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Trends Ecol Evol. 2006 Apr;21(4):217-24. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Ecological and evolutionary implications of dinosaur feeding behaviour.

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Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 5BD.


Dinosaurs had a wide variety of feeding mechanisms that strongly impacted on their ecology and evolution. Here, we show how novel application of technologies borrowed from medicine and engineering, such as CT scanning and Finite Element Analysis, have recently been combined with traditional approaches to result in significant advances in our understanding of dinosaur palaeobiology. Taxon-specific studies are providing quantitative data that can be used to generate and test functional hypotheses relating to jaw mechanics and feeding behaviour. In turn, these data form a basis for investigating larger scale patterns of ecological and macroevolutionary change, such as possible coevolutionary interactions and the influence of feeding adaptations on species richness, which are of more general interest to ecologists and evolutionary biologists.

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