Former PhD student and current research associate Martin Ezcurra and Professor Richard Butler have published a new paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on the early evolutionary radiation of archosaurs and their close relatives after the Permo-Triassic mass extinction.

The paper, which builds upon Martin's doctoral research in Birmingham, quantifies patterns and rates of evolution through the first 35 million years of evolution of the group that includes dinosaurs, crocodilians and pterosaurs (flying reptiles). It reveals that the rise of this group to dominate Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems was triggered by the largest extinction event in the history of life, 250 million years, which opened up new ecological niches into which archosaurs radiated.