Morphological disparity in the Cambrian

Derek E.G. Briggs, Richard A. Fortey, Matthew A. Wills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An analysis of the range of morphology among arthropods demonstrates that disparity among living arthropods is similar to that in Cambrian arthropods. The range of morphological design resulting from the Cambrian "explosion" has been overestimated, reflecting: a tendency to separate as "problematic" taxa that cannot be accommodated in the classification on the basis of the living biota. Problematic taxa are largely an artifact of an inadequate taxonomy. Special evolutionary processes may not be necessary to explain the early radiation of the metazoans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1670-1673
Number of pages4
Issue number5064
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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