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Science. 2003 May 16;300(5622):1133-5.

The impact of the pull of the recent on the history of marine diversity.

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Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Up to 50% of the increase in marine animal biodiversity through the Cenozoic at the genus level has been attributed to a sampling bias termed "the Pull of the Recent," the extension of stratigraphic ranges of fossil taxa by the relatively complete sampling of the Recent biota. However, 906 of 958 living genera and subgenera of bivalve mollusks having a fossil record occur in the Pliocene or Pleistocene. The Pull of the Recent thus accounts for only 5% of the Cenozoic increase in bivalve diversity, a major component of the marine record, suggesting that the diversity increase is likely to be a genuine biological pattern.

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