Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction

  title={Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction},
  author={Roi Maor and Tamar Dayan and Henry Ferguson-Gow and Kate E. Jones},
  journal={Nature Ecology \& Evolution},
Most modern mammals, including strictly diurnal species, exhibit sensory adaptations to nocturnal activity that are thought to be the result of a prolonged nocturnal phase or ‘bottleneck’ during early mammalian evolution. Nocturnality may have allowed mammals to avoid antagonistic interactions with diurnal dinosaurs during the Mesozoic. However, understanding the evolution of mammalian activity patterns is hindered by scant and ambiguous fossil evidence. While ancestral reconstructions of… 

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Early evolution of diurnal habits in owls (Aves, Strigiformes) documented by a new and exquisitely preserved Miocene owl fossil from China

  • Zhiheng LiT. Stidham Zhonghe Zhou
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2022
Analysis of the preserved eye bones supports a potential Miocene origin of nonnocturnal habits in a globally distributed owl group, which may be linked to steppe habitat expansion and climatic cooling in the late Miocene.

Obligatory Nocturnalism in Triassic Archaic Mammals: Preservation of Sperm Quality?

  • B. Lovegrove
  • Environmental Science
    Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
  • 2019
This work proposes a hypothesis that, with the onset of body size miniaturization in the Triassic and the concomitant evolution of fur and increased mass-specific metabolic rate and hence body temperature, small mammals became obligatorily nocturnal in order to avoid poor sperm quality, hyperthermia, and high rates of evaporative water loss and to maximize foraging time.

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Untangling the Multiple Ecological Radiations of Early Mammals.

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