, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 349-356

Long-distance dispersal and the reef-building corals of the Eastern Pacific

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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.

Order of authorship was determined by the toss of a coin.
Communicated by M.R. Tripp, Newark