Former Bristol Palaoebiology PhD student Dr Fiona Walker (@Fi_pinnata) has published another chapter of her excellent PhD thesis on modelling sampling biases in the fossil record. This time, the paper focuses on how fossil Lagerstatten distort the vertebrate fossil record. The paper is published open access as early view in the journal Palaeontology and is called “Variable preservation potential and richness in the fossil record of vertebrates”.
The main conclusions of the paper are:
- effect of Lagerstatten on diversity counts in variable across space and through time and they don;t always coincide with peaks in diversity
- many species found in Lagerstatten do not occur anywhere else but also more robust taxa found under normal preservation conditions are rarely found in Lagerstatten
- So… do Lagerstatten preserve ONLY species that are usually not preservable OR are they preserving unusual environments?
Read the full paper: Walker, F. M., Dunhill, A.M., and Benton, M.J. (2019) Variable preservation potential and richness in the fossil record of vertebrates. Palaeontology, https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12458.