Dinosaurs, the largest predators on land was killed by the poisonous flowering plants resulting to the end of the giant lizards. A recent study suggests that the giant lizards were on the way to extinction because some beautiful new species had begun to poison them even before asteroid could have killed them.
In the article published in the journal Ideas in Ecology and Evolution finds that the emergence of the first flowering plants, which included some poisonous species, occurs in the fossil record long before the fateful asteroid impact and just before the dinosaurs begin to decline.
According to the professor of the University of Albany, evolutionary psychologist and co-author Gordon Gallup says dinosaurs may have been too slow to evolve a learned taste aversion that would allow them to associate the taste of certain foods with danger. Instead, they just kept chomping on the toxic plants despite gastrointestinal distress.
"Though the asteroid certainly played a factor, the psychological deficit which rendered dinosaurs incapable of learning to refrain from eating certain plants had already placed severe strain on the species," Gallup said in a statement this week.
“A reason why most attempts to eliminate rats have not been successful is that they, like many other species, have evolved to cope with plant toxicity,” Gordon Gallup, professor and evolutionary psychologist said in a statement.
“When rats encounter a new food, they typically sample only a small amount; and if they get sick, they show a remarkable ability to avoid that food again because they associate the taste and smell of it with the negative reaction.”
The analysis was also concluded by Researchers on modern descendants of dinosaurs, some birds and crocodiles. The main motive was to check whether they are capable of developing taste aversions as opposed to their ancestors.
Meanwhile, the results showed that the birds were unable to develop taste aversions. However, they were able to develop aversions to the visual look of those plants that caused them to get sick. Crocodiles, on the other hand, continued eating the toxic food, hence not developing any taste or visual aversions towards toxic food.