Data from: Biological evidence supports an early and complex emergence of the Isthmus of Panama
Bacon, Christine D. et al. (2016), Data from: Biological evidence supports an early and complex emergence of the Isthmus of Panama, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6m653
The formation of the Isthmus of Panama, which linked North and South America, is key to understanding the biodiversity, oceanography, atmosphere, and climate in the region. Despite its importance across multiple disciplines, the timing of formation and emergence of the Isthmus and the biological patterns it created have been controversial. Here, we analyze molecular and fossil data, including terrestrial and marine organisms, to show that biotic migrations across the Isthmus of Panama began several million years earlier than commonly assumed. An earlier evolution of the Isthmus has broad implications for the mechanisms driving global climate (e.g., Pleistocene glaciations, thermohaline circulation) as well as the rich biodiversity of the Americas.