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Origination, Survivorship, and Extinction of Rudist Taxa
Douglas S. Jones and David Nicol
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp. 107-115
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1305099
Page Count: 9
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Rudists arose in the Late Jurassic and survived for nearly 100 m.y. before becoming extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. Over this interval they diversified gradually during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, rapidly in the mid-Cretaceous, then more slowly in the Late Cretaceous. Total rates of origination and extinction during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous were uniform and comparable to those reported for other groups. The Late Cretaceous, however, was characterized by high and widely fluctuating total origination and extinction rates. Per taxon rates reveal a similar pattern except for high and variable rates in the Jurassic. The number of genera increased from the Oxfordian to a peak in the Cenomanian, decreased in the Turonian and Coniacian coinciding with a minor mass extinction event, and rose to a zenith in the Maastrichtian. Unlike other groups investigated, the rudists were at their highest level of diversity immediately prior to their disappearance. Rudist genera survived for a mean of 12 m.y., whereas families survived for a mean of 48 m.y. Survivorship curves for generic cohorts, based upon survival of all rudist genera that evolved during each stage, exhibit a concave shape when the effects of mass extinction and variance at low diversities are considered. Causal factors involved in the final disappearance of the rudists remain unclear; however, their tropical provinciality in the Late Cretaceous contributed to their vulnerability to mass extinction.
Journal of Paleontology © 1986 Paleontological Society