Events of Increased Biodiversity - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781785480294, 9780081004746

Events of Increased Biodiversity

1st Edition

Evolutionary Radiations in the Fossil Record

Authors: Pascal Neige
eBook ISBN: 9780081004746
Hardcover ISBN: 9781785480294
Imprint: ISTE Press - Elsevier
Published Date: 6th May 2015
Page Count: 152
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The fossil record offers a surprising image: that of evolutionary radiations characterized by intense increases in cash or by the sudden diversification of a single species group, while others stagnate or die out.

In a modern world, science carries an often pessimistic message, surrounded by studies of global warming and its effects, extinction crisis, emerging diseases and invasive species. This book fuels frequent "optimism" of the sudden increase in biodiversity by exploring this natural phenomenon.

Events of Increased Biodiversity: Evolutionary Radiations in the Fossil Record explores this natural phenomenon of adaptive radiation including its effect on the increase in biodiversity events, their contribution to the changes and limitations in the fossil record, and examines the links between ecology and paleontology’s study of radiation.

Key Features

  • Details examples of evolutionary radiations
  • Explicitly addresses the effect of adaptation driven by ecological opportunity
  • Examines the link between ecology and paleontology’s study of adaptive radiation


Researchers, students and academics in the areas of paleontology, ecology and evolutionary biology

Table of Contents

1. A Singular Work of Theater

  • Abstract
  • 1.1 A unique history
  • 1.2 A story filled with catastrophes and recoveries
  • 1.3 Evolutionary radiations: major phenomena in the history of biodiversity

2. The Fossil Record

  • Abstract
  • 2.1 A treasure trove of fossils
  • 2.2 From organisms to fossils, and from biocenoses to taphocenoses
  • 2.3 Can the fossil record reveal relevant information?
  • 2.4 Construction and examples of paleontological databases
  • 2.5 Yes, the fossil record can be used to study the history of biodiversity

3. The Phenomenon of Evolutionary Radiation

  • Abstract
  • 3.1 What is an evolutionary radiation?
  • 3.2 The different categories of evolutionary radiations, and their causes

4. Examples of Evolutionary Radiations

  • Abstract
  • 4.1 A paleontological bestseller: the Cambrian explosion
  • 4.2 Cascaded radiations: the case of ammonites
  • 4.3 Floral success: the emergence and radiation of flowering plants
  • 4.4 Not-so-round sea urchins!


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© ISTE Press - Elsevier 2015
ISTE Press - Elsevier
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About the Author

Pascal Neige

Affiliations and Expertise

Université de Bourgogne, France


"Although the most cited examples of adaptive radiation today tend to be neontological (e.g., Darwin’s finches, cichlid fishes, anole lizards), it is only fitting to return to the fossil record today for new examples and insights, as invertebrate paleontologist Pascal Neige has done here." --The Quarterly Review of Biology

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