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Climate constrains the evolutionary history and biodiversity of crocodylians [Nature Communications]

Keywords : Biological sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Palaeontology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

The fossil record of crocodylians and their relatives (pseudosuchians) reveals a rich evolutionary history, prompting questions about causes of long-term decline to their present-day low biodiversity. We analyse climatic drivers of subsampled pseudosuchian biodiversity over their 250 million year history, using a comprehensive new data set. Biodiversity and environmental changes correlate strongly, with long-term decline of terrestrial taxa driven by decreasing temperatures in northern temperate regions, and biodiversity decreases at lower latitudes matching patterns of increasing aridification.

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