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Early giant reveals faster evolution of large body size in ichthyosaurs than in cetaceans
Sander, P.M.; Griebeler, E.M.; Klein, N.; Juarbe, J.V.; Wintrich, T.; Revell, L.J.; Schmitz, L. (2021). Early giant reveals faster evolution of large body size in ichthyosaurs than in cetaceans. Science (Wash.) 374(6575): [1-14].
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075; e-ISSN 1095-9203, more
Related to:
Delsett, L.L.; Pyenson, N.D. (2021). Early and fast rise of Mesozoic ocean giants. Science (Wash.) 374(6575): 1554-1555., more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Sander, P.M.
  • Griebeler, E.M.
  • Klein, N.
  • Juarbe, J.V.
  • Wintrich, T.
  • Revell, L.J.
  • Schmitz, L.

    The largest animals to have ever lived occupied the marine environment. Modern cetaceans evolved their large size over tens of millions of years in response to the increased productivity of cold marine waters. However, whales were not the first marine giants to evolve. Sander et al. describe a 244-million-year-old fossil ichthyosaur that would have rivaled modern cetaceans in size (see the Perspective by Delsett and Pyenson). The animal existed at most 8 million years after the emergence of the first ichthyosaurs, suggesting a much more rapid size expansion that may have been fueled by processes after the Permian mass extinction

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