After appearing during the Triassic about 230 million years ago, dinosaurs occupied every continent and dominated most of Earth’s ecosystems until they disappeared from the asteroid’s impact 66 million years ago.
But researchers at the British University of Bath are hoping to put this theory to bed. Collecting diverse and up-to-date data, the researchers used statistical analysis to assess whether dinosaurs were still able to produce new species until their premature death.
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During their more than 150 million years on earth, dinosaurs evolved to take on many shapes and forms – some dinosaurs were tiny, while others were over 100 feet in size. Experts believe that diversity is the key to their dominance on Earth, with some boasting armor, combs, teeth and even feathers.
Previous research suggests that this diversity is beginning to decline and that dinosaurs are beginning to lose their dominance.
Researchers at the University of Bath say that after looking at a larger group of dinosaurs, their more current and detailed family trees show that dinosaurs on every continent were actually in bloom, with animals eating plants such as hadrosaurs, keratopsis. and ankylosaurs, which dominate North America, and carnivorous abelizaurs continue to thrive in South America.
“The basic idea of what we’re saying is that we don’t really have enough data to know one way or another what would happen to dinosaurs,” Bonsor said. “In general, there is a bias in fossil data to lack data, and interpreting these gaps in fossils as an artificial decline in diversification is not what we need to do.
“Instead, we have shown that there is no serious evidence of their extinction and that the only way to know for sure is to fill in the gaps in the fossil record,” he added.
Alfio Alessandro Chiarenza, a paleontologist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the study, told CNN in an email that the study “applies probably the largest set of data on dinosaur evolutionary trees ever and uses in-depth methods to look at levels of dinosaurs.” diversification towards the end of the Mesozoic. “
He noted that the study adds weight to the argument that non-avian dinosaurs thrive, not shrink, before the asteroid hits.
“To paraphrase TS Elliott,” Chiarenza said, “that’s the way the dinosaurs ended up, not with a whimper, but with a bang.”