Advances in taphonomy and stratigraphy over the past two decades have dramatically improved our understanding of the causes, effects, and remedies of incompleteness in the fossil record for the study of evolution. Taphonomic research has focused on quantifying probabilities of preservation across taxonomic groups, the temporal and spatial resolution of fossil deposits, and secular changes in preservation over the course of the Phanerozoic. Stratigraphic research has elucidated systematic trends in the formation of sedimentary gaps and permanent stratigraphic records, the quantitative consequences of environmental change and variable rock accumulation rates over short and long timescales, and has benefited from greatly improved methods of correlation and absolute age determination. We provide examples of how these advances are transforming paleontologic investigations of the tempo and mode of morphologic change, phylogenetic analysis, and the environmental and temporal analysis of macroevolutionary patterns.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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