How does mass extinction affect species that survive?

1 Answer
Jun 3, 2017

Mass extinctions create many new open niches for the surviving organisms to occupy.


An example is the Galapagos Island. Like what might happen after a mass extinction removed most living things, the Island were formed by volcanic action with no living things. Both mass extinctions and volcanic action create a blank canvas for living things.

The finches of the Galapagos island illustrate what might happen to a species that survived a mass extinction. When the finches arrived in the Galapagos Island (most likely from South America) There were no other birds on the island. The Finches proceeded to occupy niches that they had not occupied on the main land. Scientists consider that there are now 13 subspecies of finches on the Islands.

The finches divide into different niches and life styles. Some live in Catus , some ground finches eat large seeds, while other eat small seeds. The shape of the finches beaks have adapted to the different life styles ( The Beak of the Finch)

After a mass extinction the surviving species like the finches would occupy many new and different niches. The species would change and adapt to the new opportunities provided by a mass extinction.