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Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, using fossil samples, found that as early birds evolved, insects became smaller in size, suggesting that the birds likely became their predators.
A new study found that the evolution of birds may have helped to eliminate giant flying insects that once dominated the skies in prehistoric times.
Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz using fossil samples found that as early birds evolved, insects became smaller in size, suggesting that the birds likely became their predators.
The study looked at the development of winged insects and raised oxygen levels in the atmosphere during prehistoric times, which allowed them to survive in the air, Fox News.
It is believed that high oxygen levels, 30 percent then compared to 21 percent today, helped the growth of giant insects - that is until birds evolved.
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“Maximum insect size does track oxygen surprisingly well as it goes up and down for about 200 million years,” said Matthew Clapham, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, according to Zee News.
“Then right around the end of the Jurassic and beginning of the Cretaceous period, about 150 million years ago, all of a sudden oxygen goes up but insect size goes down. And this coincides really strikingly with the evolution of birds."
The study reported that insects such as dragonflies once reached wingspans of 28 inches but shrank as birds evolved into the flying predators we know today, said Red Orbit.
The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.