Statistical modeling showed that the organisms, some of which were « thriving, » may have continued to dominate the Earth
Dinosaurs weren’t in decline at the time of their extinction and would probably continue to dominate Earth if an asteroid did not collide, according to a new study.
Scientists from the University of Bath and the Natural History Museum collected a collection of trees from the different dinosaur family and used statistical modeling to assess whether each of the major groups of dinosaurs was capable of producing a new species at that time..
They discovered that some groups of dinosaurs, such as hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, were « thriving » and would not have disappeared 66 million years ago without the asteroid.
“Previous studies by others used different methods to come to the conclusion that dinosaurs were going to die anyway, because they were in decline at the end of the Cretaceous period,” said Joe Bunsoor, lead author and doctoral student..
“However, we did make it clear that if you broaden the dataset to include more modern dinosaur family trees and a wider range of dinosaur species, the results don’t actually point to that conclusion – in fact only half of them do.
Dinosaurs were widespread around the world at the time of the asteroid collision, at the end of the Late Cretaceous, and they were the predominant form of animal in most of the Earth’s ecosystems.
There is still disagreement among paleontologists over whether dinosaurs were declining at the time of their extinction.
The researchers said in the latest study that it was difficult to assess dinosaur diversity due to holes in the fossil record.
This could be due to factors such as identifying the bones preserved as fossils, the extent to which fossils in the rock could be accessed to allow them to be found, and the locations paleontologists are looking for..
In the study, the team used statistical methods to overcome sample biases, studying the reproduction rates of dinosaur families rather than counting the number of species that belonged to the family.
“The main point of our paper is that it is not as simple as looking at a few trees and making a decision – large, inevitable biases in the fossil record and lack of data can often show a decline in species, but this may not be a reflection of reality in That time, « Mr. Bonsur said.
“Our data at the moment does not show that they were in decline. In fact some groups such as the Hadrosaurs and Ceratopsians were thriving and there is no evidence to suggest that they would have died 66 million years ago had the extinction not occurred.
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Dinosaurs, Asteroid, Hadrosauridae, Research
World News – GB – The dinosaurs were not in decline when an asteroid hit the Earth 66 million years ago, according to the study
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