Evolutionary patterns as indicated by panarthropods

Principal investigator:
Peter Vršanský
Investigators from institution:
Peter Barna, Róbert Oružinský
Co-operating institutions and scientists:

Dr. Peter Degma, Dr. Peter Vďačný, Dr. Matúš Kúdela, Dr. Matúš Hyžný


Arthropodsm comprising insects, spiders and crustaceans represent the most diverse group of marine and terrestrial organisms (related tardigradans are the sole organisms to persists the open space). They represent the base for virtually all ecosystems from the Paleozoic, with significant partition in the fossil record (not limited to trilobites). In addition to the unique quantity, important is the quality of preservation ofthe comprising microstructures in diverse ambers. Thus they are ideal group for analysis of evolutionary patterns, whcih substantiate the phylogenetical processes (the exact pathways are largely unexplored). Project covers the wide range of arthropods (in Slovakia we have materials from worldwide deposits including dinosaur-aged ambers – we cooperate with organisations from over 50 countries) with stress on the most abundant groups with rich fossil record. This allows comparison of diverse nalyses (molecular, morphological, paleontological) and also topologies of phylogenetic trees across the group (trichotomies, long branches, paralellisms, ghost ranges, diversification tempo). Project also covers descriptions of new fossil and living arthropods from our country. The knowledge will be disseminated also through winners of student competitions folowing previous projects for UNESCO and Ministry of Environment.