How the Past Impacts the Future: Modelling the Performance of Evolutionarily Distinct Mammals through Time


Conference Presentation: The evolutionary potential of 'living fossils'.

Presentation to the Royal Society Part of the special meeting “The Past is a Foreign Country” The presentation slides can be downloaded via FigShare, here. An audio recording of the presentation is available here.

Quantifying the living fossil concept

Access content Open-access! Abstract: “Living fossil” is a contentious label, often used to identify clades that have experienced particularly little evolutionary change. Many of the problems associated with the term are due to a lack of a clear definition.

Evolutionarily distinct “living fossils” require both lower speciation and lower extinction rates

Access content Pay-walled :-( Abstract: As a label for a distinct category of life, “living fossil” is controversial. The term has multiple definitions, and it is unclear whether the label can be genuinely used to delimit biodiversity.

Thesis: An appraisal of the ‘Living Fossil’ Concept

Freely available via Imperial College London’s Spiral repository Abstract: Although the term ‘living fossil’ has been around for over 150 years, it remains scientifically undefined and contentious. Generally, it refers to any taxon that is evolutionarily unique, species-poor and exhibits traits closely resembling those of extinct taxa.