- The Paleontological Society
We use Fourier analysis and related techniques to investigate the question of periodicities in fossil biodiversity. These techniques are able to identify cycles superimposed on the long-term trends of the Phanerozoic. We review prior results and analyze data previously reduced and published. Joint time-series analysis of various reductions of the Sepkoski Data, Paleobiology Database, and Fossil Record 2 indicate the same periodicity in biodiversity of marine animals at 62 Myr. We have not found this periodicity in the terrestrial fossil record. We have found that the signal strength decreases with time because of the accumulation of apparently “resistant” long-lived genera. The existence of a 62-Myr periodicity despite very different treatment of systematic error, particularly sampling-strength biases, in all three major databases strongly argues for its reality in the fossil record.