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What periods of the fossil record are most lacking in specimens?

What parts of the fossil record are most lacking in specimens? That is, if you were to trace the evolution of a modern mammal (humans, for example) from abiogenesis to now, which periods are the most ...
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How do we measure the total amount of variation in height of Earth's topography?

Could it be measured by taking the Laplacian over all tiles and then averaging it, for example? (this question can be relevant for both surface topography and ocean bathymetry). I think measuring it ...

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