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The fossil record holds a lot of evolutionary information that can't be seen on shorter time scales, although the more recent fossil record is more complete. Among other things, the fossil record demonstrates that extinctions can open up ecological space for new speciation and radiation, and that life forms tend to begin small and evolve to be bigger over time. Stearns, Stephen C. EEB 122, Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior, Spring 2009. Yale OpenCourseWare: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Accessed 18/9/14 http://oyc.yale.edu/ecology-and-evolutionary-biology/eeb-122/lecture-19 License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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