Taphonomy: Bias and Process Through Time

  title={Taphonomy: Bias and Process Through Time},
  author={Peter A. Allison and David J. Bottjer},
It is now 18 years since the volume “Taphonomy: Releasing the Data Locked in the Fossil Record” was published by Plenum Press as part of the successful “Topics in Geobiology” series. The book was one of several published as the subject blossomed and diversified. The Plenum book was multi-disciplinary and focused on processes, including chapters on emerging concepts such as sequence stratigraphy, and rapidly developing fields such as organic and inorganic geochemistry. In a sense the book… 
Actualistic approaches to interpreting the role of biological decomposition in microbial preservation
This study combines experimental taphonomy with decomposition models in order to constrain taphonomic hypotheses regarding Proterozoic microfossil assemblages and suggests that sheath morphology is more persistent than cell/trichome morphology during early stages of decomposition.
Post-fossilization processes and their implications for understanding Ediacaran macrofossil assemblages
Abstract Fossil assemblages from Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula preserve diverse examples of the enigmatic Ediacaran macrobiota, offering some of the earliest evidence for large and complex
Chapter 4 Global distributional dynamics of Cambrian clades as revealed by Burgess Shale-type deposits
A significant correlation between geographical range and temporal persistence is demonstrated, supporting the hypothesis that Cambrian taxa with wider geographical ranges were less likely to go extinct than those with narrower ranges.
Fossilization processes of graptolites: insights from the experimental decay of Rhabdopleura sp. (Pterobranchia)
Results indicate that tubes and the black stolon would persist for weeks across death, transport and burial, whereas a complete decay of zooid features occurs in few days, providing an explanation for the overall poor record of fossil graptolite zooids and suggesting that recorded silhouettes of fossil zooids may be attributed to fossil decay-resistant pigments.
Taphonomy of recent burrows from eastern coast, Sri Lanka
Quaternary sediment deposits of the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka were studied for the first time to understand the taphonomy of tube burrows and the impact of structure and mineralogy of the wall on
Early life on land and the first terrestrial ecosystems
The rapid adaptations seen in modern terrestrial microbes, their outstanding tolerance to extreme and fluctuating conditions, their early and rapid diversification, and their old fossil record collectively suggest that they constituted the earliest terrestrial ecosystems, at least since the Neoarchean, further succeeding on land and forming a biomass-rich cover with mature soils where plant-dominated ecosystems later evolved.
Three new Cenomanian conifers from El Chango (Chiapas, Mexico) offer a snapshot of the geographic mosaic of the Mesozoic conifer decline
These fossils fill in gaps in the evolutionary history of lineages like Microcachrys, which are demonstrated occurred in the Northern hemisphere before becoming restricted to its current range (Tasmania) and support the hypothesis of a geographically and ecologically structured “rise of angiosperms”.
Marine-mollusc fossils (Mollusca: Bivalvia and Gastropoda) and their paleoenvironmental interpretation from the Situs manusia purba Sangiran area
The aims of this research are to identify fossil collection of marine-molluscs to study its diversity during the Pleistocene, and to interpret the paleo-environment of where those fossils were found.


The Processes of fossilization
You would be hard pressed to find a paleontological study that did not have some taphonomic component to it. In fact, taphonomy has been criticized for being so broad a field of study as to render
Taphonomic sequences—A new tool for sequence stratigraphy
The Middle-Upper Jurassic boundary in western Europe is characterized by extensive condensed sections containing authigenic minerals together with abundant and varied fossils, both reworked and not
The quality of the fossil record: a sequence stratigraphic perspective
Abstract As paleobiology continues to address an ever broader array of questions, it becomes increasingly important to interpret confidently the meaning of the pattern of fossil occurrences as found
Sequence stratigraphy, paleoecology, and evolution; biotic clues and responses to sea-level fluctuations
  • C. Brett
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1998
Paleoecology has a dual relationship with sequence stratigraphy. On one hand, body and trace fossils, together with their taphonomy, may provide sensitive indicators of environmental parameters,
Temporal patterns of barren intervals in the Phanerozoic
Abstract It has recently been argued that barren intervals of marine sedimentary rock are less common in the Cenozoic than in the Paleozoic, and that this arises as a direct consequence of widespread
Taphonomy of a modern shrimp: implications for the arthropod fossil record
Every living organism represents a potentialfossil, although only a few are ever successfully fossilized. Taphonomic studies should explain episodes of both fossilization and of non-fossilization.
The Quality of the Fossil Record: Populations, Species, and Communities
Molluscs are the most durable of modern aquatic groups studied so far, and they show highest fidelity to the original community.
The Quality of the Fossil Record: Implications for Evolutionary Analyses
Examples of how advances in taphonomy and stratigraphy are transforming paleontologic investigations of the tempo and mode of morphologic change, phylogenetic analysis, and the environmental and temporal analysis of macroevolution are provided.
Palaeobiological and sedimentological implications of fossil concentrations
  • S. Kidwell
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1985
Concentrations of fossil hardparts are common features of the stratigraphical record and are preferred collecting sites for most palaeontological data. Nonetheless, most investigations into the
Post-Cambrian closure of the deep-water slope-basin taphonomic window
Exceptional faunas (Konservat-Lagerstatten that preserve traces of volatile nonmineralized tissues) are statistically overabundant in the Cambrian Period; almost all examples preserved in