Dinosaur-killing asteroid allowed snakes to 'survive and thrive'

Scientists say the snakes managed to stay alive by hiding underground and going long periods without food.

Dinosaur-killing asteroid allowed snakes to 'survive and thrive'

A handful of surviving snake species were able to "thrive" when dinosaurs were wiped out by a devastating asteroid, according to new research.

Scientists say the snakes managed to stay alive by hiding underground and going long periods without food.

The asteroid strike 66 million years ago in Mexico caused mass devastation around the world resulting in the extinction of dinosaurs and an estimated 76 per cent of plant and animal life.

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It caused earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires, followed by 10 years of darkness when ash clouds blocked out the Sun.

But snakes managed to escape the mass extinction event evolving into the 3000 or more species known today.

Other species that survived include some mammals, birds, frogs and fish.

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Researchers at the University of Bath say if the asteroid strike hadn't happened, it was unlikely the species we know today would be alive.

"In this environment of the collapse of food chains, snakes are able to survive and thrive, and they are able to colonise new continents and interact with their environment in new ways," said lead researcher Dr Catherine Klein said, reports the BBC.

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"It's likely that without this asteroid impact, they wouldn't be where they are today."

The research, published in Nature Communications, can trace back all living snakes to those that survived the asteroid.

Scientists say the snakes that thrived back then included those that lived underground or on the forest floor, and in freshwater.

They were able to evolve first into Asia before the rest of the world due to their ability to survive without food for long periods of time and with little competition from other animals.

Source : 9 News More   

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Queensland government to investigate after miner killed

The Queensland government has vowed to investigate the death of a coal miner near the town of Emerald overnight.

Queensland government to investigate after miner killed

The Queensland government has vowed to investigate the death of a coal miner near the town of Emerald overnight.

The man, aged in his 60s, suffered significant injuries after part of the ceiling and wall of the Gregory Crinum Mine, north of the agriculture and mining town of Emerald, collapsed

He died at the scene, while two other men were hospitalised.

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The man's family were notified of his death this morning.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart paid tribute to the efforts of first responders.

"Any loss of life on our mine sites is unacceptable," Mr Stewart said.

"It is my expectation that the Mines Inspector will investigate this incident thoroughly and with diligence."

A man, believed to be in his 20s, was injured and airlifted to hospital in a serious condition with pelvic and leg injuries.

A third person was taken to Emerald Hospital in a stable condition after suffering a "medical event".

Police told 9News they were called to the mine following reports of the collapse at Lilyvale at 11pm, with investigations into the incident underway.

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Workplace Health and Safety will take the lead on the investigation.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered her condolences to the late miner's family.

"I can assure Queenslanders this matter will have a thorough investigation by Resources Health and Safety Queensland," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable also expressed her condolences.

"We acknowledge the additional impact on friends, emergency responders and colleagues and we wish the two injured workers well on their recovery," she said.

"The minerals industry is committed to, and working hard on, eliminating fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses, with a strong focus on building and sustaining respectful workplaces."

Source : 9 News More   

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