by Binghamton University February 22, 2022
Food is necessary for survival, but an East African species of ticks adapted to survive without feeding for eight years. Not only did they live for a total of 27 years, but they healthily reproduced long after the last male tick died.
Julian Shepherd, associate professor of biological sciences, discovered the longevity and reproduction abilities of the Argas brumpti after running out of a suitable food source for the species. He received the ticks as a gift in 1976 and decided to observe them in his lab in a habitat with stable conditions. Little did he know the original group of ticks would survive until the next century, with offspring alive and reproducing today.