A factor analytic description of the Phanerozoic marine fossil record

  title={A factor analytic description of the Phanerozoic marine fossil record},
  author={J John . Sepkoski},
  pages={36 - 53}
  • J. Sepkoski
  • Published 1981
  • Geography, Environmental Science, Geology
  • Paleobiology
Data on numbers of marine families within 91 metazoan classes known from the Phanerozoic fossil record are analyzed. The distribution of the 2800 fossil families among the classes is very uneven, with most belonging to a small minority of classes. Similarly, the stratigraphic distribution of the classes is very uneven, with most first appearing early in the Paleozoic and with many of the smaller classes becoming extinct before the end of that era. However, despite this unevenness, a Q-mode… 

Phanerozoic Marine Biodiversity: A Fresh Look at Data, Methods, Patterns and Processes

Patterns of Phanerozoic global biodiversity continue to be a major focus of palaeobiological research. Recent advances have been fuelled by the establishment of the Paleobiology Database. This new

Effects of sampling standardization on estimates of Phanerozoic marine diversification

  • J. AlroyC. Marshall A. Webber
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
A new database of this kind for the Phanerozoic fossil record of marine invertebrates is introduced and four substantially distinct analytical methods that estimate taxonomic diversity by quantifying and correcting for variation through time in the number and nature of inventories are applied.

Diversification, Faunal Change, and Community Replacement during the Ordovician Radiations

The Ordovician evolutionary radiations represent a major pivotal point in the history of life on earth. During the few tens of million years between the ends of the Cambrian and Ordovician Periods,

Increase in evenness and sampled alpha diversity through the Phanerozoic: Comparison of early Paleozoic and Cenozoic marine fossil assemblages

Trends in the relative abundance of taxa are examined and the results indicate that the evenness of fossil samples increased through the Phanerozoic, largely owing to a decrease in the Relative abundance of the most common taxa.

Crustacean biodiversity through the marine fossil record

Ostracodes were the first major group to radiate, attaining high diversity during the Ordovician Period with other members of the Paleozoic evolutionary fauna; rates of extinction and responses to mass extinctions were also similar to those of groups within the paleozoic fauna.

Memoir 4: An Analysis of the History of Marine Animal Diversity

  • S. Stanley
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2007
A distinctive structure characterized the marine ecosystem during intervals of evolutionary radiation—one in which rates of diversification were exceptionally high and yet increases in diversity did not depress rates of diversity.

Trilobite alpha diversity and the reorganization of Ordovician benthic marine communities

The Ordovician saw the transformation of marine benthic communities from the trilobite-based Cambrian Fauna to the brachiopod-dominated Paleozoic Fauna. An evaluation of the changing importance of

Paleozoic Gastropoda

Gastropods have a rich fossil record stretching back to the Cambrian. However, determining the relationships of those early taxa to each other and (especially) to extant taxa entails major



A kinetic model of Phanerozoic taxonomic diversity I. Analysis of marine orders

  • J. Sepkoski
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1978
This model appears to describe adequately the “explosive” diversification of known metazoan orders across the Precambrian-Cambrian Boundary, suggesting that no special event, other than the initial appearance of Metazoa, is necessary to explain this phenomenon.

The Permian-Triassic Boundary: A Crisis for Bivalves?

Abstract A conventional plot of the number of bivalve genera at different times throughout the Permian and Triassic results in a spindle diagram with a narrow waist in the earliest Triassic. Only 19

Species diversity in the Phanerozoic: a tabulation

  • D. Raup
  • Geology, Environmental Science
  • 1976
On the basis of about 70,000 species citations in the Zoological Record, it is estimated that about 190,000 fossil invertebrate species were described and named through 1970. The true figure may be

Early Phanerozoic annelid worms and their geological and biological significance

  • M. Glaessner
  • Geography, Geology
    Journal of the Geological Society
  • 1976
Examination of the Cambrian genus Volborthella shows that it resembles in significant characters tubes of sabellariid worms, and on this basis the morphology and ecology of the animal can be reconstructed.

Species richness in marine benthic habitats through the Phanerozoic

  • R. Bambach
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1977
The within-habitat data suggest that the number of marine invertebrate species in the world has increased since the Middle Paleozoic, but possibly only by about 4 times, not the order of magnitude or more suggested by Valentine (1970).

The Echinoderms and Permian-Triassic Time

  • P. Kier
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 1973
Abstract The Permian-Triassic boundary is not of special significance in the development of most of the echinoderms. Although the Paleozoic echinoids are very unlike those of the Mesozoic, the

Phanerozoic Diversity Patterns: Tests for Randomness

Patterns of origination within taxa, and patterns of dominance diversity among taxa are examined to distinguish nonrandom from random components. Numbers of first appearances per stage are sporadic

The Mesozoic marine revolution: evidence from snails, predators and grazers

  • G. Vermeij
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1977
The substantial increase of snail-shell sturdiness beginning in the Early Cretaceous has accompanied, and was perhaps in response to, the evolution of powerful, relatively small, shell-destroying predators such as teleosts, stomatopods, and decapod crustaceans.


A new metataxonomic criterion is explored for all phyla of animals and plants and for various subordinate taxa, which may be relevant for such applications as the comparison of taxonomic rates of evolution, evolutionary patterns, analysis of hierarchial diversity.