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Biol Lett. 2018 Sep 26;14(9). pii: 20180458. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0458.

Diversification dynamics of mammalian clades during the K-Pg mass extinction.

Author information

1
Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas 13083-862, Brazil mathiasmpires@gmail.com.
2
Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-900, Brazil.
3
University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
4
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg and Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

The Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K-Pg) episode is an iconic mass extinction, in which the diversity of numerous clades abruptly declined. However, the responses of individual clades to mass extinctions may be more idiosyncratic than previously understood. Here, we examine the diversification dynamics of the three major mammalian clades in North America across the K-Pg. Our results show that these clades responded in dramatically contrasting ways to the K-Pg event. Metatherians underwent a sudden rise in extinction rates shortly after the K-Pg, whereas declining origination rates first halted diversification and later drove the loss of diversity in multituberculates. Eutherians experienced high taxonomic turnover near the boundary, with peaks in both origination and extinction rates. These findings indicate that the effects of geological episodes on diversity are context dependent and that mass extinctions can affect the diversification of clades by independently altering the extinction regime, the origination regime or both.

KEYWORDS:

Mammalia; diversity; macroevolution; speciation

PMID:
30258031
PMCID:
PMC6170748
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2018.0458
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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