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An approach to the tempo of evolution among fossil mammals

Jean-Louis HARTENBERGER

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 1 (6) - Pages 439-448

Published on 31 December 2002

The natural selection proceeds to very different time paces according to the hierarchical level of the observations. Two methods are used by palaeontologists for reporting how fast is evolution through geological time: the taxonomical and the morphological rates of evolution. However, the interpretation and the understanding of these rates of evolution are not easy. So, there were and still are many debates, and even controversies, concerning the tempo of the history of life as depicted by fossils. Examples from European Palaeogene fossil mammals illustrate some aspects of this problem.


Keywords:

taux d’évolution, extinctions, apparitions, Mammalia, Paléogène, Europe

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