Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Dinosaur feeding behaviour and the origin of flowering plants


A reappraisal of current theorie suggests that the origin of flowering plants was closely correlated with the spread of big, low-browsing dinosaurs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Darwin, C. in More Letters of Charles Darwin (ed. Darwin, F.) 20–22 (Murray, London, 1905).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Scott, R. A., Barghoorn, E. S. & Leopold, E. Am. J. Sci. 284–299 (1960).

  3. Doyle, J. A. & Hickey, L. J. in Origin and Early Evolution of Angiosperms (ed. Beck, C. B.), 139–206 (Columbia University Press, New York, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Axelrod, D. I. Bot. Rev. 36, 277–319 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Axelrod, D. I. Am. Nat. 106, 311–320 (1972).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Dietz, R. S. & Holden, J. C. J. geophys. Res. 75, 4939–4756 (1970).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cornet, B. & Traverse, A. Sixth Ann. Meeting Am. Ass. Strat. Palyn. 108 (1973).

  8. Van Houten, F. B. Am. J. Sci. 260, 561–576 (1962).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hickey, L. J. & Doyle, J. A. Am. J. Bot. 59, 661 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Doyle, J. A. Q. Rev. Biol. 48, 399–413 (1973).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hughes, N. F. Palaeobiology of Angiosperm Origins (Cambridge University Press, London, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Takhtajan, A. Flowering Plants: Origin and Dispersal (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1969).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Stebbins, G. K. Flowering Plants—Evolution above the Species Level (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1974).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  14. Pierce, R. L. Minnesota Geol. Surv. Bull. 42, 1–86 (1959).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Doyle, J. A. Am. J. Bot. 50, 1–35 (1959).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Barbour, T. Copeia 56–57 (1943).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Bakker, R. T. in Atlas of Evolutionary Trends (ed. Hallam, A.) (Elsevier, Amsterdam, in the press).

  18. Bakker, R. T. McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology 179–181 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Coombs, W. Palaeog., Palaeoclim., Palaeocol. 17, 1–33 (1974).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Bakker, R. T., Behrensmeyer, A. K., Dodson, P. & McIntosh, J. First Rep. Morrison Dinosaur Ecology Res. Unit Natn Geog. Soc. 1–27 (1975).

  21. Behrensmeyer, A. K. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 117 (1953).

  22. Seymour, R. S. Nature 262, 207–208 (1976).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Riggs, E. S. Field Columbian Mus. Geol. Series 2, 229 (1904).

  24. Haubold, H. Ichnia Amphibiorum et Reptiliorum Fossilium; Handbuch der Palaoherpetologie 18, 1–124 (Fisher, Stuttgart and Portland, 1971).

    Google Scholar 

  25. Koken, E. Palaon. Abh. 5, 311–419 (1887).

    Google Scholar 

  26. Galton, P. M. J. Paleontol., 45, 40–47 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  27. Tylor, A. Quart. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 18, 247 (1862).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Mantell, G. Petrifications and their Teachings, or a Hand Book to the Gallery of Organic Remains of the British Museum (Bohn, London, 1851).

    Google Scholar 

  29. Rhozdestvenski, A. K. Izvestia, Akad. Nauk, USSR Geol. Ser. 12, 115–133 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bakker, R. Dinosaur feeding behaviour and the origin of flowering plants. Nature 274, 661–663 (1978).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing