Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co‐evolution

  title={Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co‐evolution},
  author={Richard J. Butler and Paul M. Barrett and Paul Kenrick and Malcolm G. Penn},
  journal={Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
Abstract Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co‐evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co‐evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co‐evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of… 

Dynamics of dental evolution in ornithopod dinosaurs

Ornithopods were key herbivorous dinosaurs in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems, with a variety of tooth morphologies, and here they are focused on their remarkable dietary adaptations, using tooth and jaw characters to examine changes in dental disparity and evolutionary rate.

Multifaceted disparity approach reveals dinosaur herbivory flourished before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

Abstract Understanding temporal patterns in biodiversity is an enduring question in paleontology. Compared with studies of taxonomic diversity, long-term perspectives on ecological diversity are

The ghost of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution in the evolution of fern–sawfly associations

The observed phylogenetic patterns are consistent with the hypothesis of “larval diet conservatism” resulting in the establishment of genera and lineages that feed exclusively, or at least predominantly, on conifers, eudicots, ferns, and monocots.

Testing coevolutionary hypotheses over geological timescales: interactions between Cretaceous dinosaurs and plants

Only three nonrepeated associations of marginal significance were recovered, demonstrating that, in general, current knowledge of the spatiotemporal distributions of these groups provides little support for coevolutionary hypotheses.

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.

The megaherbivore gap after the non-avian dinosaur extinctions modified trait evolution and diversification of tropical palms

The Cretaceous–Palaeogene (K-Pg) extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs (66 Ma) led to a 25 million year gap of megaherbivores (>1000 kg) before the evolution of megaherbivorous mammals in the Late

Paleobiology of Herbivorous Dinosaurs

Isotopic, taphonomic, and anatomical evidence implies that niche partitioning reduced competition between sympatric herbivores, via morphological differentiation, dietary preferences, and habitat selection.

Herbivorous dinosaur jaw disparity and its relationship to extrinsic evolutionary drivers

It is found that morphological and biomechanical mandibular disparity are decoupled:Mandibular shape disparity follows taxonomic diversity, with a steady increase through the Mesozoic, while the reduction in biomechanicals disparity following this peak coincides with the J/K extinction, the associated loss of sauropod and stegosaur diversity, and the decline of cycadophytes.


This review aimed at discussing major events of the evolution of fleshy-fruited angiosperms and their major seed dispersers, in order to elucidate if and how they responded to mutual selective pressures.



Testing co‐evolutionary hypotheses over geological timescales: interactions between Mesozoic non‐avian dinosaurs and cycads

The available data provide no unequivocal support for any of the proposed co‐evolutionary interactions between cycads and herbivorous dinosaurs – diffuse co‐Evolutionary scenarios that are proposed to operate over geological timescales are plausible, but such hypotheses need to be firmly grounded on direct evidence of interaction and may be difficult to support given the patchiness of the fossil record.

Angiosperm diversification and Cretaceous floristic trends: a comparison of palynofloras and leaf macrofloras

In the latest Cretaceous, macrofloras and palynofloras both indicate that "pteridophytes," conifers, and other "gymnosperms" are generally less diverse than angiosperms, whereas conifer diversity shows no marked temporal trend.

The Fossil Record of Angiosperms: Requiem or Renaissance?1

A reasonably good fossil record of angiosperms is emerging from the combined efforts of many laboratories and, when carefully evaluated, reveals an interesting and possibly informative pattern of flowering plant evolution.

Evolution of the angiosperms: calibrating the family tree

Angiosperm divergence times are estimated using non–parametric rate smoothing and a three–gene dataset covering ca.

Timing of Early Cretaceous angiosperm diversification and possible links to major paleoenvironmental change

Palynological records from the Western Portuguese and Algarve basins (Portugal) provide new insights on the timing and pattern of the early diversification of angiosperms (flowering plants) and its

60 million years of co-divergence in the fig–wasp symbiosis

Molecular dating of ten pairs of interacting lineages provides an unparalleled example of plant–insect co-divergence over a geological time frame spanning at least 60 million years.

Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

  • G. LloydK. Davis M. Benton
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2008
It is concluded that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR, and major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history.

Angiosperm Diversification and Paleolatitudinal Gradients in Cretaceous Floristic Diversity

As angiosperms become increasingly prevalent the importance of most non-angiosperm taxa either decreases or remains unchanged, and the only apparent exception is a striking increase in gnetalean diversity concurrent with the initial angiosperm diversification at low paleolatitudes.

Cretaceous angiosperm flowers: Innovation and evolution in plant reproduction


  • P. Sereno
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 1997
The phylogenetic history of ornithischian and saurischian dinosaurs reveals evolutionary trends such as increasing body size and Adaptations to herbivory in dinosaurs were not tightly correlated with marked floral replacements.