Punctuated equilibrium states there are long periods of no change, followed by rapid periods of change. These events happen rapidly in geological time over many years and little changes occur in that time. The periods of time are broken up by periods, and then branch into speciation called cladogenesis. From here the species are split into distinct form equally. Punctuated equilibrium has three concepts: stasis, punctuation and dominate relative frequency. Stasis refers to a long period of relatively unchanged form; punctuation is radical change over a short duration; and dominant relative frequency is the rate these events occur in a particular situation. Punctuated equilibrium was developed as an alternative to phyletic gradualism, which stresses consistent, cumulative changes to species. (Eldridge and Gould, 1972)
Punctuated equilibrium attempts to answer the major issue with the fossil record. Scientist assumed that the gaps in the fossil record would eventually be filled, leaving a somewhat complete record of the transitional forms between the various species. However, the opposite happened and the gaps became even more noticeable. Most species did not change much over time, but had occasional major changes in brief periods of time.... [continues]
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