Tech UPTechnologyAnkle and foot development allowed mammals to survive

Ankle and foot development allowed mammals to survive

The development of the ankle and foot bones, in different shapes and sizes, allowed mammals to adapt and survive after the extinction of the dinosaurs. This is the conclusion reached by a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh. In addition, the results of the study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Thanks to the development of these bones 66 million years ago, mammals were able to thrive and diversify during a period of enormous global change, as the researchers have concluded. In addition, after analyzing the bones (which are part of the ankle and heel of the foot) of various species, the researchers discovered that mammals, during the Paleocene, were less primitive than previously thought.

Bone information

A group of paleontologists in Edinburgh discovered this finding by comparing the anatomy of Paleocene mammals with species from the earlier Cretaceous Period and with species that exist today.

The researchers analyzed the size of the foot and ankle bones of 40 Paleocene species. Thus, thanks to this analysis, they discovered information about the lifestyle and size of the animals. The team also compared the results with modern species and mammals that existed during the Cretaceous Period.

Evolution of mammals

This discovery reflects that the mammals of the Paleocene had more muscular and robust constitutions than those of the Cretaceous or those that inhabit today. In addition, their joints were very flexible, which allowed them to adapt and evolve more quickly after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

In terms of lifestyle, the ankles and feet of many species were very similar to burrowing mammals that exist today. This indicates that the ability to dig underground likely helped them survive, giving rise to ground-dwelling species.

Thus, according to Sarah Shelley, a researcher at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (United States), this study provides information on the evolution of mammals in the Paleocene, and how they managed to adapt and prosper after the devastation of the late Cretaceous.

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