Water Bears are one example of an animal group called tardigrades. These extremely small animals (0.01 mm to 1.5 mm in size), existed well before the dinosaurs – and still exist today. They are best known for being able to survive in the most extreme environments. Some tardigrades have survived for days in the vacuum and radiation of space. Others survived in temperatures close to absolute zero (minus 273 degrees centigrade), and many can survive the loss of almost all body water – going into dormancy for 30 years and then “waking up.”

Consequently, scientists think that many of these animals can exist through any type of extinction event, and be around until the end of the Earth in billions of years when the outer layers of the Sun expand to envelop the Earth. Read more about these tough little animals.

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