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Re: Marine crocodylomorph evolution related to sea temperature

Ben Creisler

Here's a link to the pdf:


On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 7:15 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> Jeremy E. Martin, Romain Amiot, Christophe Lécuyer & Michael J. Benton (2014)
> Sea surface temperature contributes to marine crocodylomorph evolution.
> Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4658
> doi:10.1038/ncomms5658
> http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140818/ncomms5658/full/ncomms5658.html
> During the Mesozoic and Cenozoic, four distinct crocodylomorph
> lineages colonized the marine environment. They were conspicuously
> absent from high latitudes, which in the Mesozoic were occupied by
> warm-blooded ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Despite a relatively
> well-constrained stratigraphic distribution, the varying diversities
> of marine crocodylomorphs are poorly understood, because their
> extinctions neither coincided with any major biological crises nor
> with the advent of potential competitors. Here we test the potential
> link between their evolutionary history in terms of taxic diversity
> and two abiotic factors, sea level variations and sea surface
> temperatures (SST). Excluding Metriorhynchoidea, which may have had a
> peculiar ecology, significant correlations obtained between generic
> diversity and estimated Tethyan SST suggest that water temperature was
> a driver of marine crocodylomorph diversity. Being most probably
> ectothermic reptiles, these lineages colonized the marine realm and
> diversified during warm periods, then declined or became extinct
> during cold intervals.