Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Mass extinctions alter extinction and origination dynamics with respect to body size

Citation

Monarrez, Pedro; Heim, Noel; Payne, Jonathan (2021), Data from: Mass extinctions alter extinction and origination dynamics with respect to body size, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.x69p8czhf

Abstract

Whether mass extinctions and their associated recoveries represent an intensification of background extinction and origination dynamics versus a separate macroevolutionary regime remains a central debate in evolutionary biology. Previous focus has been on extinction, but origination dynamics may be equally or more important for long-term evolutionary outcomes. The evolution of animal body size is an ideal process to test for differences in macroevolutionary regimes, as body size is easily determined, comparable across distantly related taxa, and scales with organismal traits. Here, we test for shifts in selectivity between background intervals and the “Big Five” mass extinction events using capture-mark-recapture models. Our body-size data cover 10,203 fossil marine animal genera spanning 10 Linnaean classes with occurrences ranging from Early Ordovician to Late Pleistocene (485–1 Mya). Most classes exhibit differences in both origination and extinction selectivity between background intervals and mass extinctions, with the direction of selectivity varying among classes and overall exhibiting stronger selectivity during origination after mass extinction than extinction during mass extinction. Thus, not only do mass extinction events shift the marine biosphere into a new macroevolutionary regime, the dynamics of recovery from mass extinction also appear to play an underappreciated role in shaping the biosphere in their aftermath.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: EAR-1151022