Blackwell Publishing



Stasis is the situation in which evolutionary lineages persist for long periods without change. In the fossil record, stasis is common but it has recently taken on a new importance with the punctuated equilibrium debate.

Living fossils such as lungfish are lineages which have experienced a long period of stasis.

The reasons for stasis are controversial in biology: Simon Conway Morris gives his own view.

An animation illustrates the well documented case of stasis occuring in the horseshoe crab lineage.

The coelecanth pictured opposite is a living fossil which has undergone stasis for the past three hundred million years.

Why does stasis exist?

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