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Paleontology has undergone a renaissance in the past 50 years, expanding from an empirical field focused on stratigraphic context to the theoretically grounded discipline of paleobiology. This transformation has been propelled by conceptual advances in two broadly construed areas, evolution and paleoecology. Phylogenetic systematics has revised our understanding of the evolutionary relationships among organisms. New understanding of tempo and mode in evolution, evolutionary hierarchies, the role of mass extinctions and recoveries, and developmental evolution has led to unexpected insights on evolutionary processes. Within paleoecology, taphonomy has led to greater understanding of the nature of the fossil record. Evolutionary paleoecologists have...

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