9624939 Krause This study will investigate the ecological factors involved in the diversification of mammals 65 million years ago, after the extinction of dinosaurs. Specifically, the goal of the proposed research is to use tooth structure to infer the diet and feeding ecology of the archaic ungulates, or "condylarths," the first major mammalian group to diversify on the heels of dinosaur extinction. Although "condylarths" are believed to have given rise to the modern, herbivorous hoofed mammals -- e.g., horses, cows, and elephants -- "condylarths" themselves are often reconstructed as small to medium-sized, raccoon-like dietary generalists. By investigating dental adaptations to diet in these extinct animals, this research will uncover factors that may have been important to the recovery and diversification of "condylarths" after the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. Thus, this work is important for understanding the ecological factors critical to recovery from biotic stress and to the generation of biological diversity.