Mammaliaform extinctions as a driver of the morphological radiation of Cenozoic mammals

  title={Mammaliaform extinctions as a driver of the morphological radiation of Cenozoic mammals},
  author={Neil Brocklehurst and Elsa Panciroli and Gemma Louise Benevento and Roger B. J. Benson},
  journal={Current Biology},
Multiple paths to morphological diversification during the origin of amniotes.
Evidence for an early burst, comprising high rates of anatomical change that decelerated through time, giving way to a background of saturated morphological evolution is found, demonstrating the importance of variation in modes of phenotypic divergence during a major evolutionary radiation.
Ecological selectivity and the evolution of mammalian substrate preference across the K–Pg boundary
Abstract The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) mass extinction 66 million years ago was characterized by a worldwide ecological catastrophe and rapid species turnover. Large‐scale devastation of forested
Evolution: Morphological saturation and release in mammals
A new study suggests that placental mammals remained constrained for several million years after non-avian dinosaurs perished, perhaps due to competition from archaic mammals.


Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs
It is shown that in arguably the most evolutionarily successful clade of Mesozoic mammals, the Multituberculata, an adaptive radiation began at least 20 million years before the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and continued across the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.
Evidence for a Mid-Jurassic Adaptive Radiation in Mammals
It is demonstrated that sustained morphological innovation in Triassic stem-group mammals culminated in a global adaptive radiation of crown-group members during the Early to Middle Jurassic, supporting the "long-fuse" model of diversification in Mesozoic therians.
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.
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.
Diversity versus disparity and the radiation of modern cetaceans
It is concluded that the signature of adaptive radiations may be retained within morphological traits even after equilibrium diversity has been reached and high extinction or fluctuations in net diversification have erased any signature of an early burst of diversification in the structure of the phylogeny.
Resolving the relationships of Paleocene placental mammals
The largest cladistic analysis of Paleocene placentals to date is presented, from a data matrix including 177 taxa (130 of which are Palaeogene) and 680 morphological characters, and supports an Atlantogenata–Boreoeutheria split at the root of crown Placentalia, the presence of phenacodontids as closest relatives of Perissodactyla, and the validity of Euungulata.
Untangling the Multiple Ecological Radiations of Early Mammals.
These ecological radiations are reviewed, highlighting the nuanced complexity of early mammal evolution, the value of ecomorphological fossil data, and the importance of phylogenetic context in macroevolutionary studies.
Eutherians experienced elevated evolutionary rates in the immediate aftermath of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene mass extinction
It is shown that Placentalia likely originated in the Late Cretaceous, but that most intraordinal diversification occurred during the earliest Palaeocene, supporting the view that an evolutionary radiation occurred as placental lineages invaded new ecological niches during the EarlyPalaeocene.
Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates
A model is developed that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species and predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes, consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general.
Patterns of mammalian jaw ecomorphological disparity during the Mesozoic/Cenozoic transition
Total mammal disparity exceeded its Mesozoic maximum for the first time during the Eocene, when therian mammals began exploring previously unoccupied regions of function space, and probably reflects the duration of evolutionary recovery after the K/Pg mass extinction event.