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News

Be small and live in deep, tropical water to avoid becoming a fossil

University Of Chicago : 01 July, 2007  (Technical Article)
A scientist at University of Chicago and colleagues say they've found the best way to avoid becoming a fossil is to be small and live in deep, tropical water. The four paleontologists who have published a detailed, global study of clam preservation say their work is intended to enhance evolutionary studies by determining what's missing from the fossil record and why.
'Everyone talks about how imperfect the fossil record is, but not many people do anything about it,' said David Jablonski, a professor of geophysical sciences. 'We're not doing this for the sake of knowing more about clams, but for knowing more about how to answer biological questions in the fossil record more rigorously.'

Jablonski co-authored the study with James Valentine of the University of California-Berkeley, Susan Kidwell of the University of Chicago and Kaustuv Roy of the University of California-San Diego.

They say their findings will help scientists link the recent fossil record with modern biodiversity to better understand the role of humans in bringing about change in patterns of life on Earth.

The study appears in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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