1979 Edition


  • P. C. Sylvester-bradley
Reference work entry

Biostratigraphy is the study of the stratigraphical distribution of fossils. Its principles were laid down in 1816 by William Smith when he published his Strata Identified by Organized Fossils. The term was first introduced by L. Dollo in 1904. R. Wedekind, C. Diener, and K. Andrée have used it in the restricted sense of “paleontological methods applied to stratigraphy”; and it has gained considerable currency in European literature (for references, see Teichert, 1958; Hupé, 1960; and Schindewolf, 1960). It is usual to distinguish the investigation of facies-controlled faunas (e.g., Imbrie's study of the Florena Shale of Kansas, 1955) as a part of paleoecology rather than biostratigraphy. The two disciplines are closely allied. Thus the term comparative biostratigraphyis used in Russia to denote the comparison of faunas of the same age but showing provincial or environmental differences; and the Termiers in France include in biostratigraphy both ecology and “ethology” (meaning, after...

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© Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Inc. 1979

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  • P. C. Sylvester-bradley

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