Why are there so many insect species? Perspectives from fossils and phylogenies

  title={Why are there so many insect species? Perspectives from fossils and phylogenies},
  author={Peter J Mayhew},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
  • P. Mayhew
  • Published 1 August 2007
  • Environmental Science
  • Biological Reviews
Over half of all described species are insects, but until recently our understanding of the reasons for this diversity was based on very little macroevolutionary evidence. [] Key Result There is evidence that the species richness of insects has been enhanced by: (i) their relative age, giving time for diversification to take place; (ii) low extinction rates. There is little evidence that rates of origination have generally been high or that there are limits on numbers of species. However, the evidence on…

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