UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction

Maor, R; Ferguson-Gow, H; Dayan, T; Jones, KE; (2018) Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction. Nature Ecology and Evolution , 1 pp. 1889-1895. 10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5. Green open access

[thumbnail of Jones_1725_2_merged_1506190101.pdf]
Preview
Text
Jones_1725_2_merged_1506190101.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (8MB) | Preview

Abstract

Most modern mammals, including strictly diurnal species, exhibit sensory adaptations to nocturnal activity that are thought to be the result of a prolonged nocturnal phase or ‘bottleneck’ during early mammalian evolution. Nocturnality may have allowed mammals to avoid antagonistic interactions with diurnal dinosaurs during the Mesozoic. However, understanding the evolution of mammalian activity patterns is hindered by scant and ambiguous fossil evidence. While ancestral reconstructions of behavioural traits from extant species have the potential to elucidate these patterns, existing studies have been limited in taxonomic scope. Here, we use an extensive behavioural dataset for 2,415 species from all extant orders to reconstruct ancestral activity patterns across Mammalia. We find strong support for the nocturnal origin of mammals and the Cenozoic appearance of diurnality, although cathemerality (mixed diel periodicity) may have appeared in the late Cretaceous. Simian primates are among the earliest mammals to exhibit strict diurnal activity, some 52–33 million years ago. Our study is consistent with the hypothesis that temporal partitioning between early mammals and dinosaurs during the Mesozoic led to a mammalian nocturnal bottleneck, but also demonstrates the need for improved phylogenetic estimates for Mammalia.

Type: Article
Title: Temporal niche expansion in mammals from a nocturnal ancestor after dinosaur extinction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Evolutionary ecology, Macroecology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10022803
Downloads since deposit
525Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item