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Percentage figures of Upper Tertiary corals in the East Indies are useful as a method of stratigraphic dating and correlation. The percentage of still living species increases in the following order: Miocene 0 to 50, Pliocene 50 to 70, Pleistocene and Holocene 70 to 100. It is argued that the evolution of the reef corals may graphically be represented by a curved line showing two accelerations, one in the upper Miocene, another in the Pleistocene. The possible causes of these epochs of an accelerated evolution are discussed and a comparison is made with the evolution rate of the Mollusca, another group of amply studied marine invertebrates.
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