A new study suggests that the birds survived the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago thanks to seeds. Canadian paleontologist stated that bird avoided their end due to their ancestors were equipped with toothless beaks that helped them dine on seeds when other sources of food went up in flames.

A team of scientists led by paleontologist Derek Larson analyzed 3,104 fossilized teeth from four different maniraptoran families, being this the family where it’s suggested that birds sprang from their old dinosaur ancestors, where all of those over 3,000 fossils were from over 18 million years.

How birds did survive extinction and dinosaurs didn’t at the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago?. Image: East Hampton Lions

David Evans, who is a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto stated on the Journal “ Current Biology” this Thursday that the seeds are a nutrient-rich package of energy, that would be immediately available for long periods of time after the asteroid that killed dinosaurs hit on Earth. Actually, this might make sense.

Derek Larson, who was the lead paleontologist on this study, said that “There were bird-like dinosaurs with teeth up until the end of the Cretaceous, where they all died off very abruptly”. Also, some groups of beaked birds may have been able to survive the extinction event because they were able to eat seeds

Where everything ended

 When the asteroid hit the Earth, about three-quarters of all plant and animal species were extinguished when a 10-kilometre-wide into what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, hollowing out an 180-km-wide crater that it’s still imprinted in the ground of the  Mexican territory.

At a really high-velocity, the asteroid would have impacted and triggered some earthquakes and tsunamis, that it’s believed that it launched a global blanket of waste that re-entered the atmosphere at high temperature and started one of the biggest wildfires ever.

Researchers had suggested that the dust and sediments would have darkened the atmosphere for months afterward, shutting down photosynthesis and most of the food chain along with it. With no plant and no other dinosaurs, how would they expect to survive? And how seeds survived to all this?

Are seeds eternal?

Many seeds have an impermeable outer layer that protects the seed and allows the delicate embryo inside them to survive the trip through an animal’s digestive system.

After eating a fruit, the animal carries the seeds away from the parent plant, helping that plant to spread. So this means that the seed cycle is that the animal eats the seed, then defecates, leave the seed in a rich, moist medium that will later cultivate the growing seedling.

Source: PHYS