Evolutionary Patterns of Ammonoids: Phenotypic Trends, Convergence, and Parallel Evolution

  • Claude MonnetEmail author
  • Christian Klug
  • Kenneth De Baets
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 44)


A major goal in evolutionary biology is to characterize and understand the patterns and processes that shape the evolutionary trajectory of clades through time and space. One common pattern in extinct and extant lineages is the pervasive occurrence of persistent phenotypic evolutionary trends. These trends of evolutionary lineages suggest that adaptation by means of natural selection is a major cause of homoplastic patterns such as convergence and parallel evolution. Such patterns can result from other processes, which are usually ignored or difficult to identify, such as chance, environmental changes, constructional or developmental constraints. How the evolution of organisms follows preferentially specific phenotypic trajectories remains poorly known. The ammonoids are well-known to display persistent phenotypic shifts through time. Commonly described trends in ammonoid lineages are increase in adult size, changes in coiling and increase in suture frilling. Some new methods for the study of ammonoid evolution are here exemplified by recent case studies.


Ammonoids Macroevolution Phenotypic trends Long term morphological patterns Evolutionary constraints Quantitative methods 



Some of the results presented herein derive from the research projects with the numbers 200021–113956⁄1, 200020–25029, and 200020–132870 funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF, which is greatly acknowledged. We warmly thank the two reviewers (John Chamberlain and Ryoji Wani) for their corrections and constructive remarks.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Monnet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Klug
    • 2
  • Kenneth De Baets
    • 3
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 8217 Géosystèmes, UFR des Sciences de la Terre (SN5)Université de Lille 1Villeneuve d’Ascq cedexFrance
  2. 2.Paläontologisches Institut und MuseumUniversität ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Fachgruppe PaläoUmweltFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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