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Rates of Dinosaur Body Mass Evolution Indicate 170 Million Years of Sustained Ecological Innovation on the Avian Stem Lineage

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS Biology, May 2014
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (95th percentile)

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Title
Rates of Dinosaur Body Mass Evolution Indicate 170 Million Years of Sustained Ecological Innovation on the Avian Stem Lineage
Published in
PLoS Biology, May 2014
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001853
Pubmed ID
Authors

Roger B. J. Benson, Nicolás E. Campione, Matthew T. Carrano, Philip D. Mannion, Corwin Sullivan, Paul Upchurch, David C. Evans

Abstract

Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614-622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation of the process of adaptive radiation in a few extant clades, but also from the maintenance of evolvability on vast time scales across the history of life, in key lineages.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 246 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 2%
United Kingdom 5 2%
Brazil 4 2%
Germany 3 1%
France 3 1%
Chile 2 <1%
Canada 2 <1%
Sweden 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Other 5 2%
Unknown 214 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 54 22%
Researcher 47 19%
Student > Bachelor 38 15%
Student > Master 30 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 19 8%
Other 58 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 131 53%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 64 26%
Environmental Science 18 7%
Unspecified 14 6%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 3%
Other 11 4%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 342. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 March 2019.
All research outputs
#30,864
of 12,979,980 outputs
Outputs from PLoS Biology
#94
of 4,103 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#423
of 189,504 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS Biology
#3
of 74 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,979,980 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,103 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 47.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 189,504 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 74 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.