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:8/5/2020)... , ... August 05, 2020 , ... Regenative Labs has ... new innovations, CoreText™ and ProText™, making them the first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be ... a syringe. The company’s solutions are the first Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 2020 , ... A study has been published in the ... noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a simulated neonatal intensive care ... sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices that would affect the ...
(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com , ... biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European Hematology ... Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase 1 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... Inc. magazine today revealed ... in FDA compliance consulting has been named on its annual Inc. 5000 list, ... a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... Ky. (PRWEB) , ... August 03, 2020 , ... Introducing ... products for transformative growth, , Known as MediVet Biologics since ... brand. , The new Ardent Animal Health will build on its base ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... Diversified Technologies, ... that can be configured to drive Klystrons, TWTs, IOTs, and magnetrons. , ... or two switches in a push-pull configuration; yielding fast fall time for a ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... eSource has long been ... webinar will cover the history of eSource, the reasons it did not take off ... wearables, to site source, the industry is moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: