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But new research identifies the availability of "living space", rather than competition, as being of key importance for evolution.
The new study proposes that really big evolutionary changes happen when animals move into empty areas of living space, not occupied by other animals.
For example, when birds evolved the ability to fly, that opened up a vast range of new possibilities not available to other animals. Suddenly the skies were the limit, triggering a new evolutionary burst.
The extinction of the dinosaurs gave mammals their lucky break.
"To give one example, if the reptiles had not been competitively superior to the mammals during the Mesozoic (era), then why did the mammals only expand after the large reptiles went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic?"
"And in general, what is the impetus to occupy new portions of ecological space if not to avoid competition with the species in the space already occupied?"
Originally posted by jacktherer
1. This theory has been disputed since its publication
2. lol you need read no more than this "But new research identifies the availability of "living space", rather than competition, as being of key importance for evolution." The availability of living space is in fact one of the many things species compete for.
Originally posted by Drunkenshrew
Although the first mammal species predated the first dinosaurs, there were no large mammal species during the Cretaceous. During this time, reptiles were far better in killing mammals, than vice versa. All ecological niches for large land-living tetrapods were occupied by dinosaurs. Mammals simply could not compete. Mammals could only grow to larger sizes, after the dinosaurs had become extinct.
Originally posted by soficrow
Seems clear to me that:
1. Survival is about flexibility and adaptability - NOT some static state of "fitness".
2. Species survival is ensured by cooperation NOT competition; ruthless competitiveness might work for individuals in the short-term, but long term species survival is a different story...
Originally posted by soficrow1. Survival is about flexibility and adaptability - NOT some static state of "fitness".