AFD_modelKnowing how time is distributed within a fossil record is fundamental to paleobiology. ¬†Time-averaging (the degree to which non-contemporaneous skeletal specimens are combined within the depositional layers of a fossil record) establishes the temporal scales at which questions can be addressed and dictates appropriate sampling and analytical frameworks. ¬†In this new paper, Mark Novak and I present a new model of how “time” (i.e. the frequency distribution of fossil ages) gets distributed across the layers of a fossil record by the processes of specimen decay, mixing and burial. The predictions of our model are supported by the age-frequency distributions of AMS 14C-dated small mammal specimens collected from four different strata within the Homestead Cave record.

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