TEMPORAL CHANGES IN ORIGINATION AND SAMPLING PROBABILITIES OF CARNIVORES
LIOW, Lee Hsiang, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066 Blindern, Oslo, 0316, Norway, email@example.com
Exploring the temporal variation in origination and speciation rates is a crucial step in the path to understanding the probable causal factors behind the generation of new forms. While some time intervals in the fossil record appear to have more origination events per capita than others, these apparent increases in origination rates may also be due to changing sampling rates from time interval to time interval. In order to account for varying sampling, I use an approach developed in the capture-recapture literature (Pradel’s seniority model, Biometrics 1996) that allows one to co-estimate origination and sampling probabilities. I apply Pradel’s seniority model to the mammalian order of carnivores, using occurrence-based fossil data available in both the Paleobiology Database and NOW (New and Old Worlds Database of fossil mammals).
Carnivora are the subject of extensive study both by biologists and paleontologists. They have a relatively rich fossil record and relationships among extant taxa are well explored. Phylogenetic hypotheses generated using mainly molecular data have inferred somewhat different timings of higher and lower rates of cladogenesis (compare Eizirik et al. 2010 Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution with Nyakatura and Bininda-Edmonds 2012 BMC Biology). I discuss the whether such hypotheses are supported by fossil data and explore whether there might be global factors that influenced carnivore origination. I also discuss what we can do to further integrate information from fossils and molecules with the goal of understanding macroevolutionary processes.