Taphonomic concepts for a theoretical biochronology


Taphonomy is a conceptual subsystem of paleontology which strives to ascertain how the fossil record has been produced and what sort of modification it has undergone. Taphonomy has its own concepts that allow the fossil record to be dissociated conceptually from the geological or stratigraphical record. It is also possible to regard fossils (or recorded-entities of different organizational levels) and corresponding organisms (or paleobiological entities) as being distinct in nature. The aim of taphonomical studies is the fossils, i.e. the recorded-entities, and not the strata that bear them or the paleobiological entities they represent. Taphonomical data are necessary for paleobiological interpretations, and are relevant in applied paleontology. It is necessary, however, to develop a systematic approach to fossils that takes into account logical and epistemological assumptions used in biology and paleobiology. By identifying integrated systems with taphonomical paleobiological relationships, new problems in paleontology can be raised and solved. In order to obtain a biochronological framework, it is only necessary to identify and classify systematically into units the different kinds of topologically successive recorded-entities. These concepts are neither incompatible nor contradictory to those in biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy, and may serve to elucidate their fundamental basis.

Palabras clave

Biochronology, Stratigraphic classifications, Geochronological Scale, Geological Time, Fossil Record

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