The evolution of methods for establishing evolutionary timescales

  title={The evolution of methods for establishing evolutionary timescales},
  author={Philip C. J. Donoghue and Ziheng Yang},
  journal={Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  • P. Donoghue, Ziheng Yang
  • Published 19 July 2016
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
The fossil record is well known to be incomplete. Read literally, it provides a distorted view of the history of species divergence and extinction, because different species have different propensities to fossilize, the amount of rock fluctuates over geological timescales, as does the nature of the environments that it preserves. Even so, patterns in the fossil evidence allow us to assess the incompleteness of the fossil record. While the molecular clock can be used to extend the time estimates… 

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