Dinosaurs dominated our planet not because of their massive size or fearsome teeth — but thanks to the way they walked

Dinosaurs may have taken over the planet and ruled for over 160 million years thanks to the way they walked, a new study suggests. By adapting to walk on both two and four legs, they diversified and outcompeted other organisms to become the dominant terrestrial vertebrates from the end of the Triassic (251.9 million to 201.3 million years ago) until their extinction around 66 million years ago during the Cretaceous period (145 million to 66 million years ago).

In a new study, published Feb. 7 in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers described how dinosaurs took over the world by filling ecological niches that emerged following a series of ecological collapses. Because dinosaurs walked on their hind legs, and later also on all fours, dinosaurs had a distinct advantage during a period that saw massive environmental changes. 

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