These creatures were the first to arise from the worst mass extinction in Earth’s history

La Terre a connu sa pire extinction de masse il y a250 millions d'années. Il a fallu plusieurs millions d'années à la vie pour s'en remettre. © Jens, Adobe Stock

About 250 million years ago, Earth experienced its worst state Mass destruction Its history. Almost all species The Marines later disappeared. as well as three-quarters of terrestrial species. It took millions of years for life to recover. Starting with tiny burrowing animals from the bottom of the oceans, an international team of researchers tell us today.

The information was hidden seabed From southern China. At the heart of fossil traces that reveal 7 million years of our history. Soft-bodied animals, vertebrates, tracks and burrows. Not less than 400 marksmodel. A remarkable data set.

Shrimp and marine worms are able to withstand high CO2 levels.  © Philippe Borjon, Wikipedia, CC by-SA 4.0

The incredible resilience of sea worms and shrimps

Analyzes conducted by the researchers show that it took about 3 million years for hardy invertebrates to recover from this mass extinction event. and trace their past demographics. Deposit Feeders — Name the species that feed on this matter A bottom-dwelling organism — etc Shrimp or worms, thus first recovered. Suspension feeders — those that feed on material in suspension — have a tough time.

Invertebrates that feed on sediments on the ocean floor, such as shrimp, may have been the first to recover from Earth's greatest mass extinction.  © Sergey, Adobe Stock

Researchers also suspect that the success of the former has put the latter in trouble. This caused the shrimps and worms to stir up the seabed so much that their suspension eating cousins ​​struggled to regain their balance in this muddy water.

But researchers imagine that invertebrates are, thanks to the backlash they face High CO contents2 — known to our planet at the time –, may have played an important role in the reestablishment.environment After other great destructions. Perhaps by stimulating subsequent evolutionary discoveries.

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