Different interpretations on the timing of early diversification and radiation of modern sharks and batoids (Neoselachii) in the Earth's history exist and are related to discrepancies in taxonomic and phylogenetic interpretations favouring a Late Triassic or earliest Jurassic diversification and subsequent radiation event, respectively. Sampling standardization based on pooled taxonomic occurrences made it possible to overcome the problem of a much richer neoselachian record in the Late Jurassic than earlier on. The standardized pattern of genus richness is one of low and fairly constant diversity in the Late Triassic and earliest Jurassic with a steep rise in the Toarcian (ca 180 Myr ago), representing the maximum diversification rate in the Jurassic towards a Middle and Late Jurassic plateau. The major Toarcian diversification agrees with the conclusions based on phylogenetic analyses, but is in conflict with older interpretations based on raw data. Early Jurassic expansion of neoselachians was opportunistic in the aftermath of the end-Triassic mass extinction and the reasons for their rapid diversification and radiation probably include small body size, short lifespans and oviparity, enabling faster ecological reorganizations and innovations in body plans for adapting to changing environmental conditions.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diversification trajectories and evolutionary life-history traits in early sharks and batoids|
|Pages (from-to)||945 - 951|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Royal Society B|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2009|