Superiority, competition, and opportunism in the evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs

Brusatte, S. L. and Benton, M. J. and Ruta, M. and Lloyd, G. T. (2008) Superiority, competition, and opportunism in the evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs. Science, 321 (5895). pp. 1485-1488. ISSN 0036-8075

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1161833

Full text not available from this repository.

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The rise and diversification of the dinosaurs in the Late Triassic, from 230 to 200 million years ago, is a classic example of an evolutionary radiation with supposed competitive replacement. A comparison of evolutionary rates and morphological disparity of basal dinosaurs and their chief "competitors," the crurotarsan archosaurs, shows that dinosaurs exhibited lower disparity and an indistinguishable rate of character evolution. The radiation of Triassic archosaurs as a whole is characterized by declining evolutionary rates and increasing disparity, suggesting a decoupling of character evolution from body plan variety. The results strongly suggest that historical contingency, rather than prolonged competition or general "superiority," was the primary factor in the rise of dinosaurs.

Keywords:Dinosaurs, Morphology, Evolution, Competition, Ecology, Fossil reptiles
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9748
Deposited On:06 Jun 2013 09:30

Repository Staff Only: item control page