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Science. 2008 Jul 4;321(5885):97-100. doi: 10.1126/science.1156963.

Phanerozoic trends in the global diversity of marine invertebrates.

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  • 1National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California-Santa Barbara, 735 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA. alroy@nceas.ucsb.edu

Abstract

It has previously been thought that there was a steep Cretaceous and Cenozoic radiation of marine invertebrates. This pattern can be replicated with a new data set of fossil occurrences representing 3.5 million specimens, but only when older analytical protocols are used. Moreover, analyses that employ sampling standardization and more robust counting methods show a modest rise in diversity with no clear trend after the mid-Cretaceous. Globally, locally, and at both high and low latitudes, diversity was less than twice as high in the Neogene as in the mid-Paleozoic. The ratio of global to local richness has changed little, and a latitudinal diversity gradient was present in the early Paleozoic.

PMID:
18599780
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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