Dinosaur and plant co-evolution

Antarctosaurus and Saltasaurus illustration

An illustration of an Antarctosaurus and a Saltasaurus 

Principal Investigator

Dr Paul Kenrick

Project summary

  • Focus: The dependence of dinosaur diversity evolution and physiology on plants

Museum researchers are investigating the extent to which the evolution of dinosaur diversity and physiology was dependent on plants.

We aim to:

  • Determine whether patterns of co-evolution can be detected through study of the known distributions of fossil plants and dinosaurs (geographic and temporal). We are using GIS (Geographic Information System) to map and study large datasets.
  • Test specific hypotheses relating to the evolution of cycad-like plants and flowering plants.


Mesozoic ecosystems research

We are studying forest ecosystems of the Mesozoic Era and the interactions of their plant and dinosaur inhabitants.

Other projects:

Funded by

Origins, evolution and futures research

We study the Earth's origins and environment, and the evolution of life.

Invertebrate and plant palaeobiology research

We are investigating the origins and evolution of these diverse fossil groups.

Palaeobotany collections

The palaeobotany collection spans the Archean to the present, containing cyanobacteria, fungi and plants.