Resetting the evolution of marine reptiles at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary

Thorne, Philippa M., Ruta, Marcello and Benton, Michael J. (2011) Resetting the evolution of marine reptiles at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 (20). pp. 8339-8344. ISSN 0027-8424

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Ichthyosaurs were important marine predators in the Early Jurassic,
and an abundant and diverse component of Mesozoic marine
ecosystems. Despite their ecological importance, however, the
Early Jurassic species represent a reduced remnant of their former
significance in the Triassic. Ichthyosaurs passed through an evolutionary
bottleneck at, or close to, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary,
which reduced their diversity to as few as three or four lineages.
Diversity bounced back to some extent in the aftermath of the
end-Triassic mass extinction, but disparity remained at less than
one-tenth of pre-extinction levels, and never recovered. The group
remained at low diversity and disparity for its final 100 Myr. The
end-Triassic mass extinction had a previously unsuspected profound
effect in resetting the evolution of apex marine predators
of the Mesozoic.

Keywords:Ichthyopterygia, cladistics, phylogeny, morphometrics
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
F Physical Sciences > F641 Palaeontology
C Biological Sciences > C181 Biodiversity
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:6285
Deposited On:27 Sep 2012 14:13

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