Home Front Page Leave it to beaver: “Rodent” survives dinosaur doomsday

Leave it to beaver: “Rodent” survives dinosaur doomsday

Scientists have found the fossils of an ancient, beaver-like mammal in New Mexico. The so-called Kimbetopsalis simmonsae was able to survive the KT extinction event, outliving the dinosaurs, and thriving for millions of years.

NOTE: BEAVER SKELETON "Beaver skeleton" by Sklmsta - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons

Researchers have revealed a little, mammal that resembles a rodent. They believe that these mammals lived during the dinosaurs era and were a part of the KT extinction event. Termed Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, these beaver-like animals were tough and gave competition to their neighbors, the dinosaurs. Specialists trust this early well evolved creature looked had striking appearance with beaver we see today, and was a herbivore.

The size of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae was about three feet in length and weighed over 22 pounds. The mammal were from a group of animals called Multituberculates that might have died about 30 million years ago. Despite the striking resemblance with the beaver, researchers actually believe that Kimbetopsalis simmonsae represents a new species of animal. The time this species lived alongside dinosaurs, it was small.

At that point, the KT event happened, which is presently accepted to have been brought about by a mix of a asteroid strike and volcanic action. At the point when this happened the Earth experienced some fast and mammoth changes. Dinosaurs had adjusted to the hotter, humid atmosphere once found on the planet, however as slag and dust filled the air, shutting out the sun, vegetation died down and everything changed.

Dinosaurs were not able to adapt to the quick changes, however well evolved animals were in a better condition to survive. Dinosaur died during the event and researchers feel that the larger part of warm blooded animals made it through the KT event. Their size and different properties made them adapt well to the KT event.

When the dinosaurs died, it led to other mammals survive and Kimbetopsalis simmonsae were no exception. The small rodents flourished, became big and evolved into a new species. The extinction of dinosaurs led to several other mammals emerge. While 10 million years are long, in the extent of nature and development, this is a brief time frame. This gigantic explosion in diversity would not happen if dinosaurs existed.

The Kimbetopsalis simmonsae fossils were found in New Mexico. New Mexico was much warmer than what it is today and it was more humid with several lakes and rivers.

Nothing can be ascertained about what led to Kimbetopsalis simmonsae extiction. Scientists believe that the animal’s unique, beaver-like teeth gave it a unique competitive advantage.

Looking for some graphics and a bit more information about the impact of KT extinction event? Check out this YouTube video!



Check out this video for more information on other extinction events.


Armed with weapons and fire, humanity has proven to be an overwhelming force and the ultimate apex predator. Woolly mammoths are believed to have been hunted to extinction, tigers are on the verge of being wiped out in nature, many massive whales are believed to be endangered species. Humanity might just be too powerful for its own good.


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