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Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 46(suppl.-Fossil Insects): 17-23,Krakow, 15Oct., 2003 Wheeler's dilemma
 

Summary: Acta zoologica cracoviensia, 46(suppl.- Fossil Insects): 17-23,Krakow, 15Oct., 2003
Wheeler's dilemma
Bruce ARCHIBALDand Brian D. FARRELL
Received: Feb. 25,2002
Accepted for publication: Jan. 10,2003
ARCHIBALDB., FARRELL B. D. 2003. Wheeler's dilemma.Acta zoologica cracoviensia,
46(suppl.- Fossil Insects): 17-23.
Abstract. We identifycertainbiota as "tropical" and others as "temperate" in the modem
world,yetthis distinctionwas not as clearinthe earlyTertiary.Indeed,many authorshave
commentedupon the well-documentedco-occurrenceof tropical and temperatebiotas in
early Tertiarydeposits;REIDand CHANDLER (1933)calledthis "one of the mostvexed of
climatologicalproblems." Almostacenturyago,William Morton WHEELER(1910)noted
the surprising mix of warm and cool-adaptedant genera found together in Baltic amber.
We review some other warm/cool assemblagesof insects, plants and vertebrates, which
occurat Eoceneextra-tropicallocalitiesworldwide.Explanationsof time averaging,tran-
sitional assemblagesbetween climaticregimes and mixing of biocoenoses are unsatisfy-
ing. Instead, these seemingly anomalous mixtures are consistent with hypothesized low
temperature seasonalityin earlyTertiarytemperateregions.The sortingof biota into tem-
perate and tropical-identifiedmay be a later Cenozoicphenomenonthat reflects our spe-
cific modem climaticregime of high seasonalityin extra-tropicalregions, rather than an

  

Source: Archibald, S. Bruce - Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine