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How Shrinking Aided Evolutionary Success of Dinosaurs.

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  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District South Pennines Middleton & Smerrill Tops 305m (1001ft) asl.
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District South Pennines Middleton & Smerrill Tops 305m (1001ft) asl.

Dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago… well, most of them. Some species went on to eventually become birds, and a group of researchers from Oxford University and the Royal Ontario Museum believe that shrinking played a large role in their success. The research was led by Oxfords’s Roger Benson and the results were published in PLOS Biology

“Dinosaurs aren’t extinct; there are about 10,000 species alive today in the form of birds. We wanted to understand the evolutionary links between this exceptional living group and their Mesozoic relatives, including well-known extinct species like T. rex, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus,†Roger Benson said in a press release. “We found exceptional body mass variation in the dinosaur line leading to birds, especially in the feathered dinosaurs called maniraptorans. These include Jurassic Park’s Velociraptor, birds, and a huge range of other forms, weighing anything from 15 grams to 3 tonnes, and eating meat, plants, and more omnivorous diets.â€

The team calculated the weight of over 400 different species of dinosaur that emerged around 220 million years ago. Estimating the weight is accomplished by measuring the bones in its legs, particularly the femur. As legs are responsible for holding up all of the body’s weight, this is a reliable and accurate method for determining size.

Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/how-shrinking-aided-evolutionary-success-dinosaurs#xQmkx5pVftZL3mOP.99

Edited by Polar Maritime
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