ABSTRACT

Determining the precise timing for the evolutionary origin of groups of organisms has become increasingly important as scientists from diverse disciplines attempt to examine rates of anatomical or molecular evolution and correlate intrinsic biological events to extrinsic environmental events. Molecular clock analyses indicate that many major groups

Contributors, Introduction: molecular clocks and the fossil record – towards consilience?, 1. Molecular clocks: whence and whither?, 2. Molecular clocks and a biological trigger for Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events and the Cambrian explosion, 3. Phylogenetic fuses and evolutionary ‘explosions’: conflicting evidence and critical tests, 4. The quality of the fossil record, 5. Ghost ranges, 6. Episodic evolution of nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene in the stem-lineage of Foraminifera, 7. Dating the origin of land plants, 8. Angiosperm divergence times: congruence and incongruence between fossils and sequence divergence estimates, 9. The limitations of the fossil record and the dating of the origin of the Bilateria, 10. The origin and early evolution of chordates: molecular clocks and the fossil record, 11. Bones, molecules, and crown-tetrapod origins, 12. The fossil record and molecular clocks: basal radiations within the Neornithes, Systematics Association Publications, Index