Since fossil records represent a tiny percentage of species populations, how do paleontologists determine how typical those specimens are?

Is there any research or analysis to determine how the distribution of fossil specimens within a species corresponds to the distribution of specimens of the species population as a whole?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your title seems a bit iffy, but your question seems to be of palaeontology rather than biology. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 31 at 19:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! The typos/automiscorrections in your title make it very difficult to understand what you are asking! In addition, as i think @David was suggesting, this might be better suited to the earth sciences site. ——— You may also wish to go through the help pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Sep 1 at 2:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ugh... sorry about the title typo. I've corrected that. Regarding the appropriate site - both this site and the Earth Sciences one have a palaeontology tag (and this site has 50% more questions with that tag, so it's hard to know which is the more appropriate site. However, this question is much more aligned with biological processes than physical one, so (absent any other information), this feels like the right place. $\endgroup$ – Dancrumb Sep 1 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ Tags do not justify posts. To learn what is on topic here read the Tour and the Help. The representative nature or otherwise of fossil specimens is not biology in terms of this list. $\endgroup$ – David Sep 1 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ I disagree with David, I think it is completely on topic for exactly the reasons described: this is about the biological side of paleontology (though David is also correct that tags do not determine topicality). $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Sep 1 at 15:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.