HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Ancient reptile is efficient chewer

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers have discovered that a small mammal-like reptile that lived 260 million years ago is the first known efficient land vertebrate chewer -- able to use a shearing chewing action to break down tough vegetation.

This finding, the scientists said, provides evidence that the seemingly modest ability to orally process food efficiently allowed animals to digest a wider range of vegetation, sparking the evolution of a diversity of herbivores. This diversity enabled the evolution of the modern terrestrial animal ecosystem, in which abundant herbivores serve as food for a small number of carnivores. Before this evolution, said the scientists, the ecosystem was quite different, with herbivores being very rare and most vertebrates eating either invertebrates or other vertebrates that fed on invertebrates.

In an article in the June 7 issue of Nature, Duke University graduate student Natalia Rybczynski, and Robert Reisz, professor of zoology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, report microscopic studies of the teeth of the foot-long reptile Suminia, whose distant relatives eventually evolved into mammals. Suminia predated the dinosaurs -- which branched from the vertebrate tree millions of years later -- some of whose plant-eating species evolved similar chewing mechanisms.

The scientists' studies of the teeth of the gangly, big-eyed, large-toothed Suminia found telltale horizontal scratches whose structure revealed that the animal brought its posterior teeth together and created an upward and backward shearing motion, called a power stroke, to shred plant material efficiently.

"Chewing is particularly important because if an animal can more efficiently chew its food, it can digest more quickly and increase its rate of food intake," Rybczynski said. "Such increased intake could have supported an elevated metabolism, similar to mammals." By contrast, Rybczynski said, herbivores
'"/>

Contact: Dennis Meredith
dennis.meredith@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University
6-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Ancient life form may help create newest technologies
2. Ancient brewery discovered on mountaintop in Peru
3. Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices
4. Ancient DNA mutations permitted humans to adapt to colder climates, UCI researchers find
5. Ancient Inca road in desperate need of protection
6. Ancient DNA analysis unveils mystery of historys most horribly deformed man -- The Elephant Man
7. Ancient pollen yields insight into forest biodiversity
8. Ancient defense mechanism may still be protecting us
9. Ancient flower fossil points to underwater origins
10. Ancient supernova may have triggered eco-catastrophe
11. Ancient Chinese folk remedy may hold key to non-toxic cancer treatment

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: