Marine Biology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 349–356

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

  • K. L. HeckJr.
  • E. D. McCoy


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. L. HeckJr.
    • 1
  • E. D. McCoy
    • 2
  1. 1.Benedict Estuarine Research LaboratoryAcademy of Natural Sciences of PhiladelphiaBenedictUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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