Paleonet: "Living Fossils" definition and another 'known from fossils first' taxon

GT Lloyd, Earth Sciences graeme.lloyd at
Sat Mar 10 10:20:08 GMT 2007

Schopf wrote an interesting paper on this in 1984 (the same year Eldredge 
and Stanley's edited volume "Living Fossils" came out - they have their own 
definition in the introduction). He argued that the various definitions of 
living fossils were so disparate that you could exclude all the famous 
examples (coelacanth, tuatara etc.) from at least one. Paper at:

Also, lungfish were known from fossils before they were found living (first 
in South America, then in Africa and finally in Australia). Interestingly 
the first fossil was incorrectly determined to be part of a tortoise shell. 
To read further on this check out the Journal of Morphology special volume 
from 1987 (for 1986), "The Biology and Evolution of Lungfish" (particularly 
Conant's introduction to the bibliography).



Graeme T Lloyd
Palaeontology Laboratory
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building

graeme.lloyd at

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