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Right after an asteroid killed the dinosaurs, life returned to the scene of the crime

12/13/2016

 Some 66 million years ago, a giant space rock smashed into the Gulf of Mexico and brought the age of the dinosaurs — along with 75 percent of all organisms on Earth — to an abrupt and fiery end. Tsunamis roiled the oceans, superhot shrapnel from the impact rained down from the skies, dust swirled into the atmosphere and blocked the sun, and minerals from the asteroid turned the surrounding water toxic.

But life wouldn't stay away for long.

Scientists drilling into the site where the asteroid struck found evidence of microscopic organisms in the layers of rock that were deposited in the days, months and years after the impact. Within the geological blink of an eye of one of the worst mass extinctions in Earth's history, two hardy “disaster species,” called Braarudosphaera and Thoracosphaera, had returned to the scene of the crime.  More

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