The examination of radiolarian biodiversity at the family level through Phanerozoic time reveals some general trends known in other groups of organisms, especially among plankton, while some other trends seem to be quite peculiar. The Permian /Triassic crisis that is one of the most important in the evolution of marine organisms, is marked in radiolarian assemblages by the extinction of two orders (Albaillellaria and Latentifistularia) towards the end of the Permian, and mostly by the tremendous diversification of Spumellaria and Nassellaria in the early-mid Triassic. Radiolarian diversity increased from Cambrian to Jurassic, remained quite stable during the Cretaceous and has decreased slightly since then.

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