No one really enjoys contemplating the possibility of the asteroid strike or nuclear catastrophe that would spell doom to most of the planet’s species, but when push comes to shove, there are certain characteristics that seem to up the likelihood of ushering in a new epoch intact.
David Hone is one of those who do think about the unthinkable and has a list of things that put the odds in a species’ favor.
Be small. If you’re small you probably have a large population and thus a wider genetic diversity. Small creatures also reproduce faster than large ones allowing for rapid evolution and adaption to new conditions. And of course a small animal doesn’t require as much food or resources to keep going …
Have lots of offspring. As above, having a lot of variation will help evolution along and make it more likely some will survive so pumping out the kids will help. Possums are about the same size as domestic cats but have twice as many young per litter, for example.
The science of survival.
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