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The Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (abbreviated KTR) describes the intense diversification of angiosperms, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals during the Middle to Late Cretaceous (125-80 mya).[1]

Before the paper described the KTR, it had been widely accepted in paleontology that new families of dinosaurs evolved during Mid to Late Cretaceous, including the euhadrosaurs, neoceratopsians, ankylosaurids, pachycephalosaurs, caracharodontosaurines, troodontids, dromaeosaurs, and ornithomimosaurs.[1] However, the authors of the paper have suggested that the apparent "new diversification" of dinosaurs during this time is due to sampling biases in the fossil record, and better preserved fossils in Cretaceous age sediments than in earlier Triassic or Jurassic sediments.

After the publication of the paper, many news organizations misrepresented the findings by stating that dinosaurs seemed to have stopped evolving during the end of their reign.[2] This may reflect cultural bias (bio-bigotry to the advantage of mammals, i.e. humans) because the actual journal article states right in the abstract that "dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR."[1]

A comprehensive molecular study of evolution of mammals at the taxonomic level of family also showed important diversification during the KTR.[3] Similarly, bee pollinator diversification strongly correlates with angiosperm flower appearance and specialization during the same era. [4]

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  1. ^ a b c Lloyd, G. T.; et al. (2008). "Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution. 2008". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 275 (1650): 2483–2490. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0715. PMC 2603200. PMID 18647715.
  2. ^ Daily Mail article
  3. ^ Meredith, Robert W. (2011). "Impacts of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution and KPg Extinction on Mammal Diversification". Science. 334 (6055): 521–524. doi:10.1126/science.1211028. PMID 21940861.
  4. ^ Cardinal, S.; Straka, J.; Danforth, B. N. (2010). "Comprehensive phylogeny of apid bees reveals the evolutionary origins and antiquity of cleptoparasitism". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107 (37): 16207–11. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006299107. PMC 2941306. PMID 20805492.