Immortal ? Apparently so. Or at least if he’s not eaten first. I imagine if you are immortal, the chances of getting eaten at some point during eternity increase ;)
But yes, this cunning Turritopsis Nutricula, after getting through puberty can repeatedly transform back to it’s young, polyp state. Something like Doctor Who ;)
“The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again.” Read more on Yahoo Green.
Theoretically he can cycle indefinitely between mature and immature states, effectively making him immortal. Pretty cool huh?
But how long before he’s being ground up and sold to us as wrinkle cream…
- Amazing photo above by Peter Schuchert. Lots more alien looking sea creatures here.