Evolution Intelligent Design

Researchers: Other mammals, not dinosaurs, kept our side down

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Perhaps they were more efficient than dinosaurs? They knew their targets?

Dinosaurs so thoroughly dominated the ancient world that they suppressed the evolutionary possibilities open for mammals. This notion has been around for decades now, and it seems to be backed up by the fact that no known mammal became larger than badger-sized during the time dinosaurs were the most prominent animals on land. But, thanks to decades of new fossil discoveries, paleontologists have realized an important twist in the story—it wasn’t dinosaurs that suppressed the evolution of our ancient mammalian ancestors, but other forms of ancient mammal.

Paleontologists who study fossil mammals have suspected the story of “dinosaur dominance” was too simple, but, until now, the critical evidence was missing. Clues that the picture was more complicated now come from a new Current Biology paper by University of Oxford paleontologist Elsa Panciroli and colleagues that followed the evolutionary spread of various mammals during the Age of Dinosaurs—from more ancient types called mammaliaforms to the group of mammals found all around us today, the therians. Because the ancient mammaliaforms diversified and spread into so many forms first, the researchers found, our own mammalian ancestors and relatives didn’t have a chance to truly dig their claws into the world’s ecosystems until after the asteroid strike that sparked a mass extinction 66 million years ago.

Riley Black, “Other Mammals, Not Dinosaurs, Kept Our Ancestors Down” at Smithsonian Magazine

This would make a great documentary. Unfortunately, the paper at Current Biology is closed access.

4 Replies to “Researchers: Other mammals, not dinosaurs, kept our side down

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    So there’s an old logic that people would ask why did God destroy the dinosaurs and it would be so that we could exist

    This paper seems to be an attempt to wash that reason away, this is the same type of pop science that isn’t really science but an attempt to destroy an expectation

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Seems to me that the old textbook story was more nuanced than “Big Always Wins”. We heard that the mammals were living under the radar of T-rex, and gaining ground by intelligence.

  3. 3
    Pearlman says:

    well with 180 +/- mammal founding kinds, and one human founding kind to start by day six, and just 1656 years till the impact that wiped out all but Noah aka ‘genetic bottleneck Adam’ and family, and the representatives from the founding Mammal and Avian founding kinds on the ark, it is no surprise we would find at least 180 times the mammal diversity as that of Man. That does not mean we were targeted by Dinos or mammals during that span. Also we would predict the ascent of Mammals as dinos not on the passenger list. At that genetic bottleneck epoch. Take ‘founder effect’ and genetic entropy into account. reference the Pearlman YeC series for the alignment of Torah testimony, science and ancient civ.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    There aren’t any evolutionary mechanisms capable of producing dinosaurs. There aren’t any evolutionary mechanisms capable of producing mammals.

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