Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs

  title={Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs},
  author={G P Wilson and Alistair R. Evans and Ian J. Corfe and Peter D. Smits and Mikael Fortelius and Jukka Jernvall},
The Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction approximately 66 million years ago is conventionally thought to have been a turning point in mammalian evolution. Prior to that event and for the first two-thirds of their evolutionary history, mammals were mostly confined to roles as generalized, small-bodied, nocturnal insectivores, presumably under selection pressures from dinosaurs. Release from these pressures, by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, triggered… 
Earliest Evolution of Multituberculate Mammals Revealed by a New Jurassic Fossil
A new basal multi is described from a nearly complete skeleton that shows that the underpinnings of these adaptations arose early in the evolution of the order, setting the stage for the major diversification and radiation of the group that came during the Cretaceous and Paleogene.
Therian mammals experience an ecomorphological radiation during the Late Cretaceous and selective extinction at the K–Pg boundary
The conflicting diversity and disparity patterns suggest that earliest Palaeocene extinction survivors, especially eutherian dietary generalists, underwent rapid taxonomic diversification without considerable morphological diversification.
Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction
Phylogenetic analysis of behavioural data across all living mammalian orders suggests the earliest mammals were nocturnal, and other modes such as cathemerality and strict diurnality did not arise until the end of the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic.
Untangling the Multiple Ecological Radiations of Early Mammals.
Eutherian morphological disparity across the end‐Cretaceous mass extinction
Increase in variance-based metrics lag behind the range-based metric and per-lineage accumulation rate, suggesting that the response of mammals to the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event was characterized by an early radiation that increased overall morphospace occupation, followed later by specialization that resulted in increased dissimilarity.
Mesozoic mammals of China: implications for phylogeny and early evolution of mammals
  • J. Meng
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2014
The superb specimens from nearly all major groups of Mesozoic mammals in China provided a great amount of information that contributed to understanding on some major issues in phylogeny and the early evolution of mammals, such as divergences of mammals and the evolution of the mammalian middle ear.
Mammal disparity decreases during the Cretaceous angiosperm radiation
It is concluded that during the mid-Cretaceous, the period of rapid angiosperm radiation, mammals experienced both a decrease in morphological disparity and a functional shift in dietary morphology that were probably related to changing ecosystems.
Evidence for a Mid-Jurassic Adaptive Radiation in Mammals
Assembly of modern mammal community structure driven by Late Cretaceous dental evolution, rise of flowering plants, and dinosaur demise
The results indicate that the interplay of at least three factors, namely the evolution of the tribosphenic molar, the ecological rise of angiosperms, and potential competition with other vertebrates, may have been critical in shaping the ecological structure of small-bodied mammaliaform communities through time.


The delayed rise of present-day mammals
The results show that the phylogenetic ‘fuses’ leading to the explosion of extant placental orders are not only very much longer than suspected previously, but also challenge the hypothesis that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event had a major, direct influence on the diversification of today’s mammals.
Impacts of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg Extinction on Mammal Diversification
Molecular phylogenetic analysis, calibrated with fossils, resolves the time frame of the mammalian radiation and diversification analyses suggest important roles for the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg mass extinction in opening up ecospace that promoted interordinal and intraordinal diversification, respectively.
A New Mammaliaform from the Early Jurassic and Evolution of Mammalian Characteristics
A fossil from the Early Jurassic represents a new lineage of mammaliaforms, the extinct groups more closely related to the living mammals than to nonmammaliaform cynodonts, and shows that several key mammalian evolutionary innovations in the ear region, the temporomandibular joint, and the brain vault evolved incrementally through mammaliaform evolution and long before the differentiation of the living mammal groups.
The fossil record of North American mammals: evidence for a Paleocene evolutionary radiation.
  • J. Alroy
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Systematic biology
  • 1999
Paleofaunal data confirm that there were fewer mammalian species during the latest Cretaceous than during any interval of the Cenozoic, and that a massive diversification took place during the early Paleocene, immediately after a mass extinction.
Dinosaur diversity and the rock record
Strong statistically robust correlations demonstrate that almost all aspects of ornithischian and theropod diversity curves can be explained by geological megabiases, whereas the sauropodomorph record diverges from modelled predictions and may be a stronger contender for identifying evolutionary signals.
A new important record of earliest Cenozoic mammalian history: Eutheria and paleogeographic/biostratigraphic summaries
We provide systematic description and discussion for each of 47 species of eutherian (“placental”) mammals from the type Ferris Formation of the western Hanna Basin, south-central Wyoming. All
The Evolution of Maximum Body Size of Terrestrial Mammals
Analysis suggests that although the primary driver for the evolution of giant mammals was diversification to fill ecological niches, environmental temperature and land area may have ultimately constrained the maximum size achieved.
Ferns diversified in the shadow of angiosperms
It is shown that polypod ferns (> 80% of living fern species) diversified in the Cretaceous, after angiosperms, suggesting perhaps an ecological opportunistic response to the diversification of angios perms, as angiosPerms came to dominate terrestrial ecosystems.
Mammalian Faunal Dynamics During the Last 1.8 Million Years of the Cretaceous in Garfield County, Montana
  • G. Wilson
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Journal of Mammalian Evolution
  • 2005
This study provides an analysis of biotic change in successive mammalian communities during the last 1.8 million years of the Cretaceous (67.3–65.58 Ma) from the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield
Transformation and diversification in early mammal evolution
Newly discovered fossils show that evolution of such key characters as the middle ear and the tribosphenic teeth is far more labile among Mesozoic mammals.