A major goal of paleobiological research since the early 1960s has been the reconstruction in quantitative terms of the history of biological diversity. Spearheaded by Valentine (1969), Raup (1972, 1976a,b), and Sepkoski (1979, 1981, 1984, 1990, 1993), this effort has yielded estimates of global diversity through time, as well as calculations of global rates and magnitudes of extinction and diversification. A consensus emerging in the early 1980s (Sepkoski et al. 1981) indicated that global marine invertebrate diversity rose through the Cambrian and Ordovician periods to a plateau, which...

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.