Opendata, web and dolomites


The Rise of Placental Mammals: Dissecting an Evolutionary Radiation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PalM" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: EH8 9YL

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙418˙195 €
 EC max contribution 1˙418˙195 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UK (EDINBURGH) coordinator 1˙418˙195.00


 Project objective

Mammals are ubiquitous, with over 5000 species across the globe. But how did mammals become so successful? There is vigorous debate among palaeontologists: did mammals explosively diversify after a sudden environmental crisis knocked out dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous (~66 million years ago) or rise to dominance more slowly, alongside the dinosaurs? The debate persists because we still know very little about those mammals that flourished during the ~10 million years after the end-Cretaceous extinction (the early Paleogene), as they are largely ignored because their ‘archaic’ anatomy has long confounded palaeontologists. This project will use a wealth of newly discovered fossils and state-of-the-art analytical techniques to finally untangle the evolutionary story of these ~200 critical species. We will comprehensively study the anatomy of ‘archaic’ species using state-of-the-art imaging technology and build a species-level genealogy placing these long-mysterious mammals in the context of their Cretaceous forebears and modern mammals. Cutting-edge quantitative methods for studying evolution, including novel techniques developed here, will be applied to the family tree to date the origin of placental mammals and the major modern groups, determine what effect the end-Cretaceous extinction had on mammalian biodiversity, quantify the tempo and mode of the placental radiation, and explicitly test for potential drivers of mammalian diversification. This will give ground-breaking insight into how major groups become successful over evolutionary time and how biodiversity is affected and reset by dramatic environmental changes, a pressing concern in today’s rapidly changing world.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Zoltán Csiki-Sava, Mátyás Vremir, Jin Meng, Stephen L. Brusatte, Mark A. Norell
Dome-headed, small-brained island mammal from the Late Cretaceous of Romania
published pages: 4857-4862, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1801143115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115/19 2019-08-29
2018 Sarah L. Shelley, Thomas E. Williamson, Stephen L. Brusatte
The osteology of Periptychus carinidens: A robust, ungulate-like placental mammal (Mammalia: Periptychidae) from the Paleocene of North America
published pages: e0200132, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200132
PLOS ONE 13/7 2019-08-29

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