I’m OK with Pluto being demoted to dwarf planet, I’m OK with dinosaurs being declared warm-blooded bird ancestors, and now I’m OK with the idea that mammals co-existed with dinosaurs in a substantial way rather than just being underfoot.
A scientific mindset requires you to be willing to let go of past knowledge as new discoveries show those ideas to be not-quite-right or simply wrong.
Originally shared by Ciro Villa
“It’s a familiar story—the mighty dinosaurs dominated their prehistoric environment, while tiny mammals took a backseat, until the dinosaurs (besides birds) went extinct 66 million years ago, allowing mammals to shine. Just one problem—it’s not true. A new article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B reports that mammals actually began their massive diversification ten to twenty million years before the extinction that ended the age of the dinosaurs.
“The traditional view is that mammals were suppressed by the dinosaurs’ success, and that they didn’t really take off until after the dinosaurs went extinct. This study shows that therian mammals, the ancestors of most modern mammals, were already diversifying before the dinosaurs died out,” says lead author David Grossnickle, a Field Museum Fellow and PhD candidate at the University of Chicago.”