The extent of terrestrial vertebrate extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous is poorly understood, and estimates have ranged from a mass extinction to limited extinctions of specific groups. Molecular and paleontological data demonstrate that modern bird orders started diverging in the Early Cretaceous; at least 22 avian lineages of modern birds cross the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Data for several other terrestrial vertebrate groups indicate a similar pattern of survival and, taken together, favor incremental changes during a Cretaceous diversification of birds and mammals rather than an explosive radiation in the Early Tertiary.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below