What is suspended animation? What is the significance of this phenomenon?

Anabiosis, a condition of the body in which life processes (metabolism, etc.) are so slow that there are no visible manifestations of life. Anabiosis is observed with a sharp deterioration in the conditions of existence (low temperature, lack of moisture, etc.); when favorable conditions occur, the normal level of life processes is restored. Thus, suspended animation is an adaptation of an organism to unfavorable external conditions developed in the process of evolution. Spore-forming bacteria, microscopic fungi and protozoa (forming cysts) are most resistant to drying, cooling, heating. In many organisms, inhibition of vital activity and its almost complete halt entered the normal development cycle (seeds, spores, cysts). A typical example of suspended animation during drying is the latent life of seeds of many plants, which can, in the dry state, retain germination for a long time. Invertebrates – hydras, worms, coddling crayfish, aquatic and terrestrial mollusks, some insects, falling into suspended animation, can lose 1/2 or even 3/5 of the water contained in their tissues. Anabiosis at a temperature below 0 ° is observed in some cases with mammalian hibernation. However, suspended animation (compared to numbness and hibernation) is accompanied by a deeper suppression of life.

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