The intense mowing action of the dinosaurs.

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This was an unprecedented alteration in the nature of plant eating.(dinosaur factory) In place of the Late Jurassic's tall browsers, the Cretaceous concentrated on munching close to the ground. Low shrubs and seedlings now faced a threat from herbivores magnified many times compared to the conditions prevalent during the Jurassic. In this ecological context the very first flowering plants appeared on the earth's surface. How did the Ur-angiosperms react to all this munching close to the ground? One ideal adaptive strategy for a low woody shrub or seedling would be to grow as fast as possible to achieve a height where the low browsers could not threaten it.


Early angiosperms could do that-their basic reproductive equipment gave them a fast-growing edge over many contemporaneous plants. A second approach would be a "dicey" strategy-scatter sufficient seeds onto an overgrazed patch of bare soil to produce a clump of shrubs quickly, and thus spread another generation of seeds before the herbivores returned and once again mowed everything to the ground. (life size dinosaur)Early angiosperms could do that too-their seeds and flowers allowed them to spread more quickly than conifers or other non-flowering plants.


Obviously intense low cropping placed a premium on any and all plant adaptations for fast spreading, fast growing, and fast reproduction. And early angiosperms performed exactly these biological functions especially well. From this, a quite plausible scenario emerges: Low-feeding Cretaceous dinosaurs opened the way for the initial waves of angiosperms. (animatronic dinosaur costume)Conifers, cycadeoids, and other non-angiosperms were probably far less adaptive for handling the assaults of new Cretaceous herbivores. Anywhere the plant-eaters thinned out the conifer groves and cycadeoid thickets, an oppor-tunity for species of flowering plants to win a foothold in the habitat was created. (life like dinosaur)Early angiosperms were probably cropped just as severely as their neighbors, but their basic adaptations permitted them to continue growing and reproducing in the face of the intense mowing action of the dinosaurs.

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