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Which Animals Can Live Without Water For Years?


Which Animals Can Live Without Water For Years?

There are several animals that can survive for years without drinking water.

On average, a person can last an average of three days without water, depending on the climate, because the human body loses a significant amount of water through sweating, breathing and excretion. It has been millions of years for animals around the world to adapt to hostile environments in arid regions. Each drop, breathing breath and wet secretion increases the chances of death of any desert animal through dehydration. There are several animals that can survive for years without drinking water. Some of the popular examples are desert turtle, kangaroo rat, spiny devil, water-holding frog, African lungfish, and desert paddle-foot frogs.

Kangaroo Rat

The kangaroo rat (genus Dipodomys) of North America is one of the most specialized animals living in desert environments and can go for its entire life without water. It takes the name of a small rodent, long hind legs (like an Australian kangaroo) that allow it to jump long distances while searching for food and water. Some of the adaptations to the arid environment include large fur-covered rodent sacs, unlike saliva, which allows the rodent to carry the seeds without losing too much moisture. Other adaptations, such as highly specialized kidneys with additional tubules, help preserve water in the body through urine water extraction. The urine of a kangaroo rat is about five times that of human urine. The kangaroo rat has an oily coating and does not sweat, which goes a long way in maintaining water in the body. In addition, kangaroo rats feed on seeds that are safely stored in nests. Once consumed, the seeds are metabolized to obtain energy and water. The nasal passage of this unique animal is also adapted to ensure minimal moisture loss into the atmosphere.

Water Holding Frog

The waterstop frog (Cyclorana platycephala) is usually found in Australian desert areas and has a truly unique adaptation mechanism to the harsh arid environment. In the wet seasons, the water-holding frog lives like ordinary frogs, and then enters the ground when dry conditions are formed to escape from hostility conditions. The frog has the ability to absorb a significant amount of water from its skin, which is then stored in its bladder and body tissues. As soon as the frog enters the ground, it enters a cocoon of its skin, so as not to lose water. In this case, the frog nourishes the skin and can remain in this state for several years.

West African Lungfish

West African lung fish (Protopterus annectens) is really a wonderful thing. These unique fish have been labeled as prehistoric animals for their survival for nearly 400 million years. These “living fossils”, as they are commonly called in scientific circles, make a prediction that is very similar to hibernation. Lung fish have gills like other ordinary fish that it uses to extract oxygen from water, but it has a unique adaptation that allows the fish to extract oxygen from the air. When dry conditions occur, the fish enter the mud and can continue to live even after the mud dries. At the time of guessing, the fish throw a mucus cocoon to protect it from harsh conditions and digest muscle tissue to get the nutrients, and in this case it can survive five years.

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Thorny Devil

The thorny devil (Moloch horridus), often called the thorny dragon, is typically found in desert areas in Central Australia. The thorny devil catches rain and dew in drier conditions thanks to the layered scales in its body, which has a hinge that allows it to hold moisture and water droplets between the scales. The collected water is then transported into the mouth under the skin. The process is provided by tongue movements that create the pressure necessary to draw water behind the mouth.

The Desert Spadefoot Toad

The paddle-footed frog (Scaphiopus couchi), recently discovered in the Colorado Desert, has some of the biggest adaptations to desert conditions. These animals managed to survive a few isolations, such as the edge of the dunes and dry washing, due to their unique environmental conditions. The spadefoot frogs that live in the dunes enter the permanent wet layer in the sand and stay there for the entire dry period. Others bury themselves under dense vegetation. Adult frogs can remain in this condition for years, reducing the loss of moisture by creating semi-impermeable membranes. The high osmotic concentration greatly enhances the ability to retain water and even remove moisture from moist conditions. These frogs also display an extremely accelerated growth rate. It takes less than 48 hours for the eggs to hatch, and within ten days the legs of the tadpoles develop. In less than three months, young frogs grow to half the size of adults.

Desert Tortoise

Gopherus agassizii, located in the Mojave Desert in the southwestern USA, and Gopherus morafkai, located in the Sonoran Desert of Northwest Mexico, are two main types of desert turtle. Their durable shells, often mixed with rocks in the desert, offer a large water storage capacity, keeping the secret of their survival. These species have a large bladder in nitrogen-based wastes that can carry two-fifths of their weight in urea and water. In the wet period, the desert turtle discards waste and drinks extra water for storage. Alarming a desert turtle is life threatening as it can leave the water reserve in fear-based urination. The turtle can survive for a year or more without water.

Activity Levels During Dry Spells

In dry periods, desert animals seem to be entering a rather inactive state. This hibernation allows to extend the water reserves and live longer. Kangaroo rat can survive for a very long time without water for almost all its life, which is 10 years.

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