Abstract

Comparison of shape changes, as they exist today in the Southern Hemisphere, with fossil shapes preserved in a late Pleistocene record from the South Atlantic Ocean, shows that the biogeography of G. truncatulinoides ecophenotypes has changed markedly through time. Beginning at least 700,000 yr ago and continuing up to the present, there has been a gradual but clear migration of certain morphotypes of G. truncatulinoides toward lower latitudes. The history of this migration bears no simple relationship to the cyclic climatic changes that characterize the late Pleistocene. We conclude that either (1) phenotypic variants of Gr. truncatulinoides reflect some previously unmeasured, gradually changing aspect of late Pleistocene oceans, or (2) we are witnessing a gradual evolution of the environment preferences of G. truncatulinoides.

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