An advanced set of molars helped a group of prehistoric rodent-like mammals survive the extinction event that ended the reign of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
“It is generally accepted that for millions of years, mammals were unable to develop much due to competition from the dinosaurs. This study shows how multituberculates bucked this trend—they increased from the size of a mouse to the size of a beaver and were able to take on new roles in the ecosystem,” says Alistair Evans of Monash University‘s School of Biological Sciences.
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Photo credit: Jude Swales/Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture