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April 21, 2015; 112 (16)

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Cover image: Pictured are marine fossils from a Late Ordovician seafloor uncovered in southwestern Ohio, including a dozen species of brachiopods (large shell in lower right, 1 cm wide), crinoids, and trilobites—three groups that were mainstays of Paleozoic biota but are obscure or absent in modern seas—as well as bryozoans and ostracods. These invertebrates were likely buried during a hurricane, which struck a shallow tropical sea that covered most of North America nearly 450 million years ago, leaving behind a rich fossil record that has supported a wide range of evolutionary and ecological analyses. David Jablonski and Neil H. Shubin introduce the Future of the Fossil Record Special Feature, which describes advances in understanding the origin and evolution of life that emerge from the intersection of paleontology with diverse natural sciences disciplines. See the Introduction to the Special Feature by Jablonski and Shubin on pages 4852–4858. Image courtesy of Steven M. Holland (University of Georgia, Athens, GA).

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