Species Duration and Evolution: Benthic Foraminifera on the Atlantic Continental Margin of North America

Science  24 Aug 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4664, pp. 829-830
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4664.829


Average species durations were estimated for 131 commonly occurring modern species. The duration of species occurring at depths of less than 200 meters is 16 million years, while for those at greater than 200 meters and at all depths it is 25 to 26 million years. Species (less than 200 meters) distributed from Florida to Newfoundland and from Florida to Cape Hatteras have about the same durations (18 to 20 million years). The duration for species restricted to north of Cape Hatteras is only 7 million years. The data suggest that evolutionary rates are greater in shallower than in deeper depths and greatest in the shallower northern area.