Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-xtgtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-24T20:31:16.747Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Evolutionary Patterns in the History of Permo-Triassic and Cenozoic Synapsid Predators

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2017

Blaire Van Valkenburgh
Affiliation:
Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1606, USA
Ian Jenkins
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, England
Get access

Abstract

Synapsids include modern mammals and their fossil ancestors, the non-mammalian synapsids, or ‘mammal-like reptiles' of old classifications. The synapsid fossil record extends from the Late Carboniferous to the present, a span of nearly 300 million years. However, it can be broken into two distinct phases of diversification, separated by about 150 million years. The first phase extends from the Late Carboniferous to the mid-Triassic, includes the first large land predators on Earth, and is almost entirely non-mammalian. The second phase begins about 65 million years ago after the demise of the dinosaurs, includes only mammals, and extends to the present. In this overview of synapsid predators, we emphasize terrestrial species of large size, and their adaptations for killing and feeding, rather than locomotion. Despite fundamental differences in jaw mechanics and tooth morphology, there are significant parallels in the non-mammalian and mammalian radiations of synapsid predators. Both groups evolve sabertooth forms more than once, and both evolve short-snouted, powerful biting forms. In addition, both the Late Carboniferous—Triassic and Cenozoic phases are characterized by repeated patterns of clade replacement, in which one or a few clades evolve large size and seem to dominate the carnivore guild for several million years, but then decline and are replaced by new taxa. Moreover, within both ancient and Cenozoic predator clades, there are parallel trends over time toward increased body size and hypercarnivory that likely result from a combination of interspecific competition and energetic constraints.

Type
Section III: Processes
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by The Paleontological Society 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anderson, J. M., and Cruickshank, A. R. I. 1978. The biostratigraphy of the Permian and the Triassic, Part 5: A review of the classification and distribution of Permo-Triassic tetrapods. Palaeontologia Africana, 21:1544.Google Scholar
Bakker, R. T. 1983. The deer flees, the wolf pursues: Incongruencies in predator-prey coevolution, p. 350382. In Futuyma, D. J. and Slatkin, M. (eds.), Coevolution. Sinauer Press, Sunderland, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
Battail, B., and Surkov, M. V. 2000. Mammal-like reptiles from Russia, p. 86119. In Benton, M. J., Shishkin, M. A., Unwin, D. M., and Kurochkin, E. N. (eds.), The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
Benton, M. J. 1993. The Fossil Record II. Chapman and Hall, London, 841p.Google Scholar
Benton, M. J. 1998. Vertebrate Palaeontology, 2nd edition. Chapman and Hall, London.Google Scholar
Berta, A. 1981. The Plio-Pleistocene hyaena Chasmoporthetes ossifraga from Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 1:341356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Biknevicius, A. R., and Van Valkenburgh, B. 1996. Design for killing: Craniodental adaptations of predators, p. 393428. In Gittleman, J. L. (ed.), Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
Biknevicius, A. R., Van Valkenburgh, B., and Walker, J. 1996. Incisor size and shape: implications for feeding behaviors in saber-toothed “cats.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16:510521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boonstra, L. D. 1954. The cranial structure of the titanosuchian Anteosaurus. Annals of the South African Museum, 42:108148.Google Scholar
Bramble, D. M. 1978. Origin of the mammalian feeding complex: models and mechanisms. Paleobiology, 4:271301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broom, R. 1932. The mammal-like reptiles of South Africa and the origin of mammals. H. F. and G. Witherby, London, 376 p.Google Scholar
Bryant, H. N. 1991. Phylogenetic relationships and systematics of the Nimravidae (Carnivora). Journal of Mammalogy, 72:5678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carbone, C., Mace, G. M., Roberts, S. C., and Macdonald, D. W. 1999. Energetic constraints on the diet of terrestrial carnivores. Nature, 402:286288.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carroll, R. L. 1988. Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. W. H. Freeman and Co., New York, 698 p.Google Scholar
Chudinov, P. K. 1983. Early therapsids. Transactions of the Palaeontological Institute of the Academy of Science USSR, 202:1230 (in Russian).Google Scholar
Cleuren, J. and De Vree, F. 2000. Feeding in crocodilians, p 337–359. In Schwenk, K. (ed.), Feeding: Form, Function and Evolution in Tetrapod Vertebrates. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
Covey, D. S. G., and Greaves, W. S. 1994. Jaw dimensions and torsion resistance during canine biting in the Carnivora. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 72:10551060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crompton, A. W. 1963. On the lower jaw of Diarthrognathus, and the origin of the mammalian lower jaw. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 140:697753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dawson, M. R., Stucky, R. K., Krishtalka, L., and Black, C. C. 1986. Machaeroides simpsoni, new species, oldest known sabertooth creodont (Mammalia) of the Lost Cabin Eocene, p. 183196. In Flanagan, K. M. and Lillegraven, J. A. (eds.), Vertebrates, Phylogeny, and Philosophy. Contributions to Geology, University of Wyoming, Special Paper 3.Google Scholar
Eaton, R. L. 1979. Interference competition among carnivores: a model for the evolution of social behavior. Carnivore, 2:916.Google Scholar
Emerson, S. B., and Radinsky, L. B. 1980. Functional analysis of sabertooth cranial morphology. Paleobiology, 6:295312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ewer, R. F. 1973. The Carnivores. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
Flynn, J. J. 1998. Early Cenozoic Carnivora (“Miacoidea”), p. 110–23. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Gittleman, J. L. (ed). 1989. Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 1. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 620 p.Google Scholar
Gittleman, J. L. (ed). 1996. Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 644 p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gunnell, G. F. 1998. Creodonta, p 91109. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Hopson, J. A. 1991. Systematics of the nonmammalian Synapsida and implications for patterns of evolution in synapsids, p 635693. In Schultze, H.-P and Trueb, L. (eds.), Origins of the Higher Groups of Tetrapods-Controversy and Consensus. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
Hopson, J. A., and Barghusen, H. R. 1986. An analysis of synapsid relationships, p. 83106. In Hotton, N. III, MacLean, P. D., Roth, J. J., and Roth, E. C. (eds.), The Ecology and Biology of Mammal-like Reptiles. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. Google Scholar
Hunt, R. M. 1987. Evolution of the aeleuroid Carnivora: significance of auditory structure in the nimravid cat Dinictis. American Museum Novitates, 2886:174.Google Scholar
Hunt, R. M. 1996. Biogeography of the order Carnivora, p. 485541. In Gittleman, J. L. (ed.), Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
Hunt, R. M. 1998a. Ursidae, p. 174–95. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Hunt, R. M. 1998b. Amphicyonidae, p. 196227. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Janis, C. M. 1993. Tertiary mammal evolution in the context of changing climates, vegetation, and tectonic events. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 24:467500.Google Scholar
Janis, C. M., and Wilhelm, P. B. 1993. Were there mammalian pursuit predators in the Tertiary? Dances with wolf avatars. Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 1:103–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jenkins, I. 1998. Cranial form and function in some Permian carnivorous synapsid (mammal-like) reptiles. , University of Cambridge, England, 275 p.Google Scholar
Jenkins, I. 2001a. Palaeozoic carnivorous reptiles. Geology Today, 17:3639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jenkins, I. 2001b. Finite element modelling approaches to morphology in vertebrate paleobiology. Journal of Morphology, 248:246247.Google Scholar
Jenkins, I. In Press, a. Cranial mechanisms and carnivory in therocephalians, the first ‘sabre-toothed’ tetrapods: a finite element analysis. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, B. Google Scholar
Jenkins, I. In Press, b. Modern anatomical data in the analysis of extinct tetrapods: cranial mechanisms in ancient carnivorous mammalian relatives. Journal of Clinical Anatomy.Google Scholar
Jenkins, I., Thomason, J. J., and Norman, D. B. In press. Primates and engineering principles: applications to craniodental mechanisms in ancient terrestrial predators. In Senckenbergiana Lethaea. Special Volume, Senckenberg Museum Press.Google Scholar
Joeckel, R. M. 1990. A functional interpretation of the masticatory system and paleoecology of entelodonts. Paleobiology, 16:459482 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kemp, T. S. 1969. On the functional morphology of the gorgonopsid skull. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 256:183.Google Scholar
Kemp, T. S. 1982. Mammal-like reptiles and the origin of mammals. Academic Press, London, 363 p.Google Scholar
Kemp, T. S. 1988. Interrelationships of the Synapsida, p. 123. In Benton, M. J. (ed.), The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, Volume 2: Mammals. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 35.Google Scholar
Laurin, M., and Reisz, R. R. 1995. A re-evaluation of early amniote phylogeny. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 113:165223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, M. S. Y. 1997. A taxonomic revision of pareiasaurian reptiles: implications for Permian terrestrial palaeoecology. Modern Geology, 21:231298.Google Scholar
Martin, L. D. 1980. Functional morphology and the evolution of cats. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Science, 8:141154.Google Scholar
Martin, L. D. 1989. Fossil history of the terrestrial Carnivora, p. 536568. In Gittleman, J. L. (ed.), Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, L. D. 1998a. Nimravidae, p. 228235. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Martin, L. D. 1998b. Felidae, p. 236242. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Mellett, J. S. 1969. Paleobiology of North American Hyaenodon (Mammalia: Creodonta). Contributions to Vertebrate Evolution, 1:1134.Google Scholar
Modesto, S. P. 1995. The skull of the herbivorous synapsid Edaphosaurus boanerges from the Lower Permian of Texas. Palaeontology, 3:213239.Google Scholar
Munthe, K. 1998. Canidae, p. 124143. In Janis, C. M., Scott, K. M., and Jacobs, L. L. (eds.), Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Olson, E. C. 1961. Jaw mechanisms: rhipidistians, amphibians, reptiles. American Zoologist, 1:205215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Orlov, Yu. A. 1958. Carnivorous dinocephalians from the fauna of Isheev (Titanoscuhia). Trudy Palaeontogicheskogo Instituta Academika, USSR, 72:1114 (in Russian).Google Scholar
Palomares, F., and Caro, T. M. 1999. Interspecific killing among mammalian carnivores. The American Naturalist, 153:492508.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Parrington, F. R. 1955. On the cranial anatomy of some gorgonopsids and the synapsid middle ear. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 125:140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reisz, R. 1986. Pelycosauria, p. 1102. In Wellnhofer, P. (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Paleoherpetology, Part 17A. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
Reisz, R. R., Berman, D. S., and Scott, D. 1992. The cranial anatomy and relationships of Secodontosaurus, an unusual mammal-like reptile (Pelycosauria: Sphenacodontidae) from the early Permian of Texas. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 104:127184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Romer, A. S. 1966. Vertebrate Paleontology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 468 p.Google Scholar
Romer, A. S. 1969a. The Chanares (Argentina) Triassic reptile fauna II: Anew chiniqoudont cynodont Probelesodon lewis—cynodont ancestry. Breviora, 333:124.Google Scholar
Romer, A. S. 1969b. The Brazilian cynodont reptiles Belesodon and Chiniquodon. Breviora, 332:116.Google Scholar
Romer, A. S., and Price, L. I. 1941. Review of the Pelycosauria. Special Papers of the Geological Society of America, 28:1538.Google Scholar
Rubidge, B. S. (ed). 1995. Biostratigraphy of the Beaufort Group (Karoo Supergroup). Geological Survey of South Africa. Biostratigraphic Series, 1.Google Scholar
Russell, A. P., and Thomason, J. J. 1993. Mechanical analysis of the mammalian head skeleton, p. 345383. In Hanken, J. and Hall, B. K. (eds.), The Skull. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
Savage, D. E., and Russell, D. E. 1983. Mammalian Paleofaunas of the World Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
Savage, R. J. G. 1977. Evolution in carnivorous mammals. Palaeontology, 20:237271.Google Scholar
Sennikov, A. G. 1996. Evolution of the Permian and Triassic tetrapod communities of Eastern Europe. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 120:331351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sigogneau, D. 1970. Revision Systematique des Gorgonopsiens Sud-Africains. Cahiers Paleontologie, 417 p.Google Scholar
Sigogneau-Russell, D. 1989. Theriodontia I, p. 127. In Kuhn, O. (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Palaeoherpetology, Part 17B/1. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
Sidor, C. A., and Hopson, J. A. 1997. Ghost lineages and “mammalness”: assessing the temporal pattern of character acquisition in the Synapsida. Paleobiology, 24:4868.Google Scholar
Sidor, C. A. 2001. Simplification as a trend in synapsid cranial evolution. Evolution, 55:2558.Google ScholarPubMed
Tatarinov, L. P. 1974. Theriodonts of the USSR. Trudy Palaeontogicheskogo Instituta Academika, USSR, 143:5250 (in Russian).Google Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B. 1985. Locomotor diversity within past and present guilds of large predatory mammals. Paleobiology, 11:406428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B. 1991. Iterative evolution of hypercarnivory in canids (Mammalia, Carnivora): evolutionary interactions among sympatric carnivores. Paleobiology, 17:340362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B. 1996. Feeding behavior in free-ranging, large African carnivores. Journal of Mammalogy, 77:240254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B. 1999. Major patterns in the history of carnivorous mammals. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 27:463493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B. 2001. The dog-eat-dog world of carnivores: A review of past and present carnivore community dynamics, p. 101121. In Stanford, C. and Bunn, H. T. (eds.), Meat-Eating and Human Evolution. Oxford University Press, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B., Grady, F., and Kurtén, B. 1990. The Plio-Pleistocene cheetah-like cat Miracinonyx inexpectatus of North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 10:434454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Valkenburgh, B., Sacco, T., and Wang, X. In press. Pack hunting in Miocene Borophagine dogs: evidence from craniodental morphology and body size. In Flynn, L. J. (ed.), Vertebrate Fossils and Their Context: A Tribute to the Career of Richard H. Tedford. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.Google Scholar
Viranta, S. 1996. European Miocene Amphicyonidae—taxonomy, systematics, and ecology. Acta Zoologica Fennica, 204:161.Google Scholar
Webb, S. D. 1983. The rise and fall of the late Miocene ungulate fauna in North America, p. 267306. In Nitecki, M. D. (ed.), Coevolution. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
Webb, S. D. 1984. Ten million years of mammal extinctions in North America, p. 189210. In Martin, P. S. and Klein, R. G. (eds.), Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.Google Scholar
Werdelin, L. 1989. Constraint and adaptation in the bone-cracking canid Osteoborus (Mammalia: Canidae). Paleobiology, 15:387401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Werdelin, L. 1996. Carnivoran ecomorphology: a phylogenetic perspective, p. 582624. In Gittleman, J. L. (ed.), Carnivore Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
Werdelin, L., and Solounias, N. 1991. The Hyaenidae: taxonomy, systematics and evolution. Fossils and Strata, 30:1104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Werdelin, L., and Solounias, N. 1996. The evolutionary history of hyaenas in Europe and Western Asia during the Miocene, p. 290306. In Bernor, R. L., Fahlbusch, V., and Mittmann, H-W. (eds.), The Evolution of Western Eurasian Neogene Mammal Faunas. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar