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Re: Lifespan of a species

>Question from a lurker:
>What is the lifespan of a species? e.g. T. rex?
>                               S. Moore
>                               S. C. University
>                               Santa Clara, CA

The lifespan of a species such as T. rex is difficult to calculate, as is
the lifespan of an extant species.  Estimates range from 500,000 to 3
million years.  The fossil record is discontinuous and therefor such
information cannot readily be acquired from that record.  Genetically
speaking, speciation can occur very rapidly following extinction events, and
less rapidly overall between extinction events.  I don't know what species
led to T. rex, or whether any evolved after T. rex.  Hope this helps

Chip Pretzman
Dept. of Molecular GEnetics
Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics
The Ohio State University