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:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... HATFIELD, Pa. , April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... drug delivery platform, has signed a collaborative and ... through Dr. Silvia Muro . The overall ... pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various 3DNA designs and ... aims involve targeting diseases of the vasculature as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... EpiVax, Inc. ("EpiVax") has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology ... in autoimmune disease and allergy. Tregitopes, ... discovered in human immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO ... Martin. Similar to intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 ... ... protect proteins from thermal denaturation in a cellular milieu; however, the broad application ... a lack of simple platforms with sensitive quantitative readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... and Webster Bank, today announced first round funding to three startups through the ... early-stage financial support to new business startups affiliated with UConn. , The UConn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: