How Did Cockroaches Survive The Asteroid That Led To The Extinction Of Dinosaurs?

The Earth was overrun by dinosaurs well before humans were on the scene. Even back then, there were certain creatures that civilized humans were rather fearful of or found bothersome to have around. Yes, it is correct. Long ago, when the Chicxulub impactor, a space-born rock, hit the Earth 66 million years ago, cockroaches were there.

Huge earthquakes were caused by the impact, and hundreds of kilometers distant, researchers think it may have also started volcanic eruptions. Three-quarters of all plants, animals, and dinosaurs that lived on Earth perished, except for a few species that served as the ancestors of modern birds.

How did two-inch-long roaches survive while so many large, strong creatures vanished? It turned out that they possessed all they needed to survive a meteoric disaster.

If you’ve ever observed one, you’ll note that cockroaches have somewhat flat bodies. There is no luck behind this. Insects with more flat surfaces can fit in smaller areas. Because of their ability to conceal themselves practically anywhere, they may have survived the Chicxulub collision.

[Read: Scientists Successfully Sequence the DNA of Man From the Pompeii Eruption for the First Time]

The Earth’s surface temperature shot through the roof when the asteroid hit. The charred surface seemed impenetrable, yet these small roaches managed to avoid the destiny that awaited the dinosaurs by plunging into the soil’s cracks.

The impact of the meteor started a series of events. The amount of dust it churned up made the sky hazy. As the sun descended, temperatures plummeted, and the weather turned chilly everywhere. The lack of sunlight made it difficult for the remaining plants to grow, and several species that depended on these crops died out as a result.

However, being particular about one’s diet was not an option for survival. Because they were voracious scavengers, cockroaches consumed anything they could find. Everything, including plants, animals, and even human waste, served as nourishment for these bugs. Cockroaches have most likely weathered every major disaster the world has ever experienced because of this.

Cockroaches store their eggs in tiny protective shells, which is another benefit. These egg carriers are referred to as oothecae, which translates to “egg casings,” and look like dried beans. When it comes to protecting its contents from physical harm along with other dangers like drought and floods, oothecae are hard, similar to phone cases.

It’s possible that some cockroaches hid out in their oothecaes and watched the Chicxulub catastrophe unfold.

The cockroaches that we are familiar with today are indeed survivors, surviving in harsh environments and guaranteeing the continuation of their species. There are said to be over 4,000 different species of cockroaches in existence.

Some roaches frequently find sanctuary in our houses, where they develop into bothersome pests. Given that they survived an asteroid collision going to get rid of these roaches isn’t that simple.

It is really challenging to eliminate them once they settle into a home and start to produce eggs. Our reactions to them go beyond simple irritation. They may also create allergens that prevent an allergic response from occurring or cause asthma in certain people.

Despite being major annoyances, they are great animals for research and observation. Scientists study cockroaches to understand how they move and how their bodies are constructed. Be that as it may, we can all agree that cockroaches are an interesting species and one that is better off in the lab than in our homes.

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