Patrick O'Connor
Wednesday, June 1
From Cape to Cairo: New insights into the Cretaceous terrestrial biotas of Africa with ‘perspectives’ from dinosaurs, birds, and crocodiles

Patrick O'Connor, PhD
Associate Professor of Anatomical Sciences
Department of Biomedical Sciences Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies
Ohio University

Earth Theater, First Floor Rear
Noon–1 p.m.

The Cretaceous fossil record of terrestrial vertebrates is well represented from many parts of world, including major regions of North and South America and Asia. By contrast, our knowledge of Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates from Afro-Arabia remains relatively limited, with only selected time periods and regions of the continent represented by an appreciable fossil record.

Enhanced paleontological efforts are beginning to reveal an unprecedented diversity of Cretaceous-age animals, including mammals, dinosaurs, and birds, from many remote parts of what was once the center of Gondwana. Not only do such discoveries impact our understanding of the phylogenetic and biogeographic histories of different animal groups, but in some cases they provide a rare glimpse at the often-bizarre anatomical potential achieved by land-dwelling animals alive during the age of the dinosaurs.

 

Related Publication:
O'Connor, P.M., et al. 2010. The evolution of mammal like crocodyliforms in the Cretaceous of Gondwana. Nature 466:748-751

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