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RAPID COMMUNICATION Evolutionary response by bivalves to changing Phanerozoic sea-water chemistry

  • E. M. HARPER (a1), T. J. PALMER (a2) and J. R. ALPHEY (a3)
  • Published online: 01 May 1997

Sedimentological evidence suggests that sea-water chemistry has oscillated between ‘Aragonite’ and ‘Calcite’ seas during the course of Phanerozoic time. During ‘Calcite’ sea periods aragonite was soluble and dissolved on the sea-floor. Here we propose, using a survey of familial diversity, that during times of such corrosive seas bivalved molluscs which secreted their shells entirely of aragonite were at a selective disadvantage compared to those with calcitic outer shell layers. This is the first case in which it has been suggested that there was a dynamic link between sea-water chemistry and the evolution of a particular taxon throughout Phanerozoic time.

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Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
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