Sunday, 18 March 2012

Flower eating mammals competed with dinosaurs

Scientists examining the skulls of a group of ancient mammals found that their love for flowers allowed the beaver-like mammals, called multituberculates, to blossom during the dinosaur era.

The creatures, which adapted to eating flowering plants, flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign and even survived the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, the researchers said.

Once the dinosaurs disappeared, the mammals continued to prosper eating angiosperms, the flowering plants that only started to appear around 140 million years ago. And gradually, they evolved into a diverse group of animals ranging in size from that of a mouse to a beaver, they said

The creatures, the scientists believe, only vanished from the Earth some 34 million years ago after losing out to other mammals such as primates, hoofed species and rodents, the Daily Mail reported. 

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