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Good Genes and Good Luck: Ammonoid Diversity and the End-Permian Mass Extinction

Science  28 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5944, pp. 1118-1121
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174638

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Abstract

The end-Permian mass extinction removed more than 80% of marine genera. Ammonoid cephalopods were among the organisms most affected by this crisis. The analysis of a global diversity data set of ammonoid genera covering about 106 million years centered on the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) shows that Triassic ammonoids actually reached levels of diversity higher than in the Permian less than 2 million years after the PTB. The data favor a hierarchical rather than logistic model of diversification coupled with a niche incumbency hypothesis. This explosive and nondelayed diversification contrasts with the slow and delayed character of the Triassic biotic recovery as currently illustrated for other, mainly benthic groups such as bivalves and gastropods.

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