Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Eternal EphemeraAdaptation and the Origin of Species from the Nineteenth Century Through Punctuated Equilibria and Beyond$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Niles Eldredge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153164

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153164.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Punctuated Equilibria

Punctuated Equilibria

Speciation and Stasis in Paleontology, 1968–

(p.219) 5 Punctuated Equilibria
Eternal Ephemera

Niles Eldredge

Columbia University Press

This chapter delves into the development of the theory of punctuated equilibria, widely known as “punk eek.” Punctuated equilibria integrates the idea of the origin of species through geographic isolation with the near-universal pattern of stasis. Stasis refers to the event in which most species do not seem to exhibit any form of change for the duration of their lives, often over millions of years. Despite the difficulty of tracing steady, gradual modification of an ancestral species into an undoubted descendant, new species still unexpectedly show up in the fossil record. The imagery caught in punctuated equilibria thus appears to be relatively rapid bursts of evolution interrupting longer periods of non-change of species.

Keywords:   punctuated equilibria, punk eek, geographic isolation, stasis, fossil record

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .