Sclerochronology and the Size versus Age Problem

  • Douglas S. Jones
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 7)


The rekindling of interest surrounding the role of heterochrony in the evolution of life has produced many examples of paedomorphosis and peramorphosis among fossil taxa, attesting to the ubiquity of this phenomenon (McNamara, 1986, and this volume). Nevertheless, two significant problems are intimately associated with such heterochronic studies: (1) uncertainties of taxonomy and ancestor-descendant relationships (see Fink, this volume); and (2) the problem of assessing absolute age (and hence growth rate) throughout ontogeny. Whereas both problems may be significant when attempting to distinguish among the various heterochronic processes that might have operated in a particular case, it is my contention that sclerochronology can often help resolve the latter.


Growth Line Shell Growth Skeletal Growth Molluscan Shell Mountain Goat 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas S. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Florida State MuseumUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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