Superiority, Competition, and Opportunism in the Evolutionary Radiation of Dinosaurs

  title={Superiority, Competition, and Opportunism in the Evolutionary Radiation of Dinosaurs},
  author={Stephen Louis Brusatte and Michael J. Benton and Marcello Ruta and Graeme T. Lloyd},
  pages={1485 - 1488}
The rise and diversification of the dinosaurs in the Late Triassic, from 230 to 200 million years ago, is a classic example of an evolutionary radiation with supposed competitive replacement. A comparison of evolutionary rates and morphological disparity of basal dinosaurs and their chief “competitors,” the crurotarsan archosaurs, shows that dinosaurs exhibited lower disparity and an indistinguishable rate of character evolution. The radiation of Triassic archosaurs as a whole is characterized… 

Models for the Rise of the Dinosaurs

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The ascendancy of dinosaurs on land near the close of the Triassic now appears to have been as accidental and opportunistic as their demise and replacement by therian mammals at the end of the

Dinosaur Success in the Triassic: A Noncompetitive Ecological Model

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  • Environmental Science, Geography
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There is no evidence that either thecodontians or dinosaur demonstrated their superiority over mammal-like reptiles in massive competitive take-overs in the latest Triassic, and explanations of dinosaur success based on the competitive superiority of their thermoregulation or locomotory capability are unnecessary.

Tempo and Mode of Evolutionary Radiation in Iguanian Lizards

A comparative analytical framework for examining phylogenetic patterns of diversification and morphological disparity with data from four iguanian-lizard taxa that exhibit substantially different patterns of evolution is presented.

A Late Triassic Dinosauromorph Assemblage from New Mexico and the Rise of Dinosaurs

The transition between the first dinosaurs and more archaic faunas may have extended for 15 to 20 million years and was probably diachronous at different paleolatitudes.

Ascent of Dinosaurs Linked to an Iridium Anomaly at the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary

Analysis of tetrapod footprints and skeletal material from more than 70 localities in eastern North America shows that large theropod dinosaurs appeared less than 10,000 years after the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, marking the establishment of dinosaur-dominated communities that prevailed for the next 135 million years.

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  • Environmental Science
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Comparison with generic richness reveals that the full range of form was essentially attained by the early part of the Caradocian, long before the time of maximal taxonomic diversity.

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  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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A new Late Triassic suchian archosaur with unusual, highly specialized features that are convergent with ornithomimid dinosaurs is reported, suggesting that these archosaurs show iterative patterns of morphological evolution.

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Comparison of evolutionary patterns among Late Cretaceous marine bivalves and gastropods during times of normal, background levels of extinction and during the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

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Various metrics indicate that the pattern is not due to poor sampling of Cambro-Ordovician species and thus merits a biological explanation, and the data do not suggest that morphologic evolution became more constrained among rostroconchs as a whole, but instead suggest a reduced characteristic rate of morphologic change in the clade that happened to survive the end-Ordovan extinction.


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  • Environmental Science, Geography
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The fossil evidence strongly suggests that no small dinosaurs ever existed in either Jurassic or Cretaceous, and the most convincing proof of the lack of truly small dinosaur species is their absence in the carefully studied microvertebrate concentrates.