Navigation Links
Mass extinctions and the evolution of dinosaurs
Date:9/30/2008

Reporting in Biology Letters, Steve Brusatte, Professor Michael Benton, and colleagues at the University of Bristol show that dinosaurs did not proliferate immediately after they originated, but that their rise was a slow and complicated event, and driven by two mass extinctions.

"The sheer size of dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus makes us think there was something special about these animals that preordained them for success right from the beginning," Brusatte said. "However, our research shows that the rise of dinosaurs was a prolonged and complicated process. It isn't clear from the data that they would go on to dominate the world until at least 30 million years after they originated."

Importantly, the new research also shows that dinosaurs evolved into all their classic lifestyles big predators, long-necked herbivores, etc. long before they became abundant or diversified into the many different species we know today.

Brusatte added: "It just wasn't a case of dinosaurs exploding onto the scene because of a special adaptation. Rather, they had to wait their turn and evolved in fits and starts before finally dominating their world."

Dinosaurs originated about 230 million years ago and survived the Late Triassic mass extinction (228 million years ago), when some 35 per cent of all living families died out. It was their predecessors dying out during this extinction that allowed herbivorous dinosaurs to expand into the niches they left behind.

The rapid expansion of carnivorous and armoured dinosaur groups did not happen until after the much bigger mass extinction some 200 million year ago, at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. At least half of the species now known to have been living on Earth at that time became extinct, which profoundly affected life on land and in the oceans.

Historically the rise of the dinosaurs has been treated as a classic case in which a group evolves key features that allow it to rapidly expand, fill many niches, and out-compete other groups. But Professor Benton said the story isn't so simplistic: "We argue that the expansion of the dinosaurs took up to 50 million years and was not a simple process that can be explained with broad generalizations."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cherry Lewis
Cherry.lewis@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8086
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Oceans on the precipice: Scripps scientist warns of mass extinctions and rise of slime
2. The mystery of mass extinctions is no longer murky
3. Stanford researchers say climate change will significantly increase impending bird extinctions
4. Research team says extraterrestrial impact to blame for Ice Age extinctions
5. Advance offers revolution in food safety testing
6. Worm genome offers clues to evolution of parasitism
7. Insight into the evolution of parasitism
8. Scientists find redesigned hammer that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals
9. Evolution in plain language
10. Computational biochemist uncovers a molecular clue to evolution
11. Molecular evolution is echoed in bat ears
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/14/2016)... 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the ... wireless communications for use in challenging operating environments, announced ... 2016. Management will hold a conference call to discuss ... Eastern Time (details below). Key Recent Accomplishments ... million binding agreement to acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by ... View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand ... are expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016  SRI International has been ... from the National Institutes of Health,s National Institute ... of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to support the manufacturing and ... (PreP) agents. Under the seven-year contract, SRI will ... services for candidate HIV-prevention products that emerge from ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... -- Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: AXON ), ... of dementia, today announced that data on the investigational ... will be presented at the 2016 Clinical Trials in ... in San Diego . Intepirdine presentations ... complex measures of activities of daily living (ADLs) and ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... In anticipation of AxioMed’s exclusive ... production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be traveling to Germany on December 6th. ... Cologne and Karlsruhe to discuss the benefits of a viscoelastic total disc replacement. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 NxGen MDx announced today that ... the test in house, we,ve been able to improve customer service through ... patients," says Alan Mack , CEO of NxGen MDx. ... , , A ... volume has led to more job opportunities at the Grand Rapid headquarters. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: