By carrying out analysis of rock samples taken from the bottom of the sea in the area of the centre of the Chicxulub crater, an area where 66 million years ago there was a huge meteorite impact, a team of researchers suggests that terrestrial plants, fungi and microbes were transported over great distances as a result of wave activity.
This was due to the giant tsunami that occurred as a result of the impact. The same study shows that the rebirth of terrestrial plants, dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria and all anaerobic bacteria was quite rapid as Bettina Schaefer, researcher at Curtin University and author of the study, explains.
“Our research shows that when the dust from the asteroid impact stabilized and sunlight returned to ideal levels, there was a rapid rebirth of terrestrial plants, dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria and all forms of anaerobic photosynthetic bacteria, including those from microbial carpets in the crater area,” says the researcher.
The same analysis also seems to suggest that it was also the phytoplankton communities in the impact area that evolved and continued to reproduce at a rapid rate.
“So many things were happening in such a short time, it was really as if a post-apocalyptic microbial chaos was happening in the Chicxulub crater,” says the researcher suggesting how this impact cost, which has led to global mass extinctions in the medium and long term, has, especially for smaller life forms for microorganisms, all in all represented an important transition or even a phase of accelerated growth.