Long-distance dispersal and the reef-building corals of the Eastern Pacific
- Cite this article as:
- Heck, K.L. & McCoy, E.D. Mar. Biol. (1978) 48: 349. doi:10.1007/BF00391639
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It is currently widely accepted that the hermatypic coral fauna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean underwent massive extinction during the mid-Tertiary, with subsequent transoceanic colonizatiion by planulae from the Indo-West Pacific region during periods of favorable conditions. We suggest that the available evidence does not strongly support this biogeographic hypothesis; moreover, we contend that it is untestable in its present form. In its place we propose an alternative hypothesis based upon modification of a previously widespread, pan-Tethyan coral biota which has since been modified by tectonic events, speciations, and extinctions.