Repeated Evolution of Herbivorous Crocodyliforms during the Age of Dinosaurs

  title={Repeated Evolution of Herbivorous Crocodyliforms during the Age of Dinosaurs},
  author={Keegan M. Melstrom and Randall B. Irmis},
  journal={Current Biology},

Complex macroevolutionary dynamics underly the evolution of the crocodyliform skull

High-dimensional three-dimensional geometric morphometrics are used to quantify whole-skull morphology across modern and fossil crocodyliforms to untangle the factors that shaped the macroevolutionary history and relatively low phenotypic variation of this clade through time.

Ecological opportunity and the rise and fall of crocodylomorph evolutionary innovation

This macroevolutionary study of skull and jaw shape disparity shows that crocodylomorph ecomorphological variation peaked in the Cretaceous, before declining in theCenozoic, and the rise and fall of disparity was associated with great heterogeneity in evolutionary rates.

Body Size Evolution in Crocodylians and Their Extinct Relatives

Crocodylians are currently facing evolutionary decline. This is evinced by the rich fossil record of their extinct relatives, crocodylomorphs, which show not only significantly higher levels of

Dispatches from the age of crocodiles: New discoveries from ancient lineages

There is far more work to be done to understand the biology and behavior responsible for the great radiation extinct suchians and their crocodylian descendants experienced during their conquest of Mesozoic and Tertiary ecosystems.

Untangling the ecological signal in the dental morphology in the bat superfamily Noctilionoidea

Using multivariate dental topographic analysis and phylogenetic comparative methods, the results suggest that adaptations affecting different attributes of dental morphology likely facilitated the dietary diversity and specialisation found in Noctilionoidea.

Exceptionally simple, rapidly replaced teeth in sauropod dinosaurs demonstrate a novel evolutionary strategy for herbivory in Late Jurassic ecosystems

It is demonstrated that sauropod tooth complexity is related to tooth replacement rate rather than diet, which contrasts with the results from mammals and saurians.

Dietary and body-mass reconstruction of the Miocene neotropical bat Notonycteris magdalenensis (Phyllostomidae) from La Venta, Colombia

The diet and body-mass reconstructions suggest that N. magdalenensis exhibits morphological pre-adaptations crucial for the evolution of specialized carnivory, and multivariate dental topography analysis (DTA) is potentially an informative tool to study bat ecomorphology.

Crocodylomorph cranial shape evolution and its relationship with body size and ecology

A strong link between shape and size, and a significant influence of ecology on the observed shape variation are found, demonstrates an intricate relationship between cranial shape, body size and lifestyle in crocodylomorph evolutionary history.

The limits of convergence: the roles of phylogeny and dietary ecology in shaping non-avian amniote crania

It is found that both phylogeny and dietary ecology have statistically significant effects on cranial shape, and certain cranial shapes may provide functional advantages suited to particular dietary ecologies, but accounting for both phylogenetic history and ecology can provide a more nuanced approach to inferring the ecology and functional morphology of cryptic or extinct amniotes.

The phylogenetic relationships of neosuchian crocodiles and their implications for the convergent evolution of the longirostrine condition

A new dataset for the crocodylomorph clade Neosuchia is presented, consisting of 569 morphological characters for 112 taxa and shows that equally weighted parsimony and Bayesian methods cluster unrelated longirostrine forms together, producing a topology that conflicts strongly with their stratigraphic distributions.



A pug-nosed crocodyliform from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

An exquisitely preserved specimen of a new taxon from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar is reported, possessing an extremely blunt snout, a tall, rounded skull, an anteriorly shifted jaw joint and clove-shaped, multicusped teeth reminiscent of those of some ornithischian dinosaurs.

Early Crocodylomorpha

Future consensus on early crocodylomorph phylogeny will provide a solid framework for understanding their change in diversity and disparity through time, potential biogeographic patterns, and the morphological transformation leading to CrocodyLiformes.

A plant-eating crocodyliform reptile from the Cretaceous of China

The presence of multicuspid molariform teeth in a remarkable new crocodyliform from the Lower Cretaceous of China suggests back-to-front motion of the mandible produced by the posterior pterygoid muscle during jaw closing, much as in the extant tuatara, Sphenodon.

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 of dietary differentiation among late Paleocene-early Eocene plesiadapids (Mammalia, primates).

The hypothesis that P. cookei is more dietarily specialized than P. tricuspidens is supported by quantifying functionally significant aspects of molar, premolar, and incisor forms by measuring the relief index and/or the complexity from surface reconstructions of scans.

The evolution of Metriorhynchoidea (mesoeucrocodylia, thalattosuchia): an integrated approach using geometric morphometrics, analysis of disparity, and biomechanics

This study illustrates the importance of using a varied toolkit of techniques that together with phylogeny, quantitative assessment of diversity, form, and function help elucidate the macroevolutionary pattern of fossil clades.

Quantitative heterodonty in Crocodylia: assessing size and shape across modern and extinct taxa

The proposed method for the quantification of both size- and shape-heterodonty in members of Crocodylia will add rigor to many life history studies of the clade and may apply to most crocodylian specimens with an intact enough tooth row regardless of age, species, or rearing conditions.

Osteology and phylogeny of a new species of Araripesuchus (Crocodyliformes: Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

A new species of Araripesuchus present in the Maevarano Formation of Madagascar is described, and it is shown that this group is depicted as more closely related to neosuchians than to notosuchian taxa.

Convergence on dental simplification in the evolution of whales

Abstract. The fossil record of mammal dentition provides crucial insight into key ecological and functional transitions throughout mammalian evolutionary history. For cetaceans, both extant clades