Fossil record has its place in development and advancement in sciences. Data from fossil record have helped in understanding various issues with humans and animals. The amount of information provided by available fossil record is enormous. Some of the information is undoubted fossil occurrences while some are questionable regarding the occurrence.
There are several benefits associated with the use of morphological features that are from fossil records especially those that are related to the metazoan taxa. It helps to improve our understanding of the general diversity patterns that exist among the metazoan taxa. The various diversities that have been earlier identified which include the Cambrian strata were gotten from the information from the fossil records.
However, the pros of this information are that there are unequal or uncertainties with global comparison of the Cambrian strata making the information from the fossil record less significant or conclusive. This is a global diversity resulting from different information being collected over the years.
One important reason why we could consider information from fossil record significant especially in the comparison of extinct versus extant is simply because of the newer findings which relates to the fossil molecules found to relate to the Crinoids within fossils. Considering the information provided by the identified fossil record which is over 350 million years old, there is still related information with the present crinoids hence showing importance of having a data from fossils which could help unravel various unknown information.
There is another major merits associated with the use of fossil record. This is in form of understanding and evaluating the origins of the body plans of metazoan phyla. The problem with this is that that information alone is not sufficient to help solve the riddle. There is always a need for the taxonomist to combine the fossil data, new data on molecular phylogenies and the developmental biology. These when combined together help unravel various unknown characteristics especially that which relates to the morphology and body plans. One important factor that has contributed to the importance of fossil data is that most of the animal phyla have some level of similarities which were noted in the fossil records. Evidence from fossil record played an important role helping to clearly demonstrate the origins of the metazoan morphology.
Another major pros associated with the use of morphological features from the fossil record is that such features might not be related to what is present on the animal species especially in the case of the Crinoids where there are no skeletal evidences as regards to the existence earlier. In this kind of situation, if there is any fossil record pointing towards a fossil with a possession of features that are similar to that of the Crinoids, such fossil might be taken for such organism if not properly evaluated. The reasons for this is simply because it might have been believed that certain changes might have caused the present structure that are now being seen. But as we know, it is believed that Crinoids evolved at a much later period than what is seen in most fossil data.
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Simon Berger, & Alexandros Stamatakis., Accuracy of morphology-based phylogenetic fossil placement under maximum likelihood. Technishe University. Germany. Web. 8 December, 2012.
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