A paper by an undergraduate from the University of Bristol has been published in a prestigious scientific journal. The research, on the quality of the fossil record of whales, is by Felix Marx, a fourth-year student in the Department of Earth Sciences. The paper, titled Marine mammals through time - when less is more in studying palaeodiversity, is his first and appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Marx looked at the fossil record of whales, seals and sea cows over the past 60 million years in Europe. He unexpectedly found that changes in the animals were caused by reactions to changes in their biological or physical environments. The new findings mean that the hunt is now on to discover the environmental factors driving the evolution of marine mammals.
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