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08 March 2016
Article (Scientific journals)
Extinction of fish-shaped marine reptiles associated with reduced evolutionary rates and global environmental volatility
Fischer, Valentin  ; Bardet, Nathalie; Benson, Roger et al.
2016 • In Nature Communications, 7 (10825), p. 1-11
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Keywords :
Ichthyosauria; Extinction; Biodiversity; Climate change; Evolution
Abstract :
[en] Despite their profound adaptations to the aquatic realm and their apparent success throughout the Triassic and the Jurassic, ichthyosaurs became extinct roughly 30 million years before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current hypotheses for this early demise involve relatively minor biotic events, but are at odds with recent understanding of the ichthyosaur fossil record. Here, we show that ichthyosaurs maintained high but diminishing richness and disparity throughout the Early Cretaceous. The last ichthyosaurs are characterized by reduced rates of origination and phenotypic evolution and their elevated extinction rates correlate with increased environmental volatility. In addition, we find that ichthyosaurs suffered from a profound Early Cenomanian extinction that reduced their ecological diversity, likely contributing to their final extinction at the end of the Cenomanian. Our results support a growing body of evidence revealing that global environmental change resulted in a major, temporally staggered turnover event that profoundly reorganized marine ecosytems during the Cenomanian.
Disciplines :
Earth sciences & physical geography
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Fischer, Valentin  ;  Université de Liège > Département de géologie > Evolution and diversity dynamics lab
Bardet, Nathalie
Benson, Roger
Arkhangelsky, Maxim
Friedman, Matt
Language :
English
Title :
Extinction of fish-shaped marine reptiles associated with reduced evolutionary rates and global environmental volatility
Publication date :
08 March 2016
Journal title :
Nature Communications
eISSN :
2041-1723
Publisher :
Nature Pub.lishing Group, London, United Kingdom
Volume :
7
Issue :
10825
Pages :
1-11
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Funders :
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique
The Royal Society (UK)
Foundation Vocatio

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