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Surviving The Asteroid

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When the asteroid now known as Chicxulub from outer space slammed into the earth 66 million years ago, the impact was massive. It triggered earthquake and volcanic eruption. The result was three-quarters of plants and animals on Earth died. However, the cockroach survived the impact.

These insects were able to survive the catastrophe due to their flat body. The flatter insects can squeeze themselves into tighter places. This enables them to hide practically anywhere.

When the meteor struck the temperatures on Earth’s surface skyrocketed. When other animals had nowhere to go the cockroaches took shelter in tiny soil crevices. This provide excellent protection from heat.

Also the meteor hit kicked up so much dust that the sun dimmed and temperature fell. Thus the plants that survived in sunlight struggled which also affected the organisms that relied on those plants.

Cockroaches are omnivorous scavengers and they are not picky. So they will eat most foods that come from animals or plants as well as cardboard, some kinds of clothing and even poop.

Their eggs are in protective cases called oothecae. These cases protect their contents from physical damage and other threats, such as flooding and drought.

Scientists estimate that there over 4,000 cockroach species. Once cockroaches become established in a building, it’s hard to rid every little crack of these insects and their oothecae. The biggest threat they pose to human health is from allergens they produce which can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in some people.

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