A recent study shows that the dinosaurs were already in decline 50 million years before the meteor strike that finally wiped them out. “We were not expecting this result,” says Dr Manabu Sakamoto, a palaeontologist from the University of Reading, who led the research. “Even though they were wiped out ultimately by the impact of the asteroid, they were actually already on their way out around 50 million years before the asteroid hit.”
Using Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations, the researchers found overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the specialized herbivores.
This study reveals that dinosaurs did not die with a bang, but rather with a whimper. “If they were reigning strong perhaps they would have fared much better than they did,” says co-author Dr Chris Venditti, an evolutionary biologist also from the University of Reading, in an interview with BBC News.
This study reveals that the 10km wide meteor which struck Earth was not the main contributor to the ultimate demise of the dinosaur, rather it was a lack of evolutionary adaptability. The dinosaurs were already in a downward cycle the meteor just finished them off for good.
We see a lot of evidence of systemic downward cycles in business, from the financial crisis to numerous corporate scandals such as BP’s Deepwater Horizon, Tesco’s accounting transgressions and VW’s emissions scandal etc. Trust in leadership is at an all time low, as is employee engagement and customer loyalty. Companies need to evolve and adapt in order to stay relevant in a fast changing world. Society and competition is demanding this but like the dinosaurs decline I see most businesses carrying on as if the old way of work was still business as normal.