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Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record$
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Warren D. Allmon and Margaret M. Yacobucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226377445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377582.001.0001

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Species of Decapoda (Crustacea) in the Fossil Record: Patterns, Problems, and Progress

Species of Decapoda (Crustacea) in the Fossil Record: Patterns, Problems, and Progress

(p.278) Chapter Nine Species of Decapoda (Crustacea) in the Fossil Record: Patterns, Problems, and Progress
Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record

Carrie E. Schweitzer

Rodney M. Feldmann

University of Chicago Press

Although the definition of species in the fossil record has been well understood for half a century and is generally congruent with the definition of extant species, both based primarily on morphology, fossil species of decapod crustaceans remain victims of the vagaries of the fossil record. Partial remains of organisms comprised of hundreds or thousands of individual elements results in related species being named on very different body parts. Limited numbers of specimens of many taxa render studies of individual variation, sexual dimorphism, and ontogenetic variation challenging. Because neontologists often base species definitions on morphological features not often preserved on fossils, paleontologists must employ proxy characters on fossils to permit comparison with extant forms. These are among the major challenges for paleontologists. Nonetheless, phylogenetic analyses of fossil and extant higher taxa suggest that paleontological and neontological studies are generally congruent.

Keywords:   species recognition, single specimens, sexual dimorphism, fossil preservation

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