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The Furongian (late Cambrian) Biodiversity Gap: Real or apparent?

Harper, David A.T.; Topper, Timothy P.; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Servais, Thomas; Zhang, Yuan-Dong; Ahlberg, Per

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Timothy P. Topper

Borja Cascales-Miñana

Thomas Servais

Yuan-Dong Zhang

Per Ahlberg


Two major, extended diversifications punctuated the evolution of marine life during the Early Palaeozoic. The interregnum, however, between the Cambrian Explosion and the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, is exemplified by the Furongian Gap when there was a marked drop in biodiversity. It is unclear whether the gap is apparent, due to sampling failure or lack of rock, or real — associated with unique and fluctuating environments, a distinctive palaeogeography and extreme climates during the late Cambrian. Indications suggest that there has been little attention paid to this interval compared with those below and above, while some of the classical areas for Cambrian research, such as Bohemia, have poor coverage through the Furongian. Moreover, based on information available in databases and the literature, together with the ghost ranges of many higher taxa through the Furongian, data suggest that biodiversity in this stage has been significantly underestimated. Emphasis, to date, has been placed on widespread, deeper-water dark shale facies of the interval, with generally low diversity faunas, whereas shallow-water communities have often been neglected.


Harper, D. A., Topper, T. P., Cascales-Miñana, B., Servais, T., Zhang, Y., & Ahlberg, P. (2019). The Furongian (late Cambrian) Biodiversity Gap: Real or apparent?. Palaeoworld, 28(1-2), 4-12.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 29, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 12, 2019
Publication Date Mar 31, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 12, 2020
Journal Palaeoworld
Print ISSN 1871-174X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1-2
Pages 4-12


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