Amber microfossils: On the validity of species concept

Vincent GIRARD & Sina M. ADL

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 10 (2-3) - Pages 189-200

Published on 30 April 2011

This article is a part of the thematic issue The species concept in palaeontology: Ontogeny, variability, evolution

Do terrestrial micro-organisms evolve morphologically? A recent concept suggests that morphological stasis over dozens of millions of years has persisted in microbial lineages. However, it is based on a weak fossil record. Indeed, it is already difficult to define a species with extant microbes, and this task is even harder when dealing with fossil micro-organisms. Based on research on fossils in amber, we highlighted the different problems that are raised when describing a new fossil species of micro-organisms and we discuss the concept of morphological stasis.


Amber, Evolution, Fossil species, Micro-organisms, Morphological stasis

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint