Recent Brachiopod-Coralline Sponge Communities and Their Paleoecological Significance

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Science  13 Aug 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3997, pp. 623-625
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3997.623


Brachiopods and coralline sponges are the dominant taxa of a series of parallel pantropical communities found in cryptic habitats of Recent coral reefs, where these organisms may cover almost the entire available surface area. It is suggested that the continued survival and success of these and other groups of considerable paleontological importance resulted from their occupation of cryptic reef habitats after competition with more rapidly growing hermatypic corals in the Middle Jurassic when scleractinian reefs first appeared.