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Nature's great survivors: Flowering plants survived the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs
by University of Bath
Phys.org Translate This Article
13 September 2023
On 13 September 2023 Phys.org reported:
A new study published in Biology Letters by researchers from the University of Bath (UK) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico) shows that flowering plants escaped relatively unscathed from the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. While they suffered some species loss, the devastating event helped flowering plants become the dominant type of plant they are today.
Global Good News service views this news as a sign of rising positivity in the field of science, documenting the growth of life-supporting, evolutionary trends.
There have been several mass extinctions in the Earth's history, the most famous caused by an asteroid hit 66 million years ago, which steered the course of life on Earth profoundly. The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event eradicated at least 75 percent of all species on Earth, including the dinosaurs, but until now it has been unclear what kind of impact it had on flowering plants.
Plants do not have skeletons or exoskeletons like most animals, meaning fossils are relatively rare compared to animals, making it very difficult to understand the timeline of evolution from fossil evidence alone.
Dr. Jamie Thompson of the Milner Centre for Evolution and Dr. Santiago Ramirez-Barahona of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México analyzed evolutionary 'trees' constructed from mutations in the DNA sequences of up to 73,000 living species of flowering plants (angiosperms).
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