“Tardigrades are microscopic eight-legged animals that have been to outer space and would likely survive the apocalypse. Bonus: They look like adorable miniature bears”National Geographic
“Their resiliency is in part due to a unique protein in their bodies called Dsup—short for “damage suppressor”—that protects their DNA from being harmed by things like ionizing radiation, which is present in soil, water, and vegetation.
Another amazing survival trick is cryptobiosis, a state of inactivity triggered by a dry environment. The micro-animals squeeze all the water out of their bodies, retract their heads and limbs, roll up into a little ball, and become dormant. When conditions improve, they unfurl themselves and go about their business.”