Research NewsPaleontology

Sizing Up Evolutionary Radiations

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Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1462-1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1462

Summary

By gauging life 's diversity with differences in size and shape rather than numbers of species, paleontologists are gleaning surprising new insights into evolutionary radiations. For example, on p page 1492, an analysis of the ancient marine crinoids or sea lilies raises the heretical notion that competition from other organisms doesn't impede such bursts of evolution. And on page 1489, a great radiation of hoofed mammals 25 million years ago is ultimately linked to climate change.