- The Paleontological Society
The shell size of 1236 ammonite species representing all known Early Jurassic faunas is analyzed. Size patterns are studied for the entire period and then at the biozone scale for the first four stages of the Jurassic (28 Myr), during which ammonites recovered from the crisis at the Triassic/Jurassic (T/J) boundary. Our analysis reveals that (1) a size continuum (normal distribution from “dwarfs” to “giants”) exists for all Early Jurassic ammonites; (2) although there are no sustained trends (e.g., no Cope's rule), the succession is not monotonous and patterns may differ conspicuously from one biozone to the next; and (3) increases and decreases in size range are the most frequent evolutionary styles of size change. The only pattern that can be connected with a particular episode of Early Jurassic ammonite history is the initial increase in size disparity during the first four biozones attributable to phyletic radiation after the T/J crisis. Subsequent correlations with environmental constraints (e.g., sea-level changes), although suspected, cannot be shown.