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Coral Reefs Are A Haven For Evolution
By Matt J. Weiss, January 14, 2010 @ 01:41 AM (EST)
Scientists from Berlin used fossil records to determine the evolutionary rate of coral reefs and found that they were higher than other habitats. According to the study published in the prestigious journal "Science,"  new species originate 50% faster in coral reefs.

The study used benthic organism fossils because the bottom dwelling animals are more easily fossilized on than organisms in the water column.  They determined when each genus occurred and if it originated in coral reefs to determine the relative rate of coral reef evolution.  

However, the lead scientist on the paper warned that the data would be more reliable if a fossils were examined by independent experts, rather than use data collected through literature.

That said, the paper was welcomed by coral reef lovers as it reiterates the importance of coral reefs to global biodiversity.



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