Learn More
Palaeontologists characterize mass extinctions as times when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short interval, as has happened only five times in the past 540 million years or so. Biologists now suggest that a sixth mass extinction may be under way, given the known species losses over the past few centuries and(More)
Multiple rounds of whole genome duplication have repeatedly marked the evolution of vertebrates, and correlate strongly with morphological innovation. However, less is known about the behavioral, physiological and ecological consequences of genome duplication, and whether these events coincide with major transitions in vertebrate complexity. The complex(More)
Human impacts have left and are leaving distinctive imprints in the geological record. Here we show that in North America, the human-caused changes evident in the mammalian fossil record since c. 14,000 years ago are as pronounced as earlier faunal changes that subdivide Cenozoic epochs into the North American Land Mammal Ages (NALMAs). Accordingly, we(More)
''Organisms are not billiard balls, propelled by simple and measurable external forces to predictable new positions on life's pool table. Sufficiently complex systems have greater richness. Organisms have a history that constrains their future in myriad, subtle ways.''—Stephen Jay Gould (1980: 16) [1] What is the relationship between exter-nal—physical and(More)
  • 1