Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Origin and Evolution of Dinosaurs:
An exemplary evolutionary radiation

Stephen Brusatte
American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University, NY

Earth Theater, First Floor Rear
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Noon–1 p.m.

Dinosaurs dominated terrestrial ecosystems for more than 100 million years. How did they become so successful? Dinosaurs are part of the larger radiation of archosaurs, the major group that includes crocodiles and birds, which originated in the immediate aftermath of the Permo–Triassic mass extinction. However, it was only after the extinction of many crocodile-line archosaurs at the end of the Triassic that dinosaurs dominated most terrestrial ecosystems. This argues strongly against the long-prevailing idea that dinosaurs outcompeted crocodile-line archosaurs during the Triassic and suggests that Mesozoic dinosaur dominance was contingent on a major mass extinction.

Related Publication: Steve is the author of more than 50 research papers and four books, including Dinosaur Paleobiology (Wiley-Blackwell, April 2012). His work has been profiled in the New York Times, on BBC Television, NPR, and many other press outlets, and two television documentaries.

One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh