are typically lacking


Senior Member
Hi Guys,
Could you please help me with the meaning of underlined part?

The punctuated equilibrium hypothesis attempts to explain a curious feature of the fossil record—one that has been familiar to paleontologist for more than a century but has usually been ignored. Many species appear to remain unchanged in the fossil record for millions of years—a situation that seems to be at odds with Darwin's model of continuous change. Intermediated fossil forms, predicted by gradualism, are typically lacking.

Does "lacking" mean either "doesn't exist" or "doesn't have the quality (to prove the Darwin's model)?

Reference: TOEFL sample
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    In this case it means "doesn't exist." The fossils are lacking from the fossil record.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    If they were lacking something, he would need to mention what it was rather than leaving us to guess.
    Intermediate fossil forms are typically lacking the quality required.
    Intermediate fossil forms are typically lacking the clear markers of the change.
    Intermediate fossil forms are typically lacking teeth.
    Intermediate fossil forms are typically lacking a university degree. ;)


    Senior Member
    Thank you Myridon.
    But I ask it because the statement was kind of similar to the example written in my Longman dictionary:
    1. not having enough of a particular quality, skill etc.:
    His performance was lacking.
    Here the quality is not mentioned, too.
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