Croc extinction led to dinosaur domination

Washington, Mar. 28 : Approximately 201 million years ago, the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction killed off a slew of huge predators, including hefty beasts that looked like crocodiles and enormous armadillos which resulted in domination of dinosaurs, a new research has suggested.

Some of the prehistoric predators -- animals known collectively as the early pseudosuchians - most likely preyed on certain dinosaurs, which later evolved some of impressive characteristics of the ancient pseudosuchians.

Those features included were sturdy body armour and strong tails for fighting off enemies.

Co-author Richard Butler, a paleontologist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, told Discovery News that it is likely that dinosaurs prospered to some extent as a result of the extinction of most pseudosuchians and many other groups at the end of the Triassic.

Butler asserted that some evidence suggested that dinosaurs had better locomotor and breathing systems than pseudosuchians, so they thrived in the Jurassic after the mass extinction.

For the latest study, Butler and colleague Olja Toljagic assessed changes in pseudosuchians, which occurred during the critical Late Triassic and Early Jurassic periods.

The study has been published in Biology Letters.

--ANI (Posted on 28-03-2013)

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