Corpus ID: 88959999

Scientific methodologies in collision : the history of the study of the extinction of the dinosaurs

  title={Scientific methodologies in collision : the history of the study of the extinction of the dinosaurs},
  author={M. Benton},
  journal={Evolutionary Biology-new York},
  • M. Benton
  • Published 1989
  • Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology-new York
About 70 years ago, the extinction of the dinosaurs was regarded as a minor hiccup in the progression of life, no more significant than, say, the extinction of the labyrinthodont amphibians, or the origin of the mammal-like reptiles. It acquired a certain notoriety in the 1950s and 1960s because of its popular appeal, and a vast array of hypotheses was presented, many of them rather bizarre in retrospect. The methods of research and the criteria of hypothesis testing during these years were… Expand

Figures from this paper

The extinction of the dinosaurs
The abruptness of the dinosaur extinction suggests a key role for the bolide impact, although the coarseness of the fossil record makes testing the effects of Deccan volcanism difficult. Expand
16 Patterns of Diversification and Extinction
The history of life on Earth, from the earliest microscopic cells to the modern world populated by the rich variety of animals, plants, fungi, and microbes, is more than 3,500 Myr long. DocumentingExpand
Dinosaurs: The Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction: the frill is gone
How important were the deaths of a few dinosaurs? The mass extinction to which the non-avian dinosaurs finally succumbed after thriving for about 164 million years on Earth is called theExpand
The causes of Phanerozoic extinctions
The Phanerozoic genus-level extinction record can be compared with a variety of environmental change indices in an attempt to identify general extinction causes and results suggest that the well-established decline in “background” extinction intensity has been influenced strongly by generalized tectonic and contingent evolutionary–ecological factors. Expand
Dinosaur biodiversity declined well before the asteroid impact, influenced by ecological and environmental pressures
It is found that the decline of dinosaurs was likely driven by global climate cooling and herbivorous diversity drop, and the latter is likely due to hadrosaurs outcompeting other herbivores. Expand
The Mistaken Extinction
Many well-documented pieces of geological evidence have been incorporated into developing the extinction scenario based on volcanism at the end of the Cretaceous. Recent revisions of this scenarioExpand
New Specimens of the Late Cretaceous Metatherian Eodelphis and the Evolution of Hard-Object Feeding in the Stagodontidae
This work describes two new dentary fossils referable to E. cutleri and test the evolutionary hypothesis by applying beam theory to estimate bending force capabilities of 22 dentaries of Cretaceous stagodontids and other metatherians, implying that some morphological changes associated with durophagy evolved twice within this clade. Expand
Dinosaur nest ecology and predation during the Late Cretaceous: was there a relationship between upper Cretaceous extinction and nesting behavior?
It is argued that the reproductive strategy of obligatory nest defense was likely practiced by most non-avian dinosaur species, but this strategy was highly susceptible to the increasing numbers of mammalian, avian, and reptilian predators, which rendered this strategy obsolete. Expand
Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History
Dinosaurs is grounded in the common language of modern evolutionary biology - phylogenetic systematics - so that students examine dinosaurs as professional paleontologists do and makes science accessible and relevant through its clear explanations and extensive illustrations. Expand
The Complete Dinosaur
PREFACE: James O. Farlow and M. K. Brett-Surman PART ONE: THE DISCOVERY OF DINOSAURS The Earliest Discoveries: William A. S. Sarjeant European Dinosaur Hunters: Hans-Dieter Sues North AmericanExpand


This report considers the possibility that extinction may have resulted primarily from stresses produced by decreasing equability of climate during the later Cretaceous. Expand
Of Asteroids and Dinosaurs: The Role of the Press in the Shaping of Scientific Debate
Since 1980, catastrophist theories of extinction have experienced a dramatic renaissance, based on the claim that important biological changes have extraterrestrial causes - that asteroids or cometsExpand
Impact Theory of Mass Extinctions and the Invertebrate Fossil Record
The paleontological record bears witness to terminal-Cretaceous extinctions on two time scales: a slow decline unrelated to the impact and a sharp truncation synchronous with and probably caused by the impact. Expand
Gradual Dinosaur Extinction and Simultaneous Ungulate Radiation in the Hell Creek Formation
Dinosaur extinction in Montana, Alberta, and Wyoming was a gradual process that began 7 million years before the end of the Cretaceous and accelerated rapidly in the final 0.3 million years of theExpand
The Osteology of the Reptiles
IN no domain of zoological science have the con tributions of American naturalists been more splendid than in that of vertebrate palaeontology, and in the list of pioneer workers in this domain anExpand
Periodicity of extinctions in the geologic past.
  • D. Raup, J. Sepkoski
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1984
The temporal distribution of the major extinctions over the past 250 million years has been investigated statistically using various forms of time series analysis and contains 12 extinction events that show a statistically significant periodicity. Expand
Reception of the asteroid hypothesis of terminal Cretaceous extinctions
A random sampling of North American, British, and German paleontologists, North American geophysicists, and Polish geoscientists was made in mid-1984 to determine attitudes toward the hypothesis thatExpand
Population genetics and the Cretaceous extinction
A theory based primarily on the population genetics parameters of mutation rate and, secondarily, population size is given as the explanation for the increased diversification in ammonites andExpand
Toward a theory of impact crises
In a certain sense, the impact explanation for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous had its origin in Lamont Hall. A couple of years after I came to Lamont in 1971, I started working withExpand
Terminal Cretaceous Extinction Scenario for a Catastrophe
All the biotic changes that occurred at the end of Cretaceous time, including the extinction of the dinosaurs, may be the result of a single terrestrial catastrophe. The Arctic spillover model, firstExpand