Cycles in fossil diversity

  title={Cycles in fossil diversity},
  author={Robert Andrew Rohde and Richard A. Muller},
It is well known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course of the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0–542 million years ago). Here we show, using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36,380 marine genera, a strong 62 ± 3-million-year cycle, which is particularly evident in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle… 
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A 62-million-year cycle in biodiversity emerges from scrutiny of a marine-fossil database, but its causes remain mysterious and various models involving climate, environment, geological and astrophysical factors should provide testable predictions to help solve the mystery.
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  • 2007
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  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Doklady Earth Sciences
  • 2012
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  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1976
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  • A. Miller
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1998
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  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
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  • 1999