Zoologists: to the extinction of the dinosaurs mammals were afraid of daylight

At a time when the Earth was dominated by dinosaurs that have already appeared at that time mammals were nocturnal to as little as possible to deal with the ancient dinosaurs. New evidence in favor of the hypothesis of “night of a bottleneck” found experts from tel Aviv University and University College London.

photo: pixabay.com

Mammals emerged 225 years ago and coexist with dinosaurs, they had over 160 million years . Quite a long time according to existing theory, in those days all, or nearly all the mammals of the day were hiding, and food for themselves was looking for night. 65 million years ago the dinosaurs became extinct, after which there were many species of mammals during the day, but the heritage of the days when their ancestors had to live in the night, it is still possible to observe some details of their anatomy and physiology. In particular, many mammals, compared to other “daylight” animal, not too well distinguish colours, but have good hearing and sense of smell, vibrissa in order to focus on the touch and hair to better withstand cold nights.

Although in favor of the theory of the “night of a bottleneck” show characteristics of modern mammals, experts note that these proofs are quite indirect. At the same time, paleotology found enough of the remains of ancient mammals, to more directly confirm or refute this theory.

To figure out whether mammals “came to light” after the extinction of dinosaurs, scientists compared the structure of representatives 2 415 different species belonging to 135 of the 148 families included in the class of mammals. It helped us to imagine at what stage the ancestors of some of these species become diurnal. According to the conclusions drawn by scientists, this actually happened shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs or just before it.

The study was published in the journal Nature in Ecology&Evolution.

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