The delayed rise of present-day mammals

It took 10 to 15 million years after the dinosaurs were wiped out before modern mammals - including our ancient human ancestors - were able to diversify and rise to their present-day prominence across the globe, a landmark new study has found.

The surprise finding overturns the widely held belief that the ancestors of modern mammals were able to quickly evolve and spread to fill many of the empty niches left behind following the mass extinctions of dinosaurs and many other large animals when a huge asteroid crashed into the Earth about 65 million years ago.

An international research team reached that conclusion after analysing the evolutionary links of some 4,500 mammals, creating for the first time a "supertree" of family relationships between almost all species of mammal alive today.

Armed with the information about those relationships, the researchers used DNA data and the fossil record to estimate diversification rates and work backward to establish when specific groups of mammals first appeared on Earth.

The study, which included work by Robin Beck, a PhD student in the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, suggests that while some early mammals may have benefited from the demise of the dinosaurs, many were on branches of the family tree not closely related to present-day mammals and died off early on.

They also found that modern mammal orders, such as primates, rodents, and hoofed animals, did not diversify until much later, at least 10 to 15 millions years after the mass extinctions at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods when dinosaurs went extinct.

This period of diversification, around 50-55 million years ago, represents the beginning of the Eocene epoch, and appears to coincide with a peak in global temperatures known as the Cenozoic thermal maximum. However, the authors point out that the exact cause of the increased mammalian biodiversity will re

Contact: Robin Beck
University of New South Wales

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Salamanders suffer delayed effects of common herbicide
2. Report that delayed motherhood decreases life expectancy of mouse offspring
3. Low oxygen likely made Great Dying worse, greatly delayed recovery
4. Dinosaur extinction didnt cause the rise of present-day mammals, claim researchers
5. Shared ancestor to humans, present-day non-human primates may be linchpin in evolution of language
6. A sensory organ, not the brain, differentiates male and female behavior in some mammals
7. Robust time estimation reconciles views of the antiquity of placental mammals
8. Big vegetarian mammals can play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, study finds
9. Contrary to common wisdom, scientist discovers some mammals can smell objects under water
10. How mammals fuel milk production may have implications for cancer
11. Does missing gene point to nocturnal existence for early mammals?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:7/17/2019)... ... July 15, 2019 , ... RCH Solutions ... and Healthcare companies, announces the availability of new specialty advisory practice, a Public ... start-up and emerging bio-pharma companies interested in achieving specific outcomes related to public ...
(Date:7/10/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... July 10, 2019 , ... ... Virtual Agents for sales and service organizations, today announced its role in ... and streamline the operational efficiency of its franchisees. A key part of this ...
(Date:7/5/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... July 05, 2019 , ... ... Microsoft to bring its patented Tractus™ Platform to governments around the world. ... cutting edge technology and point of care solutions to operating theatres worldwide to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... May 15, 2019 , ... Milton Hershey School® has named William Charles ... within the biomedical industry, where he is changing lives by creating solutions to global ... Harding epitomizes the vision of our founders – Milton and Catherine Hershey – who ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Gateway Genomics , a leading developer of prenatal and ... 5,000 square feet. , “This past year has seen exponential growth for the ... Chris Jacob. “The SneakPeek At-Home test, which is mailed directly to our customers who ...
(Date:5/4/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2019 , ... ... by the President of the Dakila Pesquisas Association, the scientist and ufologist Urandir ... 2019, in Brasília (DF). Urandir detailed the results of some research carried out ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... The centuries old practice of brewing beer thrives today ... breweries, and even home brewing clubs scattered across the nation. , But proper ... mastered can produce a superb product. Students at South Dakota School of Mines ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: