Five palaeobiological laws needed to understand the evolution of the living biota

  title={Five palaeobiological laws needed to understand the evolution of the living biota},
  author={Charles R. Marshall},
  journal={Nature Ecology \&Evolution},
  • C. Marshall
  • Published 23 May 2017
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Nature Ecology &Evolution
The foundations of several disciplines can be expressed as simple quantitative laws, for example, Newton's laws or the laws of thermodynamics. Here I present five laws derived from fossil data that describe the relationships among species extinction and longevity, species richness, origination rates, extinction rates and diversification. These statements of our palaeobiological knowledge constitute a dimension largely hidden from view when studying the living biota, which are nonetheless… 
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