Dinosaurs are icons of prehistory, and their evolutionary story is coming into increasing focus, as the modern, diversifying generation of palaeontologists discovers new species across the globe and uses new
Dinosaurs are icons of prehistory, and their evolutionary story is coming into increasing focus, as the modern, diversifying generation of palaeontologists discovers new species across the globe and uses new techniques to study dinosaur anatomy, biology, and behaviour. In this talk–based upon my new book, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs–I tell the story of dinosaur history, from their Triassic origins, through their Jurassic rise to dominance, and to the end-Cretaceous extinction of the non-avian species. I highlight recent research that shows how dinosaurs evolved from humble cat-sized ancestors in the aftermath of the end-Permian extinction, gradually rose to dominance over 30+ million years of the Triassic, and became pre-eminent in the Jurassic, after the end-Triassic extinction. I discuss how some species evolved colossal size, keen intelligence and neurosensory behaviours (as revealed by computed tomography scanning), and feathers, wings, and flight, before the non-avian species suddenly went extinct after the Chicxulub bolide impact, setting the stage for the Age of Mammals. I provide examples of recent fieldwork, statistical studies, and laboratory work that help piece together this story, including the work of my students at the University of Edinburgh and our colleagues.
(Thursday) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Lecture Theatre 1 - Meston Building
Meston Building, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE