Home Animals Things That Actually Survived the Asteroid That Took Out The Dinosaurs
Animals By Will Lewis -

Things That Actually Survived the Asteroid That Took Out The Dinosaurs
[Image via National Zoo]

Mole Rats

Mole rats, fascinating subterranean rodents with a lineage stretching back over 30 million years, have skillfully maneuvered through the dynamic changes in Earth’s landscapes. Their survival during the catastrophic asteroid impact that marked the end of the dinosaurs can be attributed to their distinctive subterranean lifestyle, providing a natural shield from the immediate environmental disruptions. The ability of mole rats to burrow into the earth and establish intricate underground colonies played a pivotal role in their post-impact adaptation, enabling them to seek refuge and thrive in the altered conditions of the aftermath. This unique trait allowed them to navigate the challenges posed by the mass extinction event and laid the foundation for their evolutionary success.

In common times, mole rats remain resilient inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, where their survival is a testament to their exceptional adaptations. The highly social and cooperative behaviors exhibited within mole rat colonies have been instrumental in their ability to thrive in diverse environments. The intricate relationships between individual mole rats within colonies, combined with their specialized subterranean habitats, underscore the importance of understanding the evolutionary history of these remarkable rodents. Conservation efforts become increasingly crucial as we recognize the significance of preserving the unique adaptations that have allowed mole rats to persist for millions of years, contributing to the rich tapestry of life on Earth.

Things That Actually Survived the Asteroid That Took Out The Dinosaurs
[Image via NSTA]

Horseshoe Crabs

Horseshoe crabs, revered as living fossils with a lineage extending over an astonishing 450 million years, are a testament to the enduring resilience of ancient marine life. The distinctive horseshoe-shaped carapace that characterizes these arthropods has remained relatively unchanged over the millennia, earning them the moniker of living fossils. During the cataclysmic asteroid impact that triggered mass extinctions, horseshoe crabs demonstrated an exceptional survival strategy. Their preference for shallow coastal waters provided a haven, shielding them from the more severe consequences of the environmental upheaval. This adaptability and ability to withstand varying environmental conditions likely played a crucial role in ensuring their continued existence.

In the post-impact world, horseshoe crabs embarked on an evolutionary journey, diversifying into different species that adapted to various coastal ecosystems. This evolution allowed them to carve out ecological niches and thrive in environments shaped by the aftermath of the mass extinction event. In the contemporary era, the significance of horseshoe crabs in marine ecosystems cannot be overstated. Their eggs, laid in abundance along coastal shores, serve as a critical food source for migratory shorebirds during their long journeys. Furthermore, the blue blood of horseshoe crabs contains a substance called Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), which is integral to the detection of bacterial contamination in medical applications, ensuring the safety of vaccines and medical equipment. Recognizing the ecological and biomedical importance of horseshoe crabs, ongoing conservation efforts are diligently underway to safeguard their populations and preserve the delicate balance they contribute to marine ecosystems.

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Crocodiles: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9121809/Scientists-discover-crocodiles-survived-asteroid-strike-wiped-dinosaurs.html

Turtles: https://www.livescience.com/14984-tough-turtles-survive-extinction-event.html

Frogs: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-frogs-survived-the-asteroid-impact-that-wiped-out-dinosaurs-180981195/

Lizards: https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/lizards-snakes-almost-went-extinct-with-dinosaurs-1.1266168

Birds: https://theconversation.com/how-did-birds-survive-while-dinosaurs-went-extinct-197185

Fish: https://www.science.org/content/article/fish-diversity-exploded-when-dinosaurs-went-extinct

Beetles: https://phys.org/news/2020-03-beetles-diet-cretaceous-period.html

Ferns: https://www.the-scientist.com/notebook/why-did-ferns-persist-when-all-other-plants-perished-70325

Bacteria: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/science/asteroid-dinosaurs-crater-bacteria.html

Sharks: https://www.newsweek.com/how-sharks-survived-mass-extinction-asteroid-killed-dinosaurs-1783743

Snakes: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58559735

Crustaceans: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/marine-predators-reshaped-ocean-life-mass-extinction-scale/

Sponges: https://www.livescience.com/57864-sponges-thrived-after-mass-extinction.html

Cephalopods: https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/cephalopods

Mollusks: https://www.iflscience.com/how-some-sea-snails-survived-a-mass-extinction-66031

Cockroaches: https://www.livescience.com/how-cockroaches-survived-dino-killing-asteroid

Horsetails: https://themeaningofwater.com/2022/10/02/from-giant-tree-to-little-plant-equisetum-a-study-an-evolution/

Mole Rats: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6789728/

Horse Shoe Crabs: https://phys.org/news/2012-01-horseshoe-crabs-nature-great-survivors.html