Increased Longevities of Post-Paleozoic Marine Genera After Mass Extinctions

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Science  07 Nov 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5647, pp. 1030-1032
DOI: 10.1126/science.1089719

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Cohorts of marine taxa that originated during recoveries from mass extinctions were commonly more widespread spatially than those originating at other times. Coupled with the recognition of a correlation between the geographic ranges and temporal longevities of marine taxa, this observation predicts that recovery taxa were unusually long-lived geologically. We analyzed this possibility by assessing the longevities of marine genus cohorts that originated in successive substages throughout the Phanerozoic. Results confirm that several mass extinction recovery cohorts were significantly longer lived than other cohorts, but this effect was limited to the post-Paleozoic, suggesting differences in the dynamics of Paleozoic versus post-Paleozoic diversification.

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