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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: December 2013

6 - Palaeobiological or evolutionary history of the Foraminifera


This chapter deals with the palaeobiological or evolutionary history of the Foraminifera.

Evolutionary history of the Foraminifera

The following is an abridged account of the evolutionary history of the Foraminifera, which constitute part of the Mesozoic–Cenozoic or modern evolutionary biota of Sepkoski (1981), based on Jones (2006, 2011a), and in turn on data in Haynes (1981) and Loeblich & Tappan (1964, 1987) (see also the further reading list at the end of the chapter).

The fossil record of the Foraminifera is sufficiently good, and sufficiently well documented, to allow detailed observations to bemade on the evolution and control of at least the familial-level diversity of the group through time (Fig. 6.1). Familial-level diversity data from a database based on Haynes’s scheme has been plotted against time, enabling observations on trends through time. Diversity data from Loeblich & Tappan’s scheme has also been plotted for comparative purposes (not shown here). ‘Taxonomic bias’ is evident only in the cases of the interpreted apparent rather than real end-Carboniferous disappearance and Holocene appearance events in the Loeblich & Tappan data, and other than in these cases can be effectively eliminated.

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