June 7 2017

12:00 LSB 2320

Bridgett Vonholdt
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University



The Late Triassic witnessed the origin of modern vertebrate groups and a major mass extinction, yet the early diversification of dinosaurs remains one of the most poorly known events of vertebrate evolution. New discoveries reveal that many features unique to the avian body-plan were already in place early in dinosaur evolution, and that early dinosaurs coexisted with a diverse array of dinosaur ‘precursors’ for millions of years. The perplexing dichotomous pattern of herbivorous dinosaur diversity at high- vs. low latitudes may also have been driven by climate and plant community instability in tropical latitudes during the Late Triassic.