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Curr Biol. 2014 Jan 20;24(2):R87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.063.

Models for the rise of the dinosaurs.

Author information

1
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK. Electronic address: mike.benton@bristol.ac.uk.
2
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK.
3
Departamento de Biologia, FFCLRP, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14040-901, Ribeirao Preto-SP, Brazil.

Abstract

Dinosaurs arose in the early Triassic in the aftermath of the greatest mass extinction ever and became hugely successful in the Mesozoic. Their initial diversification is a classic example of a large-scale macroevolutionary change. Diversifications at such deep-time scales can now be dissected, modelled and tested. New fossils suggest that dinosaurs originated early in the Middle Triassic, during the recovery of life from the devastating Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Improvements in stratigraphic dating and a new suite of morphometric and comparative evolutionary numerical methods now allow a forensic dissection of one of the greatest turnovers in the history of life. Such studies mark a move from the narrative to the analytical in macroevolutionary research, and they allow us to begin to answer the proposal of George Gaylord Simpson, to explore adaptive radiations using numerical methods.

PMID:
24456985
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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