Sudden, Gradual, or Stepwise? Expanding the Null Hypothesis in Tests of Mass Extinctions
Steve C. Wang

Due to the Signor-Lipps effect, a simultaneous extinction of a collection of taxa may appear gradual in the fossil record. Several methods have been proposed that account for the incompleteness of the fossil record when testing whether a collection of taxa went extinct simultaneously. However, we may be interested in testing other patterns of extinction in addition to a simultaneous extinction of all taxa. For instance, we may hypothesize that an extinction occurred gradually, or in several pulses. Here we introduce a statistical method for testing whether any arbitrary extinction scenario is consistent wit

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