domingo, maio 03, 2009

Entrevistas aos bochechos: 2ª pergunta ao Paul Upchurch

RA: Another thing I would like to know a little more about is that in 2005 you’ve published a paper proposing a new paradigm. What does that paper entail?

PU: You are talking about the new biogeographic paradigm… Well, the initial idea was published in 2001, but I’ve published a series of papers since then. Essentially the idea is that amongst biologist working in animals, over the last 30 years or so, there was a growing tendency to analyze biogeography in a more statistical fashion. The information that is required to understand that are evolutionary relationships and the geographic localities of the organisms. Essentially it is cladistics plus biogeography. The problem that I and my colleague Craig Hunt proposed originally in 2001, is that it doesn’t take time into account… I think the reason why we haven’t taken the temporal or stratigraphic distribution of organisms into consideration previously is precisely because these methods used previously were only used by people working on living animals, and therefore they only have one time to worry about, which is: now! But as soon as you look at paleontology, you should ask the question: Should I take data from all the Mesozoic? Or just from the Jurassic, or Cretaceous and so on… What we realized was that the geographic distribution of organisms change through time. The patters we get in the Jurassic are not necessarily the patterns we get on the Cretaceous and so on…We realized that paleontology actually played a key role in historic biogeography, whether you are working on living animals or extinct animals. You need to take into account the time of the events, because otherwise you end up with serious problems…

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