Rotting Lamprey Implications

This video from Nature Video Channel on Youtube is complimentary to a recent study showing

“… that certain body features rot away before others – and that the bits that are first to go are the most useful to palaeontologists. This decay bias makes it much more difficult to distinguish them from their ancestors and could mean that many fossils have been wrongly placed in evolutionary trees. “

Make you check out the thorough and well-written news piece by Daniel Cressey on Nature News for all the macabre details!

2 Replies to “Rotting Lamprey Implications”

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  2. I attended an evolutionary divergence-time estimation symposium last month. Most of the content was a little outside my expertise, but one of the big takeaways I got was the dramatic effect of erroneously dated, or identified, fossil taxa on divergence estimates. In one example, a fossil date (within the dating method’s error range) placed the divergence time of two species before the time of the big bang.

    This exponential error propagation doesn’t really invalidate the science, but it needs to be accounted for in the analysis.

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