Asteroid killed off the all the Dinosaurs, but not the cockroaches; here is why | Tech News

Asteroid killed off the all the Dinosaurs, but not the cockroaches; here is why

A giant asteroid hit the Earth some 66 million years ago, resulting in the extinction of dinosaurs. However, cockroaches survived.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 13:42 IST
Know how cockroaches survived the asteroid that caused Dinosaurs’ extinction.
Know how cockroaches survived the asteroid that caused Dinosaurs’ extinction. (Pixabay)

A giant asteroid caused the extinction of dinosaurs and a few other dominant species when it hit the Earth around 66 million years ago. The impact was so big that it sent massive chunks of debris into the Earth's atmosphere, blocking out the Sun. The cataclysmic event resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs, the dominant species on Earth at that time. But the shocking part is that cockroaches were also there at time and they surprisingly survived. The asteroid impact triggered massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and ultimately, three-quarters of plants and animals on Earth died.

How did cockroaches survive asteroid impact?

In a recent article by The Conversation, Brian Lovett of West Virginia University shared how these tiny creatures survived the asteroid's attack. He cited that the flat body of cockroaches makes them squeeze themselves into tight and relatively safe places under rocks or even under ground, and this ability helped them to survive the Chicxulub asteroid impact.

Lovett wrote, "After the meteor struck, temperatures on Earth's surface skyrocketed. Many animals had nowhere to hide, but roaches could take shelter in tiny soil crevices, which provide excellent protection from heat.”

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The asteroid also kicked up dust that darkened the sky due to which ultimately, temperatures plunged and conditions became cold. It became very difficult for plants to grow, and the organisms depending on those plants went hungry. However, cockroaches are omnivorous scavengers and eat most foods that come from animals or plants and even poop. This allowed them to survive lean times during the Chicxulub extinction and other natural disasters.

Another trait of cockroaches that helped them to survive is they lay their eggs in little protective cases which look like dried beans and are called ootheca. These are hard and protect eggs from physical damage, floods and drought. According to Scientists, there are over 4,000 cockroach species.

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First Published Date: 05 Jul, 22:25 IST
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