Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-568f69f84b-5zgkz Total loading time: 0.266 Render date: 2021-09-20T10:26:56.438Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Article contents

On the probability of ancestors in the fossil record

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2015

Mike Foote*
Affiliation:
Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637

Abstract

Three homogeneous models of species origination and extinction are used to assess the probability that ancestor-descendant pairs are preserved in the fossil record. In the model of cladogenetic budding, a species can persist after it branches and can therefore have multiple direct descendants. In the bifurcation model, a species branches to give rise to two distinct direct descendants, itself terminating in the process. In the model of phyletic transformation, a species gives rise to a single direct descendant without branching, itself terminating in the process. Assuming homogeneous preservation, even under pessimistic assumptions regarding the completeness of the fossil record, the probability of finding fossil ancestor-descendant pairs is not negligible. Even if all species of Phanerozoic marine invertebrates in the paleontologically important taxa had the same probability of preservation, on the order of 1%-10% or more of the known fossil species would be directly ancestral to other known fossil species. However, this is likely to be an underestimate, since the probability of finding ancestor-descendant pairs is enhanced by taxonomic, temporal, and spatial heterogeneities in preservation probability. Moreover, indirect genealogical relationships substantially increase the probability of finding ancestor-descendant pairs. The model of budding, the only one in which an ancestor can persist after a branching event, predicts that half or more of extant species have ancestors that are also extant. Thus, the question of how to recognize ancestor-descendant pairs must be carefully considered.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Alroy, J. 1994. Quantitative mammalian biochronology and biogeography of North America. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, Chicago.Google Scholar
Alroy, J. 1995. Continuous track analysis: a new phylogenetic and biogeographic method. Systematic Biology 44:152178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bambach, R. K. 1977. Species richness in marine benthic habitats through the Phanerozoic. Paleobiology 3:152167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Durham, J. W. 1967. The incompleteness of our knowledge of the fossil record. Journal of Paleontology 41:559565.Google Scholar
Eldredge, N., and Cracraft, J. 1980. Phylogenetic patterns and the evolutionary process. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Engelmann, G. F., and Wiley, E. O. 1977. The place of ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogeny. Systematic Zoology 26:111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feller, W. 1968. An introduction to probability theory and its applications, Vol. I, 3d ed.Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
Fisher, D. C. 1994. Stratocladistics: morphological and temporal patterns and their relation to phylogenetic process. pp. 133171In Grande, L. and Rieppel, O., eds. Interpreting the hierarchy of nature: from systematic patterns to evolutionary process theories. Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar
Foote, M. 1988. Survivorship analysis of Cambrian and Ordovician trilobites. Paleobiology 14:258271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foote, M., and Raup, D. M. 1996. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa. Paleobiology 22:121140.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fortey, R. A., and Jefferies, R. P. S. 1982. Fossils and phylogeny—a compromise approach. pp. 197234In Joysey, K. A. and Friday, A. E., eds. Problems of phylogenetic reconstruction (Systematics Association Special Volume No. 21). Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
Gingerich, P. D. 1979. Stratophenetic approach to phylogeny reconstruction in vertebrate paleontology. pp. 4177In Cracraft, J. and Eldredge, N., eds. Phylogenetic analysis and paleontology. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
Gould, S. J., and Eldredge, N. 1993. Punctuated equilibrium comes of age. Nature 366:223227.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hallam, A. 1976. Stratigraphic distribution and ecology of European Jurassic bivalves. Lethaia 9:245259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hennig, W. 1966. Phylogenetic systematics [transl. Davis, D. D. and Zangerl, R.]. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.Google Scholar
Huelsenbeck, J. P. 1994. Comparing the stratigraphic record to estimates of phylogeny. Paleobiology 20:470483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hull, D. L. 1979. The limits of cladism. Systematic Zoology 28:416440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kendall, D. G. 1948. On the generalized “birth-and-death” process. Annals of Mathematical Statistics 19:115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
May, R. M. 1994. Biological diversity: differences between land and sea. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B 343:105111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Newell, N. D. 1959. Adequacy of the fossil record. Journal of Paleontology 33:488499.Google Scholar
Patzkowsky, M. E. 1995. A hierarchical branching model of evolutionary radiations. Paleobiology 21:440460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paul, C. R. C. 1992. The recognition of ancestors. Historical Biology 6:239250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pease, C. M. 1987. Lyellian curves and mean taxonomic durations. Paleobiology 13:484487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raup, D. M. 1978. Cohort analysis of generic survivorship. Paleobiology 4:115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raup, D. M. 1985. Mathematical models of cladogenesis. Paleobiology 11:4252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raup, D. M. 1991. A kill curve for Phanerozoic marine species. Paleobiology 17:3748.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Raup, D. M., and Stanley, S. M. 1978. Principles of paleontology, 2d ed.W. H. Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
Schoch, R. M. 1986. Phylogeny reconstruction in paleontology. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.Google Scholar
Schopf, T. J. M. 1978. Fossilization potential of an intertidal fauna: Friday Harbor, Washington. Paleobiology 3:261271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sepkoski, J. J. Jr., Bambach, R. K., Raup, D. M., and Valentine, J. W. 1981. Phanerozoic marine diversity and the fossil record. Nature 293:435437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simpson, G. G. 1952. How many species? Evolution 6:342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smith, A. B. 1994. Systematics and the fossil record: documenting evolutionary patterns. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stitt, J. H. 1977. Late Cambrian and earliest Ordovician trilobites, Wichita Mountains Area, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geological Survey Bulletin 124:179.Google Scholar
Valentine, J. W. 1970. How many marine invertebrate fossil species? A new approximation. Journal of Paleontology 44:410415.Google Scholar
Valentine, J. W. 1986. Fossil record of the origin of Baupläne and its implications. pp. 209222In Raup, D. M. and Jablonski, D., eds. Patterns and processes in the history of life. Springer, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valentine, J. W. 1989. How good was the fossil record? Clues from the Californian Pleistocene. Paleobiology 15:8394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wagner, P. J., and Erwin, D. H. 1995. Phylogenetic patterns as tests of speciation models. pp. 87122In Erwin, D. H. and Anstey, R. L., eds. New approaches to studying speciation in the fossil record. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
114
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

On the probability of ancestors in the fossil record
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

On the probability of ancestors in the fossil record
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

On the probability of ancestors in the fossil record
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *