TITLE

Cycles in fossil diversity

AUTHOR(S)
Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.
PUB. DATE
March 2005
SOURCE
Nature;3/10/2005, Vol. 434 Issue 7030, p208
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
It is well known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course of the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 million years ago). Here we show, using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36,380 marine genera, a strong 62±3-million-year cycle, which is particularly evident in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance we also consider the contributions of environmental factors, and possible causes.
ACCESSION #
16346733

 

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