There are several different types of variation in populations of fossil organisms. These include intra-specific (population) variation, evolutionary variation (specimens on a slab accumulating over thousands of years), and preservational variation. An understanding of the extent and type of variation present in a population is fundamental to biological and paleontological studies. This study examines several populations of fossil graptolites from which population variation can be studied without the influence of the other types, and includes several types of morphometric analyses to examine population variation in several species of fossil graptolites. These analyses include isolating three dimensionally preserved specimens from limestone, and then photographing, digitizing, and measuring the specimens. Statistical measures such as standard deviation, coefficient of variance, modal distribution, and an index of dispersion (a similar test to the coefficient of variation, specifically meant for measuring count-based data sets as opposed to continuous data sets) will be used. We expect to gain an understanding of the range of biological variation in a number of morphologic characters in these taxa.
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Earth Sciences | Geology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics
Mazur, Elliott Matthias, "Population Variation in Fossil Graptolites: a Quantitative Study Based on Single Species Assemblages" (2014). Honors Theses. 36.