The ancient evolutionary origins of Scleractinia revealed by azooxanthellate corals

Background: Scleractinian corals are currently a focus of major interest because of their ecological importance and the uncertain fate of coral reefs in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressure. Despite this, remarkably little is known about the evolutionary origins of corals. The Scleractinia suddenly appear in the fossil record about 240 Ma, but the range of morphological variation seen in these Middle Triassic fossils is comparable to that of modern scleractinians, implying much earlier origins that have so far remained elusive. A significant weakness in reconstruction(s) of early coral evolution is that deep-sea corals have been poorly represented in molecular phylogenetic analyses.


Published in:
Bmc Evolutionary Biology, 11, -
Year:
2011
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2012-05-15, last modified 2018-09-13


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