The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, has been a topic of heated discussion amongst scientists for a very long time. On the other hand, mammals and other animals such as turtles and crocodiles persisted.
The new research, which was conducted by a group of paleontologists and ecologists from around the world, studied 1,600 fossil records originating from North America. Following the impact of the asteroid, researchers modeled the food chains and ecological niches of animals that lived on land and in freshwater over the final several million years of the Cretaceous period and the first few million years of the Paleogene period.
It has been common knowledge among paleontologists for some time now that numerous tiny mammals coexisted with dinosaurs. As the Cretaceous period progressed, this research shows that mammalian species were evolving in response to the conditions of their ecosystems and becoming more significant players in those ecosystems. In the meantime, dinosaurs had firmly established themselves in steady niches to which they were extraordinarily well adapted.
According to the opinions of various scholars, mammals did not just benefit from the extinction of the dinosaurs. They were able to create their own advantages by diversifying, which included occupying new ecological niches, developing diets and behaviors that were more diverse, and weathering modest fluctuations in climate, all while fast adjusting to new conditions. These habits most likely contributed to their ability to survive, since they allowed them to better deal with the extreme and sudden destruction brought by the asteroid than the dinosaurs were able to.
The research paints a convincing image of the ecological architecture, food webs, and niches that existed in the last ecosystems dominated by dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period and in the first ecosystems dominated by mammals after the asteroid strike. This enables us to comprehend one of the age-old secrets of paleontology, which is why all of the dinosaurs that were not birds perished while mammals and birds survived.
It would appear that the steady ecology of the final dinosaurs was really a barrier to their continued existence in the context of the asteroid strike, which drastically altered the ecological norms of the period.
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