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1

Mio-Pliocene Faunal Exchanges and African Biogeography: The Record of Fossil Bovids  

PubMed Central

The development of the Ethiopian biogeographic realm since the late Miocene is here explored with the presentation and review of fossil evidence from eastern Africa. Prostrepsiceros cf. vinayaki and an unknown species of possible caprin affinity are described from the hominid-bearing Asa Koma and Kuseralee Members (?5.7 and ?5.2 Ma) of the Middle Awash, Ethiopia. The Middle Awash Prostrepsiceros cf. vinayaki constitutes the first record of this taxon from Africa, previously known from the Siwaliks and Arabia. The possible caprin joins a number of isolated records of caprin or caprin-like taxa recorded, but poorly understood, from the late Neogene of Africa. The identification of these two taxa from the Middle Awash prompts an overdue review of fossil bovids from the sub-Saharan African record that demonstrate Eurasian affinities, including the reduncin Kobus porrecticornis, and species of Tragoportax. The fossil bovid record provides evidence for greater biological continuity between Africa and Eurasia in the late Miocene and earliest Pliocene than is found later in time. In contrast, the early Pliocene (after 5 Ma) saw the loss of any significant proportions of Eurasian-related taxa, and the continental dominance of African-endemic taxa and lineages, a pattern that continues today. PMID:21358825

Bibi, Faysal

2011-01-01

2

Plant Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The International Organization of Palaeobotany (IOP) manages the Plant Fossil Record (PFR) database. The recently released version of the database, PFR2.2, offers descriptive details of most plant fossil genera and modern genera with fossil species. Based on "the scientific literature ... or museum collections," the database is organized into five sections: Genera (references for plant fossil genera published mostly before 1985), Descriptions (containing descriptive details of "the type specimens of more than 10,000 extinct plant genera"), Taxonomy (an "informal system of vascular plant classification" based on published schemes), Occurrences (distribution information and references), and Palaeo Maps.

3

Dinoflagellata: Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Information on this page pertains to dinoflagellates, the fossil record of which may extend into the Precambrian. Spherical organic-walled microfossils known as acritarchs, some of which may be dinoflagellate hystrichospheres, first appear in rocks about 1.8 billion years old. Exactly what the acritarchs were is not known with certainty; they probably included a number of clades of eukaryotic algae, and are thus a form taxon, including all those spore-like fossils which have not been conclusively assigned to another group.

4

Learning from the Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Another interesting and helpful resource from the University of California Berkeley Museum of Paleontology is the Learning from the Fossil Record Web site. Educators will find a list of over twenty fossil related classroom activities presented by different authors with titles such as Building a Topographic Model, Determining the Age Of Rocks and Fossils, Fossilization and Adaptation, the Dinosaur Body Structure, Microfossils, and other interesting subjects. The detailed descriptions include everything needed to complete the individual exercises including background information, procedures, and downloads. The unique collection should be a helpful addition to any junior high or high school science curriculum.

5

Getting Into the Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This computer activity provides a basic understanding of what a fossil is and the factors involved in becoming part of the fossil record. It is organized as an informational tour in two sections: one for middle school and one for high school. Students move at a self-selected pace by progressing and answering questions. A teacher's guide contains all necessary instructions as well as lesson plans, handouts, and assessment tools.

Jennifer Johnson

6

Evidence of Evolution I. Fossils and the fossil record  

E-print Network

radioactive elements · Generally applied to igneous & metamorphic rocks, so what about fossils & sedimentary in the rocks deposited in those Eras. #12;#12;Why is the fossil record incomplete? · fossilization - "lucky in the rock! Accurate method for determining the age of fossils and rocks - Measures the decay of certain

Dever, Jennifer A.

7

Evolution and the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

.) · Charles Darwin, 1859: The Origin of Species by Natural Selection. #12;Artificial Selection vs. Natural population growth #12;Charles Darwin in 1837, age 28, after voyage of the Beagle #12;Age 40 Age 45 #12;DarwinEvolution and the Fossil Record #12;The Study of Evolution · Two domains: the present and the past

Kammer, Thomas

8

Evolution and the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

of evolutionary change. (The other mechanism, a destructive force, is mass extinction.) · Charles Darwin, 1859;Charles Darwin in 1837, age 28, after voyage of the HMS Beagle #12;Age 40 Age 45 #12;Darwin in 1879, ageEvolution and the Fossil Record #12;The Study of Evolution · Two domains: the present and the past

Kammer, Thomas

9

Extinction and the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

1994-01-01

10

Evolution and the Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This publication of the American Geological Institute is a non-technical introduction to evolution and aims to help the general public gain a better understanding of one of the fundamental underlying concepts of modern science. Concepts covered include geologic time, change through time, Darwin's theory of evolution, evolution as a mechanism for change, the nature of species, the nature of theory, paleontology, and determination of age. Four case studies highlight examples of evolution from the fossil record to provide a perspective for understanding the evolution of life on Earth.

Dale Springer

2007-12-12

11

004144:a0001 Fossil Record: Quality  

E-print Network

004144:a0001 Fossil Record: Quality Michael J Benton, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK There are divergent opinions about the quality of the fossil record and its ability to give a useful representation phylogenies, suggests that the fossils do tell the story relatively well. 004144:s0001 Introduction 004144:p

Benton, Michael

12

Hominid Fossil Record Geology 230: Fossils and Evolution  

E-print Network

Hominid Fossil Record Geology 230: Fossils and Evolution #12;#12;Human ancestors A · Ardipithecus: oldest definite bipedal ancestor, over 4 M.Y. old · Australopithecus: the gracile, a hobbit-size human from Flores Island, Indonesia, 18,000 BP Modern human #12;Homo sapiens (Cro

Kammer, Thomas

13

Organic molecules as chemical fossils - The molecular fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The study of biochemical clues to the early earth and the origin of life is discussed. The methods used in such investigation are described, including the extraction, fractionation, and analysis of geolipids and the analysis of kerogen. The occurrence of molecular fossils in the geological record is examined, discussing proposed precursor-product relationships and the molecular assessment of deep sea sediments, ancient sediments, and crude petroleums. Alterations in the molecular record due to diagenesis and catagenesis are considered, and the use of microbial lipids as molecular fossils is discussed. The results of searches for molecular fossils in Precambrian sediments are assessed.

Eglinton, G.

1983-01-01

14

The First Fossil Record of Caecilian Amphibians  

Microsoft Academic Search

THREE groups of amphibians are living today-frogs, salamanders and caecilians. The fossil record of frogs and salamanders is relatively poor1,2, but representatives of most groups have been discovered. For the caecilians, however, no authentic fossils have been recognized, until now. We describe here a single diagnostic vertebra from the Palaeocene of Brazil.

Richard Estes; MARVALEE H. WAKE

1972-01-01

15

The Fossil Record Noel A. Heim and Dana H. Geary  

E-print Network

II.9 The Fossil Record Noel A. Heim and Dana H. Geary OUTLINE 1. Fossilization and taphonomy 2. The nature of the fossil record 3. Marine diversity in the Phanerozoic 4. The value of the fossil record The fossil record documents the history of life over the course of the past 3.5 billion years, demonstrates

Heim, Noel A.

16

Biodiversity of the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

;Articulate Brachiopods #12;Mollusca #12;Mollusca: Class Bivalvia #12;Miocene marine bivalve, Maryland #12;Phylum Mollusca: Class Gastropoda #12;Nautilus, a cephalopod (Mollusca) #12;"Thing" examines a fossil nautiloid #12;Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephaplopoda, a goniatitic ammonoid #12;Phylum Mollusca, Class

Kammer, Thomas

17

Biodiversity of the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

Inarticulate Brachiopods #12;Articulate Brachiopods #12;Mollusca #12;Mollusca: Class Bivalvia #12;Miocene marine bivalve, Maryland #12;Phylum Mollusca: Class Gastropoda #12;Nautilus, a cephalopod (Mollusca) #12;"Thing" examines a fossil nautiloid #12;Phylum Mollusca, Class Cephaplopoda, a goniatitic ammonoid #12

Kammer, Thomas

18

The fossil record of the Peronosporomycetes (Oomycota).  

PubMed

Evidence of fossil Peronosporomycetes has been slow to accumulate. In this review various fossils historically assigmed to the Peronosporomycets are dicussed briefly and an explanation is provided as to why the fossil record of this grouop has remained inconsistent. In recent year there has been several new reports of fossil peronosporomycetes based on structurally preserved oogonium-antheridium complexes from Derovonian and Carboniferous rocks that demonstrate the existence of these organisms as fossils and refute the long-standing assumption that they are too delicate to be preserved. Among these are serral tyoes characterized by oogonial surface members of the group. To date at last three groups of fossil vascular plants (i.e. lycophytes, ferns and seed ferns) are known to host peronosporomycetes aas endophytes; however only one form has been identified as a parasite. PMID:21289104

Krings, Michael; Taylor, Thomas N; Dotzler, Nora

2011-01-01

19

International Organisation of Palaeobotany: Plant Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Users are able to search an extensive database of information on the plant fossil record, including descriptions and occurrences of modern genera and fossil species. Searches can be performed in a variety of ways: by Genera, description, taxonomy, occurrences, and by palaeogeographic maps. After locating the specific plant of interest in the database, the occurrences of that plant are then displayed in a palaeogeographic map.

20

Fossil pollen records of extant angiosperms  

Microsoft Academic Search

The fossil record for angiosperm pollen types which are comparable to recent taxa is evaluated, following a similar survey\\u000a published in 1970. Special attention is paid to the dating of the sediments. Evidence for 139 families is considered to be\\u000a reliable, for others the records are cited as provisional, pending the accumulation of more evidence. Some published records\\u000a are shown

Jan Muller

1981-01-01

21

Insect diversity in the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

1993-01-01

22

Insect Diversity in the Fossil Record  

Microsoft Academic Search

Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate

Conrad C. Labandeira; J. John Sepkoski Jr.

1993-01-01

23

Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases, environmental disruption appears to have been a major factor in shaping the fossil record. This does not mean that continuing adaptation was not important during this interval, but it may indicate that adaptive evolution was strongest in environments other than those best represented in the paleobotanical record.

Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

1987-01-01

24

Fossil Record Accurately Reflects Recent Flowering of Marine Biodiversity  

NSF Publications Database

... Lane (703) 292-8550 hlane@nsf.gov Fossil Record Accurately Reflects Recent Flowering of Marine ... produced by the inconsistencies of the fossil record, says a team of paleontologists led by the ...

25

SURVEY OF SOCIAL INSECTS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD*  

E-print Network

SURVEY OF SOCIAL INSECTS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD* BY LAURIE BURNHAM Museum of Comparative Zoology the fossil record for clues not only on the antiquity of sociality, but also on the nature of these early recognized by Emerson (1955) have a fossil record extending at least as far back as the Tertiary. In 1967

Villemant, Claire

26

Spatial Bias in the Marine Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

Inference of past and present global biodiversity requires enough global data to distinguish biological pattern from sampling artifact. Pertinently, many studies have exposed correlated relationships between richness and sampling in the fossil record, and methods to circumvent these biases have been proposed. Yet, these studies often ignore paleobiogeography, which is undeniably a critical component of ancient global diversity. Alarmingly, our global analysis of 481,613 marine fossils spread throughout the Phanerozoic reveals that where localities are and how intensively they have been sampled almost completely determines empirical spatial patterns of richness, suggesting no separation of biological pattern from sampling pattern. To overcome this, we analyze diversity using occurrence records drawn from two discrete paleolatitudinal bands which cover the bulk of the fossil data. After correcting the data for sampling bias, we find that these two bands have similar patterns of richness despite markedly different spatial coverage. Our findings suggest that i) long-term diversity trends result from large-scale tectonic evolution of the planet, ii) short-term diversity trends are region-specific, and iii) paleodiversity studies must constrain their analyses to well-sampled regions to uncover patterns not driven by sampling. PMID:24204570

Vilhena, Daril A.; Smith, Andrew B.

2013-01-01

27

The quality of the fossil record Michael J. Benton  

E-print Network

Chapter 4 The quality of the fossil record Michael J. Benton ABSTRACT Ever since the days of Charles Darwin, palaeontologists have been concerned about the quality of the fossil record. New concerns are often twice as old as the oldest fossils, and (2) the discovery that much of the variation in diversity

Benton, Michael

28

RESEARCH PAPER The first fossil record of Polyrhachis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae  

E-print Network

RESEARCH PAPER The first fossil record of Polyrhachis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) from taxon represents the first occurrence of the genus in the fossil record. The origin and rise of one Á Polyrhachis Á New species Á Miocene Á Fossil ant Kurzfassung Aus dem Obermioza¨n von Kreta (Grie

Villemant, Claire

29

Molecular timescales and the fossil record: a paleontological perspective  

Microsoft Academic Search

The fossil record serves a crucial function as an external calibration for genomic clocks and molecular evolutionary timescales. Although certain portions of the vertebrate fossil record are accurate, there is always uncertainty in establishing a divergence time because the fossils can only provide evidence of the first appearance of the descendants of a split, and by definition they underestimate the

Robert R. Reisz; Johannes Mller

2004-01-01

30

Evidence of Evolution I. Fossils and the fossil record  

E-print Network

to igneous & metamorphic rocks, so what about fossils & sedimentary rocks? · "bracketing" · And organic in some regions than others Eras defined by major changes in the types of fossils found in the rocks://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/3/l_033_01.html Radiometric dating ­ the clock in the rock! Accurate method for determining

Dever, Jennifer A.

31

Neoproterozoic glaciations and the fossil record  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Sedimentary, geochronological, and ?13C chemostratigraphic data require that at least three glaciationsthe Sturtian, Marinoan, and Gaskiers in geochronological orderoccurred in the Neoproterozoic glacial interval (NGI; ca. 750-580 Ma); at least the Gaskiers glaciation has not been demonstrated global in nature. Available radiometric and ?13C chemostratigraphic data also suggest that the fossil-rich Doushantuo Formation may have been deposited after the Marinoan but before the Gaskiers glaciation, thus representing a window between two glaciations. A review of the fossil record under this geochronological framework reveals the following patterns: 1) a broad decline in stromatolites and acritarchs occurred in the Cryogenian (ca. 750-600 Ma); 2) a taxonomically unique assemblage of large acanthomorphic acritarchs occurs between the Marinoan and Gaskiers glaciations; 3) multicellular algae diversified after the Marinoan glaciation, although they evolved earlier; 4) animals, probably in microscopic forms, evolved before the Gaskiers glaciation if not earlier; and 5) post-Gaskiers diversification of complex Ediacaran organisms/animals may have begun in deep-water slope environments and later expanded to shallow-water shelf environments where macrobilaterians and biomineralized animals first appeared. It is hypothesized that 1) the Cryogenian decline in stromatolites and acritarchs may have been causally related to glaciations; and 2) acanthomorphic acritarchs, algae, and animals may have suffered diversity loss related to the Gaskiers glaciation. The fossil record also implies that 1) at least some lineages of different algal clades survived all Neoproterozoic glaciations; and 2) some members of the animal clade survived the Gaskiers glaciation, probably in non-glaciated refiigia.

Xiao, Shuhai

32

The eukaryotic fossil record in deep time  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Eukaryotic organisms are defining constituents of the Phanerozoic biosphere, but they also extend well back into the Proterozoic record, primarily in the form of microscopic body fossils. Criteria for identifying pre-Ediacaran eukaryotes include large cell size, morphologically complex cell walls and/or the recognition of diagnostically eukaryotic cell division patterns. The oldest unambiguous eukaryote currently on record is an acanthomorphic acritarch (Tappania) from the Palaeoproterozoic Semri Group of central India. Older candidate eukaryotes are difficult to distinguish from giant bacteria, prokaryotic colonies or diagenetic artefacts. In younger Meso- and Neoproterozoic strata, the challenge is to recognize particular grades and clades of eukaryotes, and to document their macro-evolutionary expression. Distinctive unicellular forms include mid-Neoproterozoic testate amoebae and phosphate biomineralizing 'scale-microfossils' comparable to an extant green alga. There is also a significant record of seaweeds, possible fungi and problematica from this interval, documenting multiple independent experiments in eukaryotic multicellularity. Taxonomically resolved forms include a bangiacean red alga and probable vaucheriacean chromalveolate algae from the late Mesoproterozoic, and populations of hydrodictyacean and siphonocladalean green algae of mid Neoproterozoic age. Despite this phylogenetic breadth, however, or arguments from molecular clocks, there is no convincing evidence for pre-Ediacaran metazoans or metaphytes. The conspicuously incomplete nature of the Proterozoic record makes it difficult to resolve larger-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. Even so, both body fossils and biomarker data point to a pre-Ediacaran biosphere dominated overwhelming by prokaryotes. Contemporaneous eukaryotes appear to be limited to conspicuously shallow water environments, and exhibit fundamentally lower levels of morphological diversity and evolutionary turnover than their Phanerozoic counterparts. I will argue here that this fundamental change of state was driven by the early Ediacaran appearance of Eumetazoa, a uniquely complex clade of heterotrophic eukaryotes that redefined how the planet worked.

Butterfield, N.

2011-12-01

33

Rates of speciation in the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Data from palaeontology and biodiversity suggest that the global biota should produce an average of three new species per year. However, the fossil record shows large variation around this mean. Rates of origination have declined through the Phanerozoic. This appears to have been largely a function of sorting among higher taxa (especially classes), which exhibit characteristic rates of speciation (and extinction) that differ among them by nearly an order of magnitude. Secular decline of origination rates is hardly constant, however; many positive deviations reflect accelerated speciation during rebounds from mass extinctions. There has also been general decline in rates of speciation within major taxa through their histories, although rates have tended to remain higher among members in tropical regions. Finally, pulses of speciation appear sometimes to be associated with climate change, although moderate oscillations of climate do not necessarily promote speciation despite forcing changes in species' geographical ranges.

Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

1998-01-01

34

First Fossil Lamprey: A Record from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois  

Microsoft Academic Search

A fossil record of lampreys has previously been unknown. A new genus demonstrates the presence of this group in the Pennsylvanian. The body outline, parts of the head skeleton, rasping tongue mechanism, gill basket, and other internal organs are preserved. The fossils are very similar in structure to modern forms. The absence of hagfish characters in the fossil supports the

David Bardack; Rainer Zangerl

1968-01-01

35

The Quaternary fossil-pollen record and global change  

SciTech Connect

Fossil pollen provide one of the most valuable records of vegetation and climate change during the recent geological past. Advantages of the fossil-pollen record are that deposits containing fossil pollen are widespread, especially in areas having natural lakes, that fossil pollen occurs in continuous stratigraphic sequences spanning millennia, and that fossil pollen occurs in quantitative assemblages permitting a multivariate approach for reconstructing past vegetation and climates. Because of stratigraphic continuity, fossil pollen records climate cycles on a wide range of scales, from annual to the 100 ka Milankovitch cycles. Receiving particular emphasis recently are decadal to century scale changes, possible from the sediments of varved lakes, and late Pleistocene events on a 5--10 ka scale possibly correlating with the Heinrich events in the North Atlantic marine record or the Dansgaard-Oeschger events in the Greenland ice-core record. Researchers have long reconstructed vegetation and climate by qualitative interpretation of the fossil-pollen record. Recently quantitative interpretation has developed with the aid of large fossil-pollen databases and sophisticated numerical models. In addition, fossil pollen are important climate proxy data for validating General Circulation Models, which are used for predicting the possible magnitude future climate change. Fossil-pollen data also contribute to an understanding of ecological issues associated with global climate change, including questions of how and how rapidly ecosystems might respond to abrupt climate change.

Grimm, E.C. (Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL (United States). Research and Collections Center)

1993-03-01

36

Fossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) as Paleothermometers in the African Tropics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Reconstruction of Africa's temperature history from natural climate archives such as lake sediments is essential to amend the current scarcity of information on natural tropical climate and ecosystem variability. Chironomids are well-established paleothermometers in north-temperate/boreal regions, but their potential in tropical lakes has never before been assessed. We surveyed sub-fossil chironomid assemblages in surface sediments from 65 lakes and permanent pools in southwestern Uganda and central/southern Kenya, spanning elevations between 489 and 4575 m asl. Using various subsets of lakes and corresponding Surface-Water Temperatures (SWTemp) and Mean Annual Air Temperatures (MATemp), we developed a series of inference models for quantitative paleotemperature reconstruction. Models using both low-, mid- and high-elevation sites suffer to some extent from the small number of samples between 2500 and 3500 m asl, and from the presence of ecologically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable taxa. Models confined to mountain sites produce poorer error statistics, but are less prone to the biogeographical and taxonomic complexities associated with long climatic gradients. Overall, error statistics compare favourably with those of inference models developed for temperate regions, indicating that fossil assemblages of African Chironomidae can be valuable indicators of past temperature change. We subsequently used these models to evaluate whether high-elevation lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains (>3000 m asl) have been impacted by climate warming in recent centuries by comparing temperatures inferred from chironomid assemblages in modern sediments with those derived from chironomid assemblages in sediments deposited within or briefly after the Little Ice Age (1270-1850 AD). Depending on the model used, between 44 and 63% of the 16 lakes studied indicate significantly warmer temperatures in recent times (corresponding with an average MATemp rise of 0.88 C, and average SWTemp rise of 1.33 C), while all but one of the other lakes show temperature changes that are statistically insignificant. We conclude that chironomid communities in Rwenzori lakes adequately record past temperature changes, with potential for evaluating the impacts of past air temperature variation on the long-term dynamics of the Rwenzori glaciers.

Eggermont, H.; Heiri, O.; Russell, J.; Vuille, M.; Audenaert, L.; Klaassen, G.; Verschuren, D.

2008-12-01

37

The earliest fossil record of the animals and its significance.  

PubMed

The fossil record of the earliest animals has been enlivened in recent years by a series of spectacular discoveries, including embryos, from the Ediacaran to the Cambrian, but many issues, not least of dating and interpretation, remain controversial. In particular, aspects of taphonomy of the earliest fossils require careful consideration before pronouncements about their affinities. Nevertheless, a reasonable case can now be made for the extension of the fossil record of at least basal animals (sponges and perhaps cnidarians) to a period of time significantly before the beginning of the Cambrian. The Cambrian explosion itself still seems to represent the arrival of the bilaterians, and many new fossils in recent years have added significant data on the origin of the three major bilaterian clades. Why animals appear so late in the fossil record is still unclear, but the recent trend to embrace rising oxygen levels as being the proximate cause remains unproven and may even involve a degree of circularity. PMID:18192192

Budd, Graham E

2008-04-27

38

Body size of insular carnivores: evidence from the fossil record  

E-print Network

SPECIAL ISSUE Body size of insular carnivores: evidence from the fossil record George A. Lyras1 carnivores on islands; (2) offer causal explanations for this pattern and deviations from it ­ as far as fossil carnivores are concerned; and (3) estimate the speed of this trend. Location Oceanic and oceanic

Binford, Michael W.

39

Mass Extinctions in the Marine Fossil Record  

Microsoft Academic Search

A new compilation of fossil data on invertebrate and vertebrate families indicates that four mass extinctions in the marine realm are statistically distinct from background extinction levels. These four occurred late in the Ordovician, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods. A fifth extinction event in the Devonian stands out from the background but is not statistically significant in these data. Background

David M. Raup; J. John Sepkoski

1982-01-01

40

Fossil Record and Age of the Asteridae  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Asteridae is a group of some 80,000 species of flowering plants characterized by their fused corollas and iridoid compounds.\\u000a Recent phylogenetic analyses have helped delimit the group and have identified four main clades within it; Cornales, Ericales,\\u000a Lamiids and Campanulids, with the last two collectively known as the Euasteridae. A search for the oldest fossils representing\\u000a asterids yielded a

Marcela Martnez-Milln

2010-01-01

41

When Pond Scum Ruled the Earth - The Proterozoic Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this laboratory exercise (2 hours), students explore the Proterozoic fossil record by examining two samples of microfossils, preserved in chert) and numerous samples of stromatolites. The laboratory exercise coincides with lecture discussions on the early history of life, and serves to illustrate the paleontological record of the Proterozoic. This exercise is the first laboratory exercise in the course that asks students to engage with and speculate upon the environmental and biological causes of the observed fossil record. The students' goal is to be able to identify some of the main environmental factors that combine to produce the diversity of stromatolite forms.

Julie Bartley

42

Excavating Your Recycling Bin as a Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity simulates how scientists study the past by using layers of rock with fossils to understand events and life. Using this lesson teaches students about the relationship of rock layers (oldest deposited on bottom). Students will describe the objects in the trash as events occurring through time, understand that the fossil record is in 3-D, and learn that collecting accurate data is critical.

43

How Good is the Fossil Record?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Suggests that earth scientists become active in the creationist debate by making sure that the religious concept creationism is not taught in schools and that well-based, informative material about organic evolution, earth's age, and nature of stratigraphic record are employed by science teachers. (Author/JN)

Boucot, A. J.

1983-01-01

44

Absolute measures of the completeness of the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Measuring the completeness of the fossil record is essential to understanding evolution over long timescales, particularly when comparing evolutionary patterns among biological groups with different preservational properties. Completeness measures have been presented for various groups based on gaps in the stratigraphic ranges of fossil taxa and on hypothetical lineages implied by estimated evolutionary trees. Here we present and compare quantitative, widely applicable absolute measures of completeness at two taxonomic levels for a broader sample of higher taxa of marine animals than has previously been available. We provide an estimate of the probability of genus preservation per stratigraphic interval, and determine the proportion of living families with some fossil record. The two completeness measures use very different data and calculations. The probability of genus preservation depends almost entirely on the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic records, whereas the proportion of living families with a fossil record is influenced largely by Cenozoic data. These measurements are nonetheless highly correlated, with outliers quite explicable, and we find that completeness is rather high for many animal groups.

Foote, M.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

1999-01-01

45

Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Topic in Depth begins with a Web site from the Royal Ontario Museum called Fossils!-Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1). It gives a light-hearted but informative introduction to what fossils are and how they're formed, collected, and identified. Next, the University of California Museum of Paleontology offers the Web site Learning From the Fossil Record (2), which contains several learning resources and lesson plans. Topics covered include Determining Age of Rocks and Fossils, Fossilization and Adaptation: Activities in Paleontology, and Microfossils. The third site is a US Geological Survey publication entitled Fossils, Rocks, and Time (3). Visitors can learn about succession, geologic time, and other relevant facts about how fossils are studied. The University of Arizona Department of Geosciences maintains the next site, which is entitled Petrified Wood (4). It provides information on Petrified Forest National Park, an interactive look at the process of petrification, and more. Offered by the Museum Victoria, the fifth site, Dating Rocks and Fossils (5), explains the difference between relative and absolute (radiometric) dating. It also includes a chart that gives the various isotopes used, their half-life, daughter isotope, and geologic application. The next site, provided by the BBC and their Walking With Dinosaurs series, is called Fossil Detectives (6). The site describes why dinosaur fossils are so rare, where the best place to find them is, how their age is estimated, and other interesting information that can be found on this page and the rest of the site. Next, from the Florida Museum of Natural History comes the Fossil Preparation and Conservation (7) Web site. A more in-depth and technical description of fossil preparation is presented, including the use of cosolidants, adhesives, and various tools. The last site is from the University of Kentucky Paleontological Society called Photographs of Fossils Found on KPS Fieldtrips (8). As you would expect, the site contains a large categorized list of fossils, each briefly described and linked to its respective photograph.

2002-01-01

46

The cambrian fossil record and the origin of the phyla.  

PubMed

Whilst the "Cambrian Explosion" continues to attract much attention from a wide range of earth and life scientists, the detailed patterns exhibited by the terminal Proterozoic-Early Cambrian biotas remain unclear, for reasons of systematics, biostratigraphy and biogeography. In particular, recent changes in absolute dating of the Cambrian have refined the period of time that the fossil record might be of most help in revealing the dynamics of the undoubted radiation taking place at this time. The famous exceptionally preserved faunas seem to be rather close temporally, and as yet reveal little about the earliest and critical period of evolution, deep in the Cambrian. Nevertheless, the most parsimonious interpretation of the Cambrian fossil record is that it represents a broadly accurate temporal picture of the origins of the bilaterian phyla. PMID:21680420

Budd, Graham E

2003-02-01

47

The Fossil Record of Vent and Seep Mollusks  

Microsoft Academic Search

\\u000a Mollusks have by far the most extensive and best-investigated fossil record of all organism groups inhabiting hydrothermal\\u000a vents and hydrocarbon seeps. More than 250 bivalve, gastropod, and polyplacophoran species have been reported from ancient\\u000a vents and seeps, nearly 200 of them from the Cenozoic alone. Members of at least five bivalve families live in symbiosis with\\u000a sulfur- or methane-oxidizing bacteria,

Steffen Kiel

48

Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

Awramik, Stanley M.

1989-01-01

49

An overview of the dinosaur fossil record from Chile  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In Chile, the record of dinosaurs in Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments is often restricted to footprints, with few skeletal remains. Tetanuran theropods are known in the Upper Jurassic, and bones of titanosaur sauropods in the Late Cretaceous, including partial skeletons (e.g. Atacamatitan chilensis Kellner et al.). Also from the late Cretaceous, an ornithopod vertebra, a pair of theropod teeth and one tarsometatarsus of a gaviiform bird (Neogaeornis wetzeli Lambrecht) have been reported. The Cenozoic fossil record comprises abundant and well-preserved marine birds from Eocene and Miocene units, with a specially abundant record of Sphenisciformes and less frequently, Procellariiformes. There is an excellent Miocene-Pliocene record of other birds such as Odontopterygiformes, including the most complete skeleton ever found of a pelagornithid, Pelagornis chilensis Mayr and Rubilar-Rogers. Fossil birds are also known from Pliocene and Pleistocene strata. A remarkable collection of birds was discovered in lacustrine sediments of late Pleistocene age associated to human activity. The perspectives in the study of dinosaurs in Chile are promising because plenty of material stored in institutional collections is not described yet. The record of Chilean dinosaurs is relevant for understanding the dynamics and evolution of this group of terrestrial animals in the western edge of Gondwana, while Cenozoic birds from the Region may contribute to the understanding of current biogeography for instance, the effect of the emergence and establishment of the Humboldt Current.

Rubilar-Rogers, David; Otero, Rodrigo A.; Yury-Yez, Roberto E.; Vargas, Alexander O.; Gutstein, Carolina S.

2012-08-01

50

The fossil record of early tetrapods: Worker effort and the end-Permian mass extinction  

E-print Network

The fossil record of early tetrapods: Worker effort and the end-Permian mass extinction EMMA L.E., and Benton, M.J. 2010. The fossil record of early tetrapods: Worker effort and the end-Permian mass of the fossil record of early tetrapods (Tetrapoda, minus Lissamphibia and Amniota) because of their key role

Benton, Michael

51

Testing the fossil record: Sampling proxies and scaling in the British TriassicJurassic  

E-print Network

Testing the fossil record: Sampling proxies and scaling in the British Triassic­Jurassic Alexander March 2014 Available online 30 March 2014 Keywords: Palaeodiversity Fossil record Sampling Proxy Triassic Jurassic The quality of the fossil record varies immensely across taxa, geographic regions

Benton, Michael

52

Disentangling rock record bias and common-cause from redundancy in the British fossil record  

PubMed Central

The fossil record documents the history of life, but the reliability of that record has often been questioned. Spatiotemporal variability in sedimentary rock volume, sampling and research effort especially frustrates global-scale diversity reconstructions. Various proposals have been made to rectify palaeodiversity estimates using proxy measures for the availability and sampling of the rock record, but the validity of these approaches remains controversial. Targeting the rich fossil record of Great Britain as a highly detailed regional exemplar, our statistical analysis shows that marine outcrop area contains a signal useful for predicting changes in diversity, collections and formations, whereas terrestrial outcrop area contains a signal useful for predicting formations. In contrast, collection and formation counts are information redundant with fossil richness, characterized by symmetric, bidirectional information flow. If this is true, the widespread use of collection and formation counts as sampling proxies to correct the raw palaeodiversity data may be unwarranted. PMID:25187994

Dunhill, Alexander M.; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Benton, Michael J.

2014-01-01

53

The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades  

PubMed Central

This paper begins by reviewing the fossil evidence for human evolution. It presents summaries of each of the taxa recognized in a relatively speciose hominin taxonomy. These taxa are grouped in grades, namely possible and probable hominins, archaic hominins, megadont archaic hominins, transitional hominins, pre-modern Homo and anatomically modern Homo. The second part of this contribution considers some of the controversies that surround hominin taxonomy and systematics. The first is the vexed question of how you tell an early hominin from an early panin, or from taxa belonging to an extinct clade closely related to the Pan-Homo clade. Secondly, we consider how many species should be recognized within the hominin fossil record, and review the philosophies and methods used to identify taxa within the hominin fossil record. Thirdly, we examine how relationships within the hominin clade are investigated, including descriptions of the methods used to break down an integrated structure into tractable analytical units, and then how cladograms are generated and compared. We then review the internal structure of the hominin clade, including the problem of how many subclades should be recognized within the hominin clade, and we examine the reliability of hominin cladistic hypotheses. The last part of the paper reviews the concepts of a genus, including the criteria that should be used for recognizing genera within the hominin clade. PMID:18380861

Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

2008-01-01

54

At the Origin of Animals: The Revolutionary Cambrian Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

The certain fossil record of animals begins around 540 million years ago, close to the base of the Cambrian Period. A series of extraordinary discoveries starting over 100 years ago with Walcotts discovery of the Burgess Shale has accelerated in the last thirty years or so with the description of exceptionally-preserved Cambrian fossils from around the world. Such deposits of Burgess Shale Type have been recently complemented by other types of exceptional preservation. Together with a remarkable growth in knowledge about the environments that these early animals lived in, these discoveries have long exerted a fascination and strong influence on views on the origins of animals, and indeed, the nature of evolution itself. Attention is now shifting to the period of time just before animals become common, at the base of the Cambrian and in the preceding Ediacaran Period. Remarkable though the Burgess Shale deposits have been, a substantial gap still exists in our knowledge of the earliest animals. Nevertheless, the fossils from this most remarkable period of evolutionary history continue to exert a strong influence on many aspects of animal evolution, not least recent theories about developmental evolution. PMID:24396267

Budd, Graham E

2013-01-01

55

At the origin of animals: the revolutionary cambrian fossil record.  

PubMed

The certain fossil record of animals begins around 540 million years ago, close to the base of the Cambrian Period. A series of extraordinary discoveries starting over 100 years ago with Walcott's discovery of the Burgess Shale has accelerated in the last thirty years or so with the description of exceptionally-preserved Cambrian fossils from around the world. Such deposits of "Burgess Shale Type" have been recently complemented by other types of exceptional preservation. Together with a remarkable growth in knowledge about the environments that these early animals lived in, these discoveries have long exerted a fascination and strong influence on views on the origins of animals, and indeed, the nature of evolution itself. Attention is now shifting to the period of time just before animals become common, at the base of the Cambrian and in the preceding Ediacaran Period. Remarkable though the Burgess Shale deposits have been, a substantial gap still exists in our knowledge of the earliest animals. Nevertheless, the fossils from this most remarkable period of evolutionary history continue to exert a strong influence on many aspects of animal evolution, not least recent theories about developmental evolution. PMID:24396267

Budd, Graham E

2013-09-01

56

Integration of Bayesian molecular clock methods and fossil-based soft bounds reveals early Cenozoic origin of African lacertid lizards  

PubMed Central

Background Although current molecular clock methods offer greater flexibility in modelling evolutionary events, calibration of the clock with dates from the fossil record is still problematic for many groups. Here we implement several new approaches in molecular dating to estimate the evolutionary ages of Lacertidae, an Old World family of lizards with a poor fossil record and uncertain phylogeny. Four different models of rate variation are tested in a new program for Bayesian phylogenetic analysis called TreeTime, based on a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. We incorporate paleontological uncertainty into divergence estimates by expressing multiple calibration dates as a range of probabilistic distributions. We also test the reliability of our proposed calibrations by exploring effects of individual priors on posterior estimates. Results According to the most reliable model, as indicated by Bayes factor comparison, modern lacertids arose shortly after the K/T transition and entered Africa about 45 million years ago, with the majority of their African radiation occurring in the Eocene and Oligocene. Our findings indicate much earlier origins for these clades than previously reported, and we discuss our results in light of paleogeographic trends during the Cenozoic. Conclusion This study represents the first attempt to estimate evolutionary ages of a specific group of reptiles exhibiting uncertain phylogenetic relationships, molecular rate variation and a poor fossil record. Our results emphasize the sensitivity of molecular divergence dates to fossil calibrations, and support the use of combined molecular data sets and multiple, well-spaced dates from the fossil record as minimum node constraints. The bioinformatics program used here, TreeTime, is publicly available, and we recommend its use for molecular dating of taxa faced with similar challenges. PMID:19570207

Hipsley, Christy A; Himmelmann, Lin; Metzler, Dirk; Mller, Johannes

2009-01-01

57

Testing the marine and continental fossil records: Comment and Reply Stephen K. Donovan*  

E-print Network

Testing the marine and continental fossil records: Comment and Reply COMMENT Stephen K. Donovan, D.C. 20560 Benton and Simms (1995) have presented a fascinating com- parative analysis of the fossil (1995, p. 603) that ``the surprisingly good quality of the continental vertebrate fossil record may

Benton, Michael

58

Patterns of generic extinction in the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Analysis of the stratigraphic records of 19,897 fossil genera indicates that most classes and orders show largely congruent rises and falls in extinction intensity throughout the Phanerozoic. Even an ecologically homogeneous sample of reef genera shows the same basic extinction profile. The most likely explanation for the congruence is that extinction is physically rather than biologically driven and that it is dominated by the effects of geographically widespread environmental perturbations influencing most habitats. Significant departures from the congruence are uncommon but important because they indicate physiological or habitat selectivity. The similarity of the extinction records of reef organisms and the marine biota as a whole confirms that reefs and other faunas are responding to the same history of environmental stress.

Raup, D. M.; Boyajian, G. E.

1988-01-01

59

The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Understanding of the evolution of complex life, and of the roles that changing terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments played in life's history, is dependent upon synthetic knowledge of the fossil record. Paleontologists have been describing fossils for more that two centuries. However, much of this information is dispersed in monographs and journal articles published throughout the world. Over the past several years, this literature was surveyed, and a data base on times of origination and extinction of fossil genera was compiled. The data base, which now holds approximately 32,000 genera, covers all taxonomic groups of marine animals, incorporates the most recent taxonomic assignments, and uses a detailed global time framework that can resolve originations and extinctions to intervals averaging three million years in duration. These data can be used to compile patterns of global biodiversity, measure rates of taxic evolution, and test hypotheses concerning adaptive radiations, mass extinctions, etc. Thus far, considerable effort was devoted to using the data to test the hypothesis of periodicity of mass extinction. Rates of extinction measured from the data base have also been used to calibrate models of evolutionary radiations in marine environments. It was observed that new groups, or clades of animals (i.e., orders and classes) tend to reach appreciable diversity first in nearshore environments and then to radiate in more offshore environments; during decline, these clades may disappear from the nearshore while persisting in offshore, deep water habitats. These observations have led to suggestions that there is something special about stressful or perturbed environments that promotes the evolution of novel kinds of animals that can rapidly replace their predecessors. The numerical model that is being investigated to study this phenomenon treats environments along onshore-offshore gradients as if they were discrete habitats. Other aspects of this investigation are presented.

Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

1991-01-01

60

Fossil records of cosmic reionization in galactic stellar halos  

E-print Network

Galactic stellar halos have long been considered to contain fossil information on early dynamical and chemical evolution of galaxies. We propose that the surface brightness distributions of old stellar halos contain the influence of reionization on early formation histories of galaxies. By assuming that reionization significantly suppresses star formation in small subgalactic clumps virialized after reionization redshift ($z_{\\rm reion}$), we first numerically investigate how structural and kinematical properties of stellar halos formed from merging of these subgalactic clumps depend on $z_{\\rm reion}$. We then discuss what observable properties of galactic stellar halos offer us the fossil records of reionization influence on hierarchical formation of halos based on the current results of numerical simulations. We particularly suggest that both the half-light radius of stellar halos and the slope of their surface brightness profile contain useful information on when star formation in subgalactic clumps were significantly influenced by reionization. By using the simulated surface brightness distributions of galactic stellar halos for models with different $z_{\\rm reion}$, we also discuss how wide-field imaging studies of extragalactic halos will help us to elucidate the epoch of cosmic reionization.

Kenji Bekki; Masashi Chiba

2005-05-27

61

The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Synoptic studies of the fossil record of complex life on Earth indicate increasingly that extinction, and especially mass extinction, were extremely important driving forces in the history of life. Analysis of a new compilation of geologic ranges for 25,000 genera of marine animals suggests that extinction events were much more frequent in occurrence and variable in magnitude than previously suspected. At least 30 well documented and potential mass extinctions were identified in the dataset. The most recent event, distributed over 260 to 0 ma. exhibit a stationary periodicity of 26.1 + or - 1 ma, implicating a cosmological forcing mechanism. Earlier events, especially in the 575 to 450 ma interval, are more frequent, possibly indicating either a breakdown of periodicity in the more distant past; and as yet undemonstrated diminution of the period length; or frequent aperiodic terrestrial perturbations of a less stable biota superimposed upon the cosmological periodicity.

Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

1986-01-01

62

Evolutionary speed limits inferred from the fossil record.  

PubMed

The dynamics of extinction and diversification determine the long-term effects of extinction episodes. If rapid bursts of extinction are offset by equally rapid bursts of diversification, their biodiversity consequences will be transient. But if diversification rates cannot accelerate rapidly enough, pulses of extinction will lead to long-lasting depletion of biodiversity. Here I use spectral analysis of the fossil record to test whether diversification rates can accelerate as much as extinction rates, over both short and long spans of geological time. I show that although the long-wavelength variability of diversification rates equals or exceeds that of extinctions, diversification rates are markedly less variable than extinction rates at wavelengths shorter than roughly 25 million years. This implies that there are intrinsic speed limits that constrain how rapidly diversification rates can accelerate in response to pulses of extinction. PMID:11780116

Kirchner, James W

2002-01-01

63

Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period  

E-print Network

LETTERS Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period Gordon D and isotopic geochemistry marked by unusual abundances of methylalkanes, steroids and triterpenoids derived

Grotzinger, John P.

64

LET US PREY: SIMULATIONS OF GRAZING TRACES IN THE FOSSIL RECORD  

E-print Network

LET US PREY: SIMULATIONS OF GRAZING TRACES IN THE FOSSIL RECORD Roy E. Plotnick and Karen Koy, IL, 60607 Tel. +1 312-996-2111, E-mail: plotnick@uic.edu, kkoy@uic.edu Abstract Trace fossils basic behavior. Changes in the occurrence of trace fossil types over time, in particular during

Plotnick, Roy E.

65

Applicability and resolving power of statistical tests for simultaneous extinction events in the fossil record  

Microsoft Academic Search

The recognition that past catastrophic events may have caused the simultaneous extinc- tion of many taxa has prompted the development of statistical tests to determine the compatibility of the fossil record with such scenarios. Statistical tests necessitate simplifying assumptions, the most significant of which are continuous (as opposed to discrete) data in the sampling of the fossil record and random

Jonathan L. Payne

2003-01-01

66

NGST: Exploring the Fossil Record of Galaxy Formation  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

During this grant period the investigator has accomplished the following: developed and researched the science case for high resolution optical imaging with NGST (Next Generation Space Telescope); presented to the ASWG (Ad-Hoc Science Working Group) on the use of NGST to image and measure the proper motions of white dwarf stars that could account for the MACHO events toward the LMC (Large Magellanic Cloud); wrote proposals for the Design Reference Mission. Three proposals have been written on the following topics: Measuring the faint end of the white dwarf luminosity function to get an independent measure of the age of the oldest stars, measurement of the stellar luminosity function over the full range of age, abundance, and population type, and deep imaging of Local Group halos to measure the relative ages of the oldest stars in the Milky Way and other galaxies; he has introduced simulations of crowded field stellar photometry on a hypothetical population in the M31 halo. Using a physically correct luminosity function and a surface brightness of 24.5 mag/sq. arcsec, NGST imaging in 10 hours easily measures the turnoff and reaches 3 mags down the main sequence in the halo of M31; and has delivered talks at the NGST workshop in Liege, and at the meeting in Paris entitled "Connecting the Distant Universe with the Local Fossil Record".

Rich, R. Michael

1998-01-01

67

Micritic Peloids: Fossil Record of Biofilms Associated With Methane Seeps  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Biofilms of archaea and bacteria are found where reduced hydrocarbons seep upward to the seafloor. The process of oxidizing the methane coupled with the reduction of seawater sulfate increases the alkalinity in the localized area and promotes the precipitation of carbonate minerals. The biofilms and carbonate deposits are ubiquitous in the modern oceans and the geologic record of hydrocarbon seeps goes back well into the Paleozoic. However, the paleontologic record of the microbes responsible for the production of the carbonates is poorly constrained. The few examples comprise casts and molds of filaments and cocci, framboidal pyrite of assumed biological affinity, organic biomarkers (lipids, hopanoids), and microbialite. Volumetrically, these fossils are insignificant compared with the total bulk of seep carbonate. Research into Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep carbonates from California, Oregon, Colorado, and South Dakota has yielded a new recognition for ancient biofilms. Micritethe most common lithotype of seeps globallyexists as both peloids and groundmass. Common peloids of micrite average 0.5 mm in diameter (range from 0.1 to 0.7 mm), incorporate some siliciclastic material, and have distinct margins. Opaque minerals, likely sulfides, occur throughout the peloids. The matrix surrounding the peloids is a similar micrite, though in some samples, the peloids are surrounded by cement. Diagenesis leads to blurring of the peloid margins until a homogenous micrite groundmass with scattered sulfide and siliciclastic grains results. Use of a white card helps to outline original peloids. Increased levels of diagenesis can lead to crystal coarsening and obliterate original textures. These peloids are likely fecal pellets. A second population of peloids occur that are smaller (0.05 to 0.10 mm), darker in color, and with more diffuse boundaries. There are generally no siliciclastic grains intermixed with these peloids. These peloids occur in millimeter-scale clusters and are cemented by calcite, indicating an original open porosity. The distinct pelsparite is often retained through diagenesis either as peloids or as diffuse dark micrite and is typically found at the margins of primary fabrics, where secondary crystal fans or botryoids nucleate. Where multiple generations of cement formed, the peloid area is distorted and forms a dark mantle between cements. These smaller peloids are thought to record degraded fragments of biofilms. ?13C isotopic analysis shows a depleted ratio, but indistinguishable from other primary fabrics. By differentiating micrite of fecal pellet origin from biofilm degredation, it will be feasible to quantify the amount of carbonate produced by each pathway, even with moderate diagenesis.

Shapiro, R. S.

2006-12-01

68

Inferring Plio-Pleistocene southern African biochronology from facial affinities in Parapapio and other fossil papionins.  

PubMed

Buried in the same South African cave deposits as Australopithecus, fossil papionins have been referred to Parapapio (Pp. whitei, Pp. broomi, Pp. jonesi, Pp. antiquus), Papio (P. izodi, P. angusticeps, P. h. robinsoni), Theropithecus (e.g., T. darti), Gorgopithecus, or Dinopithecus on the basis of postcanine tooth size and descriptive morphology of the muzzle. The morphological patterns of variation that these papionins demonstrate can help to place the Australopithecus fossils into a biochronological context and provide valuable information for reconstructing regional Plio-Pleistocene turnover. To document these patterns of variation across fossil-bearing sites, we explore morphometric affinities within Parapapio, and between Parapapio and other Plio-Pleistocene taxa (Dinopithecus ingens, Papio angusticeps, Papio izodi, and Theropithecus darti) by analyzing a sample of interlandmark distances derived from 3-D coordinate data of the most complete fossil papionin specimens available. Bivariate and multivariate analyses show that Pp. whitei exhibits as much variation between sites and between individuals as Pp. broomi and Pp. whitei combined. Diversity in Parapapio at Makapansgat and Sterkfontein may suggest substantial time depth to the caves. Theropithecus darti, Dinopithecus ingens, Papio angusticeps, Pp. whitei from Bolt's Farm (BF 43), and Pp. jonesi from Sterkfontein (STS 565) differ considerably from one another. Other Parapapio specimens across sites form a separate cluster with P. izodi from Taung, suggesting a Pliocene age for this site. PMID:17078038

Williams, F L; Ackermann, R R; Leigh, S R

2007-02-01

69

'Citizen science' recording of fossils by adapting existing computer-based biodiversity recording tools  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Biodiversity recording activities have been greatly enhanced by the emergence of online schemes and smartphone applications for recording and sharing data about a wide variety of flora and fauna. As a palaeobiologist, one of the areas of research I have been heavily involved in is the question of whether the amount of rock available to sample acts as a bias on our estimates of biodiversity through time. Although great progress has been made on this question over the past ten years by a number of researchers, I still think palaeontology has not followed the lead offered by the 'citizen science' revolution in studies of extant biodiversity. By constructing clearly structured surveys with online data collection support, it should be possible to collect field data on the occurrence of fossils at the scale of individual exposures, which are needed to test competing hypotheses about these effects at relatively small spatial scales. Such data collection would be hard to justify for universities and museums with limited personnel but a co-ordinated citizen science programme would be capable of delivering such a programme. Data collection could be based on the MacKinnon's Lists method, used in rapid conservation assessment work. It relies on observers collecting lists of a fixed length (e.g. 10 species long) but what is important is that it focuses on getting observers to ignore sightings of the same species until that list is complete. This overcomes the problem of 'common taxa being commonly recorded' and encourages observers to seek out and identify the rarer taxa. This gives a targeted but finite task. Rather than removing fossils, participants would be encouraged to take photographs to share via a recording website. The success of iSpot, which allows users to upload photos of plants and animals for other users to help with identifications, offers a model for overcoming the problems of identifying fossils, which can often look nothing like the examples illustrated in guidebooks. The requirements for a web platform could be met by the use of the freely-available Indicia software developed by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology for biodiversity recording. However, some trials with the software have found it would be suitable for recording fossil occurrences as well. The software allows users to plot collections on maps, upload and share photographs and make identifications of material. Within the UK, the British Geological Survey has made geological map data available via the iGeology smartphone app and the Geology of Britain website. Thus it is now possible for people with access to smartphones or the internet to know which geological units they are sampling from, which would previously have been difficult without access to paper copies of geological maps. Such a programme could make a significant contribution towards reviving palaeontology and geology as field-based natural history and create wider interest in basic geological and taxonomic skills and form the basis for work on geodiversity recording and exploring links between geodiversity and biodiversity.

McGowan, Alistair

2014-05-01

70

Cladistic analysis of extant and fossil African papionins using craniodental data.  

PubMed

This study examines African papionin phylogenetic history through a comprehensive cladistic analysis of extant and fossil craniodental morphology using both quantitative and qualitative characters. To account for the well-documented influence of allometry on the papionin skull, the general allometric coding method was applied to characters determined to be significantly affected by allometry. Results of the analyses suggest that Parapapio, Pliopapio, and Papio izodi are stem African papionin taxa. Crown Plio-Pleistocene African papionin taxa include Gorgopithecus, Lophocebus cf. albigena, Procercocebus, Soromandrillus (new genus defined herein) quadratirostris, and, most likely, Dinopithecus. Furthermore, S.quadratirostris is a member of a clade also containing Mandrillus, Cercocebus, and Procercocebus; ?Theropithecus baringensis is strongly supported as a primitive member of the genus Theropithecus; Gorgopithecus is closely related to Papio and Lophocebus; and Theropithecus is possibly the most primitive crown African papionin taxon. Finally, character transformation analyses identify a series of morphological transformations during the course of papionin evolution. The origin of crown African papionins is diagnosed, at least in part, by the appearance of definitive and well-developed male maxillary ridges and maxillary fossae. Among crown African papionins, Papio, Lophocebus, and Gorgopithecus are further united by the most extensive development of the maxillary fossae. The Soromandrillus/Mandrillus/Cercocebus/Procercocebus clade is diagnosed by upturned nuchal crests (especially in males), widely divergent temporal lines (especially in males), medially oriented maxillary ridges in males, medially oriented inferior petrous processes, and a tendency to enlarge the premolars as an adaptation for hard-object food processing. The adaptive origins of the genus Theropithecus appear associated with a diet requiring an increase in size of the temporalis, the optimal placement of occlusal forces onto the molar battery, and an increase in the life of the posterior dentition. This shift is associated with the evolution of distinctive morphological features such as the anterior union of the temporal lines, increased enamel infoldings on the premolars and molars, a reversed curve of Spee, and delayed molar eruption. PMID:23490264

Gilbert, Christopher C

2013-05-01

71

A new species of Stigmatomyces from Baltic amber, the first fossil record of Laboulbeniomycetes.  

PubMed

A fossil ascomycete was found attached to the thorax of a stalk eyed fly (Diopsidae: Prosphyracephala succini) in a fragment of Baltic amber. The fungus is assigned to the extant genus Stigmatomyces and described as S. succini sp. nov. This find is the first fossil record of the order Laboulbeniales. At the same time it constitutes the oldest record of a parasitic fungus on an insect. The palaeohabitat is discussed with regard to the find. PMID:15912943

Rossi, Walter; Kotrba, Marion; Triebel, Dagmar

2005-03-01

72

New Palaeogene horntail wasps (Hymenoptera, Siricidae) and a discussion of their fossil record.  

PubMed

The phylogenetic placement of siricid hymenopterans and especially the relationships among Siricidae are not resolved, and are in need of further investigation. The fossil record helps to illuminate the evolutionary history of this group. In this paper, Xoanon? eocenicus sp. nov. is newly described from the Eocene Fossillagersttte Grube Messel (Germany). Although several characters of the wing venation of this fossil are similar to the extant genus Xoanon, there remain some doubts concerning the generic placement. A newly found fossil is attributed to Urocerus ligniticus (Piton, 1940) from the Paloecene Fossillagersttte Menat (France) and provides more morphological information on this species. An overview of the fossil record of Siricidae in the strict sense is given and the state of knowledge on the different fossils is reviewed. PMID:25283896

Wedmann, Sonja; Pouillon, Jean-Marc; Nel, Andr

2014-01-01

73

Evolutionary Transitions in the Fossil Record of Terrestrial Hoofed Mammals  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the past few decades, many new discoveries have provided numerous transitional fossils that show the evolution of hoofed\\u000a mammals from their primitive ancestors. We can now document the origin of the odd-toed perissodactyls, their early evolution\\u000a when horses, brontotheres, rhinoceroses, and tapirs can barely be distinguished, and the subsequent evolution and radiation\\u000a of these groups into distinctive lineages with

Donald R. Prothero

2009-01-01

74

Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Paleontologists seldom have the good fortune to find a complete set of remains of an ancient organism that is wholly intact. For instance, the discovery of a frozen woolly mammoth carcass, preserved hair and all, was a truly rare event. More common are discoveries of incomplete remains, such as bones, teeth, or hair, and trace fossils, such as footprints or leaf impressions, which indicate an organism once existed even though its actual remains have not been found. This slide presentation reveals the variety of forms that fossils take, as well as examples of the kinds of life whose remains have been preserved. A background essay and discussion questions are included.

75

Evolutionary diversification of reef corals: a comparison of the molecular and fossil records.  

PubMed

Understanding historical patterns of diversity dynamics is of paramount importance for many evolutionary questions. The fossil record has long been the only source of information on patterns of diversification, but the molecular record, derived from time-calibrated phylogenies, is becoming an important additional resource. Both fossil and molecular approaches have shortcomings and biases. These have been well studied for fossil data but much less so for molecular data and empirical comparisons between approaches are lacking. Here, we compare the patterns of diversification derived from fossil and molecular data in scleractinian reef coral species. We also assess the robustness of molecular diversification rates to poor taxon sampling. We find that the temporal pattern of molecular diversification rates is robust to incomplete sampling when rates are calculated per interval. The major obstacle of molecular methods is that rate estimates are distorted because diversification rates can never be negative, whereas the fossil record suffers from incomplete preservation and inconsistent taxonomy. Nevertheless, the molecular pattern of diversification is comparable to the pattern we observe in the fossil record, with the timing of major diversification pulses coinciding in each dataset. For example, both agree that the end-Triassic coral extinction was a catastrophic bottleneck in scleractinian evolution. PMID:22023591

Simpson, Carl; Kiessling, Wolfgang; Mewis, Heike; Baron-Szabo, Rosemarie C; Mller, Johannes

2011-11-01

76

Contemporaneous Trace and Body Fossils from a Late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, Allow Assessment of Bias in the Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

The co-occurrence of vertebrate trace and body fossils within a single geological formation is rare and the probability of these parallel records being contemporaneous (i.e. on or near the same bedding plane) is extremely low. We report here a late Pleistocene locality from the Victorian Volcanic Plains in south-eastern Australia in which demonstrably contemporaneous, but independently accumulated vertebrate trace and body fossils occur. Bite marks from a variety of taxa are also present on the bones. This site provides a unique opportunity to examine the biases of these divergent fossil records (skeletal, footprints and bite marks) that sampled a single fauna. The skeletal record produced the most complete fauna, with the footprint record indicating a markedly different faunal composition with less diversity and the feeding traces suggesting the presence, amongst others, of a predator not represented by either the skeletal or footprint records. We found that the large extinct marsupial predator Thylacoleo was the only taxon apparently represented by all three records, suggesting that the behavioral characteristics of large carnivores may increase the likelihood of their presence being detected within a fossil fauna. In contrast, Diprotodon (the largest-ever marsupial) was represented only by trace fossils at this site and was absent from the site's skeletal record, despite its being a common and easily detected presence in late Pleistocene skeletal fossil faunas elsewhere in Australia. Small mammals absent from the footprint record for the site were represented by skeletal fossils and bite marks on bones. PMID:23301008

Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul

2013-01-01

77

Crustaceans from bitumen clast in Carboniferous glacial diamictite extend fossil record of copepods.  

PubMed

Copepod crustaceans are extremely abundant but, because of their small size and fragility, they fossilize poorly. Their fossil record consists of one Cretaceous (c. 115?Ma) parasite and a few Miocene (c. 14?Ma) fossils. In this paper, we describe abundant crustacean fragments, including copepods, from a single bitumen clast in a glacial diamictite of late Carboniferous age (c. 303?Ma) from eastern Oman. Geochemistry identifies the source of the bitumen as an oilfield some 100-300?km to the southwest, which is consistent with an ice flow direction from glacial striae. The bitumen likely originated as an oil seep into a subglacial lake. This find extends the fossil record of copepods by some 188?Ma, and of free-living forms by 289?Ma. The copepods include evidence of the extant family Canthocamptidae, believed to have colonized fresh water in Pangaea during Carboniferous times. PMID:20975721

Selden, Paul A; Huys, Rony; Stephenson, Michael H; Heward, Alan P; Taylor, Paul N

2010-01-01

78

Discriminating signal from noise in the fossil record of early vertebrates reveals cryptic evolutionary history  

PubMed Central

The fossil record of early vertebrates has been influential in elucidating the evolutionary assembly of the gnathostome bodyplan. Understanding of the timing and tempo of vertebrate innovations remains, however, mired in a literal reading of the fossil record. Early jawless vertebrates (ostracoderms) exhibit restriction to shallow-water environments. The distribution of their stratigraphic occurrences therefore reflects not only flux in diversity, but also secular variation in facies representation of the rock record. Using stratigraphic, phylogenetic and palaeoenvironmental data, we assessed the veracity of the fossil records of the jawless relatives of jawed vertebrates (Osteostraci, Galeaspida, Thelodonti, Heterostraci). Non-random models of fossil recovery potential using Palaeozoic sea-level changes were used to calculate confidence intervals of clade origins. These intervals extend the timescale for possible origins into the Upper Ordovician; these estimates ameliorate the long ghost lineages inferred for Osteostraci, Galeaspida and Heterostraci, given their known stratigraphic occurrences and stemgnathostome phylogeny. Diversity changes through the Silurian and Devonian were found to lie within the expected limits predicted from estimates of fossil record quality indicating that it is geological, rather than biological factors, that are responsible for shifts in diversity. Environmental restriction also appears to belie ostracoderm extinction and demise rather than competition with jawed vertebrates. PMID:25520359

Sansom, Robert S.; Randle, Emma; Donoghue, Philip C. J.

2015-01-01

79

Discriminating signal from noise in the fossil record of early vertebrates reveals cryptic evolutionary history.  

PubMed

The fossil record of early vertebrates has been influential in elucidating the evolutionary assembly of the gnathostome bodyplan. Understanding of the timing and tempo of vertebrate innovations remains, however, mired in a literal reading of the fossil record. Early jawless vertebrates (ostracoderms) exhibit restriction to shallow-water environments. The distribution of their stratigraphic occurrences therefore reflects not only flux in diversity, but also secular variation in facies representation of the rock record. Using stratigraphic, phylogenetic and palaeoenvironmental data, we assessed the veracity of the fossil records of the jawless relatives of jawed vertebrates (Osteostraci, Galeaspida, Thelodonti, Heterostraci). Non-random models of fossil recovery potential using Palaeozoic sea-level changes were used to calculate confidence intervals of clade origins. These intervals extend the timescale for possible origins into the Upper Ordovician; these estimates ameliorate the long ghost lineages inferred for Osteostraci, Galeaspida and Heterostraci, given their known stratigraphic occurrences and stem-gnathostome phylogeny. Diversity changes through the Silurian and Devonian were found to lie within the expected limits predicted from estimates of fossil record quality indicating that it is geological, rather than biological factors, that are responsible for shifts in diversity. Environmental restriction also appears to belie ostracoderm extinction and demise rather than competition with jawed vertebrates. PMID:25520359

Sansom, Robert S; Randle, Emma; Donoghue, Philip C J

2015-02-01

80

First fossil record of nematode parasitism of ants; a 40 million year tale.  

PubMed

A mermithid nematode emerging from a male ant, Prenolepis henschei Mayr, in Baltic amber is the first fossil record demonstrating nematode parasitism of ants. This parasite, described as Heydeniusformicinus sp. n., is compared to extant mermithid parasites of ants, especially Allomermis myrmecophila Baylis 1921. The present fossil, together with earlier reports of braconid and mite parasitism of ants in Baltic amber, indicates that several diverse groups had already evolved parasitic associations with ants by the Eocene. PMID:12458829

Poinar, G

2002-11-01

81

Methods for the quantitative comparison of molecular estimates of clade age and the fossil record.  

PubMed

Approaches quantifying the relative congruence, or incongruence, of molecular divergence estimates and the fossil record have been limited. Previously proposed methods are largely node specific, assessing incongruence at particular nodes for which both fossil data and molecular divergence estimates are available. These existing metrics, and other methods that quantify incongruence across topologies including entirely extinct clades, have so far not taken into account uncertainty surrounding both the divergence estimates and the ages of fossils. They have also treated molecular divergence estimates younger than previously assessed fossil minimum estimates of clade age as if they were the same as cases in which they were older. However, these cases are not the same. Recovered divergence dates younger than compared oldest known occurrences require prior hypotheses regarding the phylogenetic position of the compared fossil record and standard assumptions about the relative timing of morphological and molecular change to be incorrect. Older molecular dates, by contrast, are consistent with an incomplete fossil record and do not require prior assessments of the fossil record to be unreliable in some way. Here, we compare previous approaches and introduce two new descriptive metrics. Both metrics explicitly incorporate information on uncertainty by utilizing the 95% confidence intervals on estimated divergence dates and data on stratigraphic uncertainty concerning the age of the compared fossils. Metric scores are maximized when these ranges are overlapping. MDI (minimum divergence incongruence) discriminates between situations where molecular estimates are younger or older than known fossils reporting both absolute fit values and a number score for incompatible nodes. DIG range (divergence implied gap range) allows quantification of the minimum increase in implied missing fossil record induced by enforcing a given set of molecular-based estimates. These metrics are used together to describe the relationship between time trees and a set of fossil data, which we recommend be phylogenetically vetted and referred on the basis of apomorphy. Differences from previously proposed metrics and the utility of MDI and DIG range are illustrated in three empirical case studies from angiosperms, ostracods, and birds. These case studies also illustrate the ways in which MDI and DIG range may be used to assess time trees resultant from analyses varying in calibration regime, divergence dating approach or molecular sequence data analyzed. PMID:25281846

Clarke, Julia A; Boyd, Clint A

2015-01-01

82

Use of Paleomagnetic Secular Variation, Excursion, and Reversal Records to Correlate African Lake Climate Records  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Geomagnetic secular variation, excursions, and reversal records can provide an excellent means for high resolution correlation of sedimentary climate records. Recent drilling projects on Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, and Lake Malawi, Malawi, have provided the opportunity to study long African climate records (<1 Ma). Magnetic studies of these sedimentary archives indicate that high quality SV records are preserved through most of the sequence despite the fact that anoxia is the usual condition of bottom waters in both lakes. We compare the magnetic records of Lake Bosumtwi and Lake Malawi to test our ability to correlate between West African and East African lakes. In addition, we compare the magnetic record of Lake Malawi to records from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa and the Indian Ocean region, and the record of Lake Bosumtwi to that of Lake Barombi Mbo in West Africa. Correlations within regions are straightforward and highly useful for intrasite correlation. Correlation between East and West Africa is also possible, although the resolution of the correlation is more limited.

King, J.; Heil, C.; Peck, J.; Scholz, C.; Shanahan, T.; Overpeck, J.

2005-12-01

83

Completeness of the fossil record: Estimating losses due to small body size  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Size bias in the fossil record limits its use for interpreting patterns of past biodiversity and ecological change. Using comparative size frequency distributions of exceptionally good regional records of New Zealand Holocene and Cenozoic Mollusca in museum archive collections, we derive first-order estimates of the magnitude of the bias against small body size and the effect of this bias on completeness of the fossil record. Our database of 3907 fossil species represents an original living pool of 9086 species, from which 36% have been removed by size culling, 27% from the smallest size class (<5 mm). In contrast, non-size-related losses compose only 21% of the total. In soft rocks, the loss of small taxa can be reduced by nearly 50% through the employment of exhaustive collection and preparation techniques.

Cooper, Roger A.; Maxwell, Phillip A.; Crampton, James S.; Beu, Alan G.; Jones, Craig M.; Marshall, Bruce A.

2006-04-01

84

The fossil record of evolution: Analysis of extinction  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

There is increasing evidence that events in space have had direct effects on Earth history and on the history of life on Earth. Nowhere is this more evident than in mass extinction. The biosphere has undergone repeated devastation caused by relatively short-lived environmental stress, with species kill rates up to 80 and 95%. For five of the mass extinctions, geochemical or other evidence was reported suggesting large body impact as the cause of the environmental stress producing the extinctions. It was argued on statistical ground that the major extinction events are uniformly periodic in geological time. If it is true that large body impact is a principal cause of mass extinctions and if the periodicity is real, than a cosmic driving mechanism is inescapable. Paleontological data sets were developed which detail the ranges in geological time of about 4,000 families and 25,000 genera of fossil marine organisms. Analyses to date have concentrated on the most recent 250 million years. Associated with these studies are analyses of other aspects of Earth history which may have signatures indicative of extraterrestrial effects.

Raup, D. M.

1986-01-01

85

Myrmecophagous microwear: implications for diet in the hominin fossil record.  

PubMed

An increasing body of data supports the concept that early humans ate invertebrate prey items, especially insects, and that insects may have been a substantial protein source. Insects are ubiquitous throughout the landscape and of high nutritional value. Given that all modern apes and many human groups eat insects, it is likely that early hominins did as well. However, it is unknown how much, which type(s), and what foraging strategy was utilized to obtain invertebrate prey. Given that gross masticatory anatomy of early hominins, like modern apes, fails to reflect their insectivorous proclivities, dental microwear analysis might be a useful tool for identifying this behavior in our fossil ancestors. Dental microwear data was collected on three primarily myrmecophagous mammals and compared to the literature on other faunivorous, frugivorous, and folivorous species. Results indicate that myrmecophagous species have comparable pit frequencies with other faunivores and pit frequency generally distinguishes them from folivores but not all frugivores. Additionally, myrmecophagous mammals have unusually high feature densities, like other faunivores, and density is the microwear signal most suggestive of some sort of faunivory. PMID:24655417

Strait, Suzanne G

2014-06-01

86

Late Miocene to Pliocene carbon isotope record of differential diet change among East African herbivores  

PubMed Central

Stable isotope and molecular data suggest that C4 grasses first appeared globally in the Oligocene. In East Africa, stable isotope data from pedogenic carbonate and fossil tooth enamel suggest a first appearance between 1510 Ma and subsequent expansion during the Plio-Pleistocene. The fossil enamel record has the potential to provide detailed information about the rates of dietary adaptation to this new resource among different herbivore lineages. We present carbon isotope data from 452 fossil teeth that record differential rates of diet change from C3 to mixed C3/C4 or C4 diets among East African herbivore families at seven different time periods during the Late Miocene to the Pliocene (9.93.2 Ma). Significant amounts of C4 grasses were present in equid diets beginning at 9.9 Ma and in rhinocerotid diets by 9.6 Ma, although there is no isotopic evidence for expansive C4 grasslands in this part of the Late Miocene. Bovids and hippopotamids followed suit with individuals that had C4-dominated (>65%) diets by 7.4 Ma. Suids adopted C4-dominated diets between 6.5 and 4.2 Ma. Gomphotheriids and elephantids had mostly C3-dominated diets through 9.3 Ma, but became dedicated C4 grazers by 6.5 Ma. Deinotheriids and giraffids maintained a predominantly C3 diet throughout the record. The sequence of differential diet change among herbivore lineages provides ecological insight into a key period of hominid evolution and valuable information for future studies that focus on morphological changes associated with diet change. PMID:21464327

Uno, Kevin T.; Cerling, Thure E.; Harris, John M.; Kunimatsu, Yutaka; Leakey, Meave G.; Nakatsukasa, Masato; Nakaya, Hideo

2011-01-01

87

Yukon gold mine yields ancient horse fossil 700,000yearold fossil discovered in Yukon permafrost yields genome world record.  

E-print Network

Yukon gold mine yields ancient horse fossil 700,000yearold fossil discovered in Yukon permafrost an unusually large horse fossil in the Yukon permafrost, he knew it was important. Now, in a new study published in the journal Nature, this fossil is rewriting the story of equine evolution as the ancient

Machel, Hans

88

Assessing the quality of the fossil record: insights from vertebrates MICHAEL J. BENTON1*, ALEXANDER M. DUNHILL1, GRAEME T. LLOYD2 &  

E-print Network

Assessing the quality of the fossil record: insights from vertebrates MICHAEL J. BENTON1 the quality of the fossil record is notoriously hard, and many recent attempts have used sampling proxies that depend on rock heterogeneity and fossil content (and so are not independent of the fossil record

Benton, Michael

89

Testing Hypotheses About Tinkering in the Fossil Record: the Case of the Human Skull  

Microsoft Academic Search

Efforts to test hypotheses about small-scale shifts in development (tinkering) that can only be observed in the fossil record pose many challenges. Here we use the origin of modern human craniofacial form to explore a series of analytical steps with which to propose and test evolutionary developmental hypotheses about the basic modules of evolutionary change. Using factor and geometric morphometric

DANIEL E. LIEBERMANn; GAIL E. KROVITZ

90

Testing Hypotheses About Tinkering in the Fossil Record: the Case of the Human Skull  

E-print Network

craniofacial form to explore a series of analytical steps with which to propose and test evolutionaryTesting Hypotheses About Tinkering in the Fossil Record: the Case of the Human Skull DANIEL E. LIEBERMANn1 , GAIL E. KROVITZ2 , and BRANDEIS MCBRATNEY- OWEN3 1 Department of Anthropology, Harvard

Lieberman, Daniel E.

91

First Quaternary Fossil Record of Caecilians from a Mexican Archaeological Site  

Microsoft Academic Search

A single vertebra from an Early Formative period archaeological site in coastal Chiapas, Mxico, is identified as belonging to the amphibian Dermophis mexicanus (Dumril and Bibron) 1841 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). The vertebra was recovered from deposits dated to approximately 12001350 B.C. The specimen represents the first Quaternary fossil record for gymnophiones. Its presence suggests the possible role of the species

Thomas A. Wake; Marvalee H. Wake; Richard G. Lesure

1999-01-01

92

In situ fossil hermit crabs (Paguroidea) from northwest Europe and Russia. Preliminary data on new records  

Microsoft Academic Search

For reasons still unknown, the record of fossil paguroids preserved in situ is scanty. Here we present four examples from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic of northwest Europe and Russia, either collected recently or contained in old museum collections and recognised previously, but not yet published. The fi rst concerns a right propodus, and the imprint of the left chela, preserved

John W. M. Jagt; Barry W. M. van Bakel; Ren H. B. Fraaije; Christian Neumann

2006-01-01

93

Fossil earthquakes recorded by pseudotachylytes in mantle peridotite from the Alpine subduction complex of Corsica  

E-print Network

Fossil earthquakes recorded by pseudotachylytes in mantle peridotite from the Alpine subduction peridotite belonging to the Schistes Lustre´s of Cape Corse. Ultramafic pseudotachylyte fault- and injection veins are found within well-preserved peridotite lenses and are progressively hydrated together

Andersen, Torgeir Bjørge

94

Project EARTH-10-MF2: Form And Function in the Fossil Record: Using Exceptionally Preserved Skulls  

E-print Network

Project EARTH-10-MF2: Form And Function in the Fossil Record: Using Exceptionally Preserved Skulls). An extensive body of biomechanical research targets fish skulls (Westneat 2004; Wainwright et al. 2007, London. Examples of exceptionally preserved, three-dimensional fish skulls from the Upper Cretaceous

Henderson, Gideon

95

Patterns of biodiversity in the fossil record M. E. J. Newman and G. J. Eble  

E-print Network

Patterns of biodiversity in the fossil record M. E. J. Newman and G. J. Eble Santa Fe Institute a substantial increase in biodiversity interrupted by a number of extinction events which caused sharp but rela- tively brief dips in biodiversity. Modern-day biodiversity is close to the highest it has ever been

Newman, Mark

96

Ophiolite mlange zone records exhumation in a fossil subduction channel  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Recent models propose that the exhumation of high-pressure rocks occurs by means of return flow inside a low-viscosity channel of serpentinite situated between the plates. To test this hypothesis, we investigated a serpentinite mlange in the Western Alps, which contains exotic mafic and metasedimentary tectonic blocks, recording heterogeneous metamorphic evolutions and variable high-pressure ages. The peak metamorphic conditions range from eclogite- to garnet-blueschist-facies. The structural evidence and the pressure-temperature paths of the different blocks suggest coupling between blocks and matrix, at least in the blue-schist facies. 39Ar-40Ar dating indicates eclogite-facies peak at ca. 43 Ma and blueschist-facies peak at ca. 43 and 40 Ma in different blocks, respectively. These data point to diachronous metamorphic paths resulting from independent tectonic evolutions of the different slices. We therefore propose that this mlange formed during exhumation of subducted rocks equilibrated at different depths inside a subduction channel. This mechanism can be extended to other serpentinite mlanges in the Alps and other orogens (e.g., the Cyclades, the Coast Ranges of California) for which a growing heterogeneity in the timing of metamorphic equilibration and of pressure-temperature paths can be expected with further investigations.

Federico, Laura; Crispini, Laura; Scambelluri, Marco; Capponi, Giovanni

2007-06-01

97

The avian fossil record in Insular Southeast Asia and its implications for avian biogeography and palaeoecology  

PubMed Central

Excavations and studies of existing collections during the last decades have significantly increased the abundance as well as the diversity of the avian fossil record for Insular Southeast Asia. The avian fossil record covers the Eocene through the Holocene, with the majority of bird fossils Pleistocene in age. Fossil bird skeletal remains represent at least 63 species in 54 genera and 27 families, and two ichnospecies are represented by fossil footprints. Birds of prey, owls and swiftlets are common elements. Extinctions seem to have been few, suggesting continuity of avian lineages since at least the Late Pleistocene, although some shifts in species ranges have occurred in response to climatic change. Similarities between the Late Pleistocene avifaunas of Flores and Java suggest a dispersal route across southern Sundaland. Late Pleistocene assemblages of Niah Cave (Borneo) and Liang Bua (Flores) support the rainforest refugium hypothesis in Southeast Asia as they indicate the persistence of forest cover, at least locally, throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. PMID:24688871

2014-01-01

98

The avian fossil record in Insular Southeast Asia and its implications for avian biogeography and palaeoecology.  

PubMed

Excavations and studies of existing collections during the last decades have significantly increased the abundance as well as the diversity of the avian fossil record for Insular Southeast Asia. The avian fossil record covers the Eocene through the Holocene, with the majority of bird fossils Pleistocene in age. Fossil bird skeletal remains represent at least 63 species in 54 genera and 27 families, and two ichnospecies are represented by fossil footprints. Birds of prey, owls and swiftlets are common elements. Extinctions seem to have been few, suggesting continuity of avian lineages since at least the Late Pleistocene, although some shifts in species ranges have occurred in response to climatic change. Similarities between the Late Pleistocene avifaunas of Flores and Java suggest a dispersal route across southern Sundaland. Late Pleistocene assemblages of Niah Cave (Borneo) and Liang Bua (Flores) support the rainforest refugium hypothesis in Southeast Asia as they indicate the persistence of forest cover, at least locally, throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. PMID:24688871

Meijer, Hanneke J M

2014-01-01

99

The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution  

PubMed Central

Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes) radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and ConiacianSantonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a sampling corrected residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagersttten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this interval but have not yet been sampled or are difficult to identify because of the fragmentary nature of the specimens. PMID:22761723

Brocklehurst, Neil; Upchurch, Paul; Mannion, Philip D.; O'Connor, Jingmai

2012-01-01

100

&p.1:Abstract While the evolutionary history of mammalian tooth shapes is well documented in the fossil record, the  

E-print Network

in the fossil record, the developmental basis of their tooth shape evolution is un- known. We investigated&bdy: Introduction The evolution of mammalian molar morphology is well documented in the fossil record, but while and consists of two bucco-lingual pairs of cusps joined by transverse lophs and two fused anterior (mesial

Jernvall, Jukka

101

Fossilized embryos are widespread but the record is temporally and taxonomically biased  

USGS Publications Warehouse

We report new discoveries of embryos and egg capsules from the Lower Cambrian of Siberia, Middle Cambrian of Australia and Lower Ordovician of North America. Together with existing records, embryos have now been recorded from four of the seven continents. However, the new discoveries highlight secular and systematic biases in the fossil record of embryonic stages. The temporal window within which the embryos and egg capsules are found is of relatively short duration; it ends in the Early Ordovician and is roughly coincident with that of typical "Orsten"-type faunas. The reduced occurrence of such fossils has been attributed to reducing levels of phosphate in marine waters during the early Paleozoic, but may also be owing to the increasing depth of sediment mixing by infaunal metazoans. Furthermore, most records younger than the earliest Cambrian are of a single kind - large eggs and embryos of the priapulid-like scalidophoran Markuelia. We explore alternative explanations for the low taxonomic diversity of embryos recovered thus far, including sampling, size, anatomy, ecology, and environment, concluding that the preponderance of Markuelia embryos is due to its precocious development of cuticle at an embryonic stage, predisposing it to preservation through action as a substrate on which microbially mediated precipitation of authigenic calcium phosphate may occur. The fossil record of embryos may be limited to a late Neoproterozoic to early Ordovician snapshot that is subject to dramatic systematic bias. Together, these biases must be considered seriously in attempts to use the fossil record to arbitrate between hypotheses of developmental and life history evolution implicated in the origin of metazoan clades. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Donoghue, P.C.J.; Kouchinsky, A.; Waloszek, D.; Bengtson, S.; Dong, X.-P.; Val'Kov, A.K.; Cunningham, J.A.; Repetski, J.E.

2006-01-01

102

Glutoxylon Chowdhury (Anacardiaceae): the first record of fossil wood from Bangladesh.  

PubMed

This paper documents the first record of silicified fossil wood from a previously undescribed wood-rich horizon in the Sitakund Anticline, Eastern Bangladesh. The outcrop is composed of cross-stratified, fine-medium grained sandstones with bidirectional cross stratification indicative of a tidal environment, deposited ca. 5-5.2 million years before present (Miocene/Pliocene). The wood is characterised by large solitary vessels with alternate intervascular pits, banded parenchyma, uniseriate rays, and multiseriate rays with one radial canal per ray. This character combination closely resembles the wood of extant Gluta L. of the Anacardiaceae. This specimen has been assigned to the organ genus Glutoxylon Chowdhury erected for fossil woods with anatomical similarity to Gluta (including Melanorrhoea Wall.). The excellent preservation of this mature wood specimen illustrates the potential for using fossil wood from the Sitakund locality for palaeoecological studies in terms of biodiversity and adaptational response to climate change. Moreover such investigations of fossil woods from Bangladesh will compliment studies undertaken on fossil plants in other parts of Central and Southeastern Asia which will further the understanding of plant migration routes between India and Southeast Asia during the Tertiary. PMID:11179716

Poole, I; Davies, C

2001-04-01

103

First Quaternary Fossil Record of Caecilians from a Mexican Archaeological Site  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A single vertebra from an Early Formative period archaeological site in coastal Chiapas, Mxico, is identified as belonging to the amphibian Dermophis mexicanus (Dumril and Bibron) 1841 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). The vertebra was recovered from deposits dated to approximately 1200-1350 B.C. The specimen represents the first Quaternary fossil record for gymnophiones. Its presence suggests the possible role of the species as a bioturbator. Its recovery is further evidence of the utility of fine-grained archaeological recovery techniques.

Wake, Thomas A.; Wake, Marvalee H.; Lesure, Richard G.

1999-07-01

104

Late Paleocene fossils from the Cerrejon Formation, Colombia, are the earliest record of Neotropical rainforest.  

PubMed

Neotropical rainforests have a very poor fossil record, making hypotheses concerning their origins difficult to evaluate. Nevertheless, some of their most important characteristics can be preserved in the fossil record: high plant diversity, dominance by a distinctive combination of angiosperm families, a preponderance of plant species with large, smooth-margined leaves, and evidence for a high diversity of herbivorous insects. Here, we report on an approximately 58-my-old flora from the Cerrejn Formation of Colombia (paleolatitude approximately 5 degrees N) that is the earliest megafossil record of Neotropical rainforest. The flora has abundant, diverse palms and legumes and similar family composition to extant Neotropical rainforest. Three-quarters of the leaf types are large and entire-margined, indicating rainfall >2,500 mm/year and mean annual temperature >25 degrees C. Despite modern family composition and tropical paleoclimate, the diversity of fossil pollen and leaf samples is 60-80% that of comparable samples from extant and Quaternary Neotropical rainforest from similar climates. Insect feeding damage on Cerrejn fossil leaves, representing primary consumers, is abundant, but also of low diversity, and overwhelmingly made by generalist feeders rather than specialized herbivores. Cerrejn megafossils provide strong evidence that the same Neotropical rainforest families have characterized the biome since the Paleocene, maintaining their importance through climatic phases warmer and cooler than present. The low diversity of both plants and herbivorous insects in this Paleocene Neotropical rainforest may reflect an early stage in the diversification of the lineages that inhabit this biome, and/or a long recovery period from the terminal Cretaceous extinction. PMID:19833876

Wing, Scott L; Herrera, Fabiany; Jaramillo, Carlos A; Gmez-Navarro, Carolina; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C

2009-11-01

105

The fossil record, function, and possible origins of shell color patterns in Paleozoic marine invertebrates  

SciTech Connect

Fossil invertebrate shells and carapaces displaying preserved original color patterns are among the rarest fossils. The fossil record of color patterns extends into the Middle Cambrian where the trilobite Anomocare displays a fan-like array of stripes on the pygidium. About 180 Paleozic genera are known with patterns, including trilobites, cephalopods, gastropods, brachiopods, bivalves, crinoids, and crustaceans. Based upon an analysis of these taxa, it appears that patterns and pigments in middle and late Paleozoic invertebrates may have served several functions such as warning displays, light screening, camouflage, or waste disposal. However, the presence of color patterns in fossil invertebrates in the early Paleozoic may have developed prior to the evolution of vision sufficiently sophisticated to see them. This suggests that camouflage and warning displays were not the original functions of color patterns, and that in the earliest Paleozoic they may not have been functional. The authors propose a hypothesis that involves three developmental phases in the evolution of invertebrate color patterns: (1) the incorporation of metabolic by-products, perhaps some pigmented and some not pigmented, into shells and carapaces as a means of disposal of dietary or metabolic wastes, (2) use of these pigments and patterns as an environmental adaptation, such as light screening, and (3) display during and following the evolution of vision in predators sufficiently sophisticated to see the patterns.

Kobluk, D.R. (Univ. of Toronto, Ontario (Canada)); Mapes, R.H. (Ohio Univ., Athens (USA))

1989-02-01

106

Developmental palaeontology in synapsids: the fossil record of ontogeny in mammals and their closest relatives  

PubMed Central

The study of fossilized ontogenies in mammals is mostly restricted to postnatal and late stages of growth, but nevertheless can deliver great insights into life history and evolutionary mechanisms affecting all aspects of development. Fossils provide evidence of developmental plasticity determined by ecological factors, as when allometric relations are modified in species which invaded a new space with a very different selection regime. This is the case of dwarfing and gigantism evolution in islands. Skeletochronological studies are restricted to the examination of growth marks mostly in the cement and dentine of teeth and can provide absolute age estimates. These, together with dental replacement data considered in a phylogenetic context, provide life-history information such as maturation time and longevity. Palaeohistology and dental replacement data document the more or less gradual but also convergent evolution of mammalian growth features during early synapsid evolution. Adult phenotypes of extinct mammals can inform developmental processes by showing a combination of features or levels of integration unrecorded in living species. Some adult features such as vertebral number, easily recorded in fossils, provide indirect information about somitogenesis and hox-gene expression boundaries. Developmental palaeontology is relevant for the discourse of ecological developmental biology, an area of research where features of growth and variation are fundamental and accessible among fossil mammals. PMID:20071389

Snchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

2010-01-01

107

Testing the marine and continental fossil records M. J. Benton Department of Geology, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom  

E-print Network

Testing the marine and continental fossil records M. J. Benton Department of Geology, University The fossil record of continental vertebrates is as good as that of echinoderms at the family level, as shown and vertebrates are typical of their environments, the continental fossil record is not worse than the marine

Benton, Michael

108

The dawn of animal life: Evolutionary and palaeoecological patterns in the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian animal fossil record  

E-print Network

, 2006), trace fossil preservation of animal behavior (e.g., Droser et al., 1999; Seilacher, 1999; JensenEditorial The dawn of animal life: Evolutionary and palaeoecological patterns in the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian animal fossil record 1. Introduction The Neoproterozoic­Cambrian radiation of complex animals is arguably

Dornbos, Stephen Q.

109

Seasonal d18O and Sr\\/Ca Records from Submerged Pleistocene Fossil Corals in the Western Equatorial Pacific  

Microsoft Academic Search

We have monthly d18O and Sr\\/Ca records from three submerged fossil Porites corals from the Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea and from two modern Porites corals from New Britain and Sanaroa Island, which have been used for calibration. The fossil corals grew on the lower plate of an active convergent margin in the Huon Gulf and formed a series of

L. M. Gruhn; C. D. Gallup; A. C. Ravelo; K. Riker-Coleman; F. W. Taylor; J. M. Webster; E. A. Silver; D. C. Potts

2005-01-01

110

Fossil steroids record the appearance of Demospongiae during the Cryogenian period.  

PubMed

The Neoproterozoic era (1,000-542 Myr ago) was an era of climatic extremes and biological evolutionary developments culminating in the emergence of animals (Metazoa) and new ecosystems. Here we show that abundant sedimentary 24-isopropylcholestanes, the hydrocarbon remains of C(30) sterols produced by marine demosponges, record the presence of Metazoa in the geological record before the end of the Marinoan glaciation ( approximately 635 Myr ago). These sterane biomarkers are abundant in all formations of the Huqf Supergroup, South Oman Salt Basin, and, based on a new high-precision geochronology, constitute a continuous 100-Myr-long chemical fossil record of demosponges through the terminal Neoproterozoic and into the Early Cambrian epoch. The demosponge steranes occur in strata that underlie the Marinoan cap carbonate (>635 Myr ago). They currently represent the oldest evidence for animals in the fossil record, and are evidence for animals pre-dating the termination of the Marinoan glaciation. This suggests that shallow shelf waters in some late Cryogenian ocean basins (>635 Myr ago) contained dissolved oxygen in concentrations sufficient to support basal metazoan life at least 100 Myr before the rapid diversification of bilaterians during the Cambrian explosion. Biomarker analysis has yet to reveal any convincing evidence for ancient sponges pre-dating the first globally extensive Neoproterozoic glacial episode (the Sturtian, approximately 713 Myr ago in Oman). PMID:19194449

Love, Gordon D; Grosjean, Emmanuelle; Stalvies, Charlotte; Fike, David A; Grotzinger, John P; Bradley, Alexander S; Kelly, Amy E; Bhatia, Maya; Meredith, William; Snape, Colin E; Bowring, Samuel A; Condon, Daniel J; Summons, Roger E

2009-02-01

111

Testing hypotheses about tinkering in the fossil record: the case of the human skull  

Microsoft Academic Search

ABSTRACT,Efforts to test hypotheses,about,small-scale shifts in development,(tinkering) that can,only,be observed,in the fossil record,pose,many,challenges.,Here we,use,the origin,of modern human,craniofacial,form,to explore,a series,of analytical,steps,with,which,to propose,and,test evolutionary,developmental,hypotheses,about,the basic modules,of evolutionary,change. Using factor and geometric morphometric analyses of craniofacial variation in modern humans, fossil hominids, and chimpanzee crania, we identify several key shifts in integration (defined as patterns of covariation,that,result,from,interactions,between,components,of a system),among,units,of the cranium,that underlie,the unique,shape,of

Daniel E. Lieberman; Gail E. Krovitz; Brandeis McBratney-Owen

2004-01-01

112

Project EARTH-12-MF1: Form and Function In The Fossil Record: Using Exceptionally Preserved Skulls to  

E-print Network

Project EARTH-12-MF1: Form and Function In The Fossil Record: Using Exceptionally Preserved Skulls). An extensive body of biomechanical research targets fish skulls (Westneat 2004; Wainwright et al. 2007

Henderson, Gideon

113

Finding the tree of life: matching phylogenetic trees to the fossil record through the 20th century  

E-print Network

Finding the tree of life: matching phylogenetic trees to the fossil record through the 20th century of Darwin to discover the tree of life. Recent developments in systematics, such as cladistics and mol

Benton, Michael

114

A new African fossil caprin and a combined molecular and morphological Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of caprini (Mammalia: Bovidae).  

PubMed

Given that most species that have ever existed on Earth are extinct, no evolutionary history can ever be complete without the inclusion of fossil taxa. Bovids (antelopes and relatives) are one of the most diverse clades of large mammals alive today, with over a hundred living species and hundreds of documented fossil species. With the advent of molecular phylogenetics, major advances have been made in the phylogeny of this clade; however, there has been little attempt to integrate the fossil record into the developing phylogenetic picture. We here describe a new large fossil caprin species from ca. 1.9-Ma deposits from the Middle Awash, Ethiopia. To place the new species phylogenetically, we perform a Bayesian analysis of a combined molecular (cytochrome b) and morphological (osteological) character supermatrix. We include all living species of Caprini, the new fossil species, a fossil takin from the Pliocene of Ethiopia (Budorcas churcheri), and the insular subfossil Myotragus balearicus. The combined analysis demonstrates successful incorporation of both living and fossil species within a single phylogeny based on both molecular and morphological evidence. Analysis of the combined supermatrix produces superior resolution than with either the molecular or morphological data sets considered alone. Parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the data set are also compared and shown to produce similar results. The combined phylogenetic analysis indicates that the new fossil species is nested within Capra, making it one of the earliest representatives of this clade, with implications for molecular clock calibration. Geographical optimization indicates no less than four independent dispersals into Africa by caprins since the Pliocene. PMID:22816969

Bibi, F; Vrba, E; Fack, F

2012-09-01

115

Preservation of key biomolecules in the fossil record: current knowledge and future challenges.  

PubMed Central

We have developed a model based on the analyses of modern and Pleistocene eggshells and mammalian bones which can be used to understand the preservation of amino acids and other important biomolecules such as DNA in fossil specimens. The model is based on the following series of diagenetic reactions and processes involving amino acids: the hydrolysis of proteins and the subsequent loss of hydrolysis products from the fossil matrix with increasing geologic age; the racemization of amino acids which produces totally racemized amino acids in 10(5)-10(6) years in most environments on the Earth; the introduction of contaminants into the fossil that lowers the enantiomeric (D:L) ratios produced via racemization; and the condensation reactions between amino acids, as well as other compounds with primary amino groups, and sugars which yield humic acid-like polymers. This model was used to evaluate whether useful amino acid and DNA sequence information is preserved in a variety of human, amber-entombed insect and dinosaur specimens. Most skeletal remains of evolutionary interest with respect to the origin of modern humans are unlikely to preserve useful biomolecular information although those from high latitude sites may be an exception. Amber-entombed insects contain well-preserved unracemized amino acids, apparently because of the anhydrous nature of the amber matrix, and thus may contain DNA fragments which have retained meaningful genetic information. Dinosaur specimens contain mainly exogenous amino acids, although traces of endogenous amino acids may be present in some cases. Future ancient biomolecule research which takes advantage of new methologies involving, for example, humic acid cleaving reagents and microchip-based DNA-protein detection and sequencing, along with investigations of very slow biomolecule diagenetic reactions such as the racemization of isoleucine at the beta-carbon, will lead to further enhancements of our understanding of biomolecule preservation in the fossil record. PMID:10091249

Bada, J L; Wang, X S; Hamilton, H

1999-01-01

116

Brief communication: possible third molar impactions in the hominid fossil record.  

PubMed

Impacted third molars affect 15%-20% of modern Americans and Western Europeans. In contrast, third molar impactions have not been reported in the early hominid fossil record. It is uncertain whether the lack of reports reflects an absence of impactions or a failure to recognize them. This communication is intended to raise awareness of the possibility of impactions by describing the appearance of impacted teeth and by noting two possible instances of impaction in early hominids. Specifically, the mandibular third molars of the Sterkfontein specimen, STS52b (Australopithecus africanus), and the left maxillary third molar of the Lake Turkana specimen, KNM-WT 17400 (Australopithecus boisei), are positioned in a manner which suggests that they would not have erupted normally. Both specimens also exhibit strong crowding of the anterior dentition, providing further support for the view that these individuals lacked sufficient space for normal eruption of the third molars. Other published reports of dental crowding in the hominid fossil record are noted, and it is suggested that more attention be paid to dental impaction and dental crowding in hominid evolution. PMID:8372939

Gibson, K R; Calcagno, J M

1993-08-01

117

Molecular Decay of the Tooth Gene Enamelin (ENAM) Mirrors the Loss of Enamel in the Fossil Record of Placental Mammals  

PubMed Central

Vestigial structures occur at both the anatomical and molecular levels, but studies documenting the co-occurrence of morphological degeneration in the fossil record and molecular decay in the genome are rare. Here, we use morphology, the fossil record, and phylogenetics to predict the occurrence of molecular fossils of the enamelin (ENAM) gene in four different orders of placental mammals (Tubulidentata, Pholidota, Cetacea, Xenarthra) with toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Our results support the molecular fossil hypothesis and demonstrate the occurrence of frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in all toothless and enamelless taxa. We then use a novel method based on selection intensity estimates for codons (?) to calculate the timing of iterated enamel loss in the fossil record of aardvarks and pangolins, and further show that the molecular evolutionary history of ENAM predicts the occurrence of enamel in basal representatives of Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters, armadillos) even though frameshift mutations are ubiquitous in ENAM sequences of living xenarthrans. The molecular decay of ENAM parallels the morphological degeneration of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals and provides manifest evidence for the predictive power of Darwin's theory. PMID:19730686

Meredith, Robert W.; Gatesy, John; Murphy, William J.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Springer, Mark S.

2009-01-01

118

Molecular decay of the tooth gene Enamelin (ENAM) mirrors the loss of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals.  

PubMed

Vestigial structures occur at both the anatomical and molecular levels, but studies documenting the co-occurrence of morphological degeneration in the fossil record and molecular decay in the genome are rare. Here, we use morphology, the fossil record, and phylogenetics to predict the occurrence of "molecular fossils" of the enamelin (ENAM) gene in four different orders of placental mammals (Tubulidentata, Pholidota, Cetacea, Xenarthra) with toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Our results support the "molecular fossil" hypothesis and demonstrate the occurrence of frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in all toothless and enamelless taxa. We then use a novel method based on selection intensity estimates for codons (omega) to calculate the timing of iterated enamel loss in the fossil record of aardvarks and pangolins, and further show that the molecular evolutionary history of ENAM predicts the occurrence of enamel in basal representatives of Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters, armadillos) even though frameshift mutations are ubiquitous in ENAM sequences of living xenarthrans. The molecular decay of ENAM parallels the morphological degeneration of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals and provides manifest evidence for the predictive power of Darwin's theory. PMID:19730686

Meredith, Robert W; Gatesy, John; Murphy, William J; Ryder, Oliver A; Springer, Mark S

2009-09-01

119

High Resolution Paleoclimate Records From Fossil Corals Recovered From Drowned Reefs Around Hawaii  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (423-362 ka) was the longest sustained warm interval during the past 500 ky and has been implicated in the turn on" of major reef provinces around the world (ie. Great Barrier Reef). Reconstructions of the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater (O18Osw) and apparent ice volume indicate that peak sea-level conditions may have lasted until as late as 370 ka (Shackleton, 2000, Lea et al., 2000). Despite these advances little is known about short term climate variability during this unique interglacial episode. The submerged fossil coral reef terraces around Hawaii represent a unique and untapped archive of past mean background climate, in addition to seasonal and interannual climate variability in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPG) over the past 500 ky. These terraces initiated during the highstands and continued growing through periods of eustatic ice sheet growth, as island subsidence (2-3 m/ky) and falling sea levels kept similar pace, and stable shoreline conditions prevailed. Coral reef growth terminated during the major deglaciations as rapid sea-level rise and subsidence combined to submerge the reefs below the photic zone. In 2001, several massive fossil Porites corals were collected using the ROV Tiburon during the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institutes (MBARI) expedition to Hawaii. Sampling for the current project focused on two deep marine plunge pools on the East side of Kohala Volcano, Hawaii. Fossil samples were selected for isotopic analysis based on general appearance and the presence of annual growth bands in x-ray photographs. Each sample passed preliminary x-ray diffraction scans, showing that diagenetic alteration to calcite in the skeleton is <2%. Corals were micro-sampled along major growth axes, and analyzed to quantify their oxygen and carbon isotopic composition. One set of samples, from Plunge Pool 1,were dated at 377 ka using U/Th ratios, and another set from nearby Pool 2 is of unknown age, but likely also grew during MIS 11. Though O18O in Porites corals is affected by sea surface temperature (SST) and O18Osw, O18O of precipitation in Hawaii is relatively high, and seasonal rainfall should not affect O18Osw greatly. Modern samples (P. evermanni and P. lobata) recorded seasonal SST cycles of 2.45oC and 2.03oC, 96% and 80% as large as that reported for a 1o x 1o grid by Levitus (2.54oC). Fossil samples from Plunge Pool 1 recorded a similar seasonal SST range, while those of Pool 2 suggest reduced seasonality (1.3oC) in MIS 11 compared to today. Phasing of the O18O and O13C cycles in the fossil samples is similar to that of the modern samples, indicating similar environmental and biological factors during the two periods. To estimate the average SST during the time the fossil corals grew, residual O18O for each specimen was calculated from the average O18O values by 1) correcting for extension rate effects, 2) subtracting the 'O18Osw between 377 ka and today, and 3) subtracting the average O18O of the modern Porites lobata sample. Pool 1 sample O18O residuals indicate that SST was 3oC cooler, while Pool 2 samples indicate 5oC cooler during MIS 11 compared to today. Further study will include use of Sr/Ca ratios as another SST proxy, and time series analyses of interannual variability in the records.

Rothwell, A. J.; Webster, J. M.; Ravelo, A. C.; Clague, D.; Potts, D.

2004-12-01

120

Geologic Time and the Fossil Record (title provided or enhanced by cataloger)  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This interactive site demonstrates how fossil evidence and the principle of superposition are used to determine the age of rock layers and fossils. It contains several examples of index fossils and how they are used to date events. Geologic changes including continental drift are also related to fossil evidence.

121

A 300-million-year record of atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil plant cuticles.  

PubMed

To understand better the link between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate over geological time, records of past CO2 are reconstructed from geochemical proxies. Although these records have provided us with a broad picture of CO2 variation throughout the Phanerozoic eon (the past 544 Myr), inconsistencies and gaps remain that still need to be resolved. Here I present a continuous 300-Myr record of stomatal abundance from fossil leaves of four genera of plants that are closely related to the present-day Ginkgo tree. Using the known relationship between leaf stomatal abundance and growing season CO2 concentrations, I reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For the past 300 Myr, only two intervals of low CO2 (<1,000 p.p.m.v.) are inferred, both of which coincide with known ice ages in Neogene (1-8 Myr) and early Permian (275-290 Myr) times. But for most of the Mesozoic era (65-250 Myr), CO2 levels were high (1,000-2,000 p.p.m.v.), with transient excursions to even higher CO2 (>2,000 p.p.m.v.) concentrations. These results are consistent with some reconstructions of past CO2 (refs 1, 2) and palaeotemperature records, but suggest that CO2 reconstructions based on carbon isotope proxies may be compromised by episodic outbursts of isotopically light methane. These results support the role of water vapour, methane and CO2 in greenhouse climate warming over the past 300 Myr. PMID:11357126

Retallack, G J

2001-05-17

122

A 300-million-year record of atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil plant cuticles  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

To understand better the link between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate over geological time, records of past CO2 are reconstructed from geochemical proxies. Although these records have provided us with a broad picture of CO2 variation throughout the Phanerozoic eon (the past 544Myr), inconsistencies and gaps remain that still need to be resolved. Here I present a continuous 300-Myr record of stomatal abundance from fossil leaves of four genera of plants that are closely related to the present-day Ginkgo tree. Using the known relationship between leaf stomatal abundance and growing season CO2 concentrations, I reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For the past 300Myr, only two intervals of low CO2 (<1,000p.p.m.v.) are inferred, both of which coincide with known ice ages in Neogene (1-8Myr) and early Permian (275-290Myr) times. But for most of the Mesozoic era (65-250Myr), CO2 levels were high (1,000-2,000p.p.m.v.), with transient excursions to even higher CO2 (>2,000p.p.m.v.) concentrations. These results are consistent with some reconstructions of past CO2 (refs 1, 2) and palaeotemperature records, but suggest that CO2 reconstructions based on carbon isotope proxies may be compromised by episodic outbursts of isotopically light methane. These results support the role of water vapour, methane and CO2 in greenhouse climate warming over the past 300Myr.

Retallack, Gregory J.

2001-05-01

123

Calcification and Silicification: Fossilization Potential of Cyanobacteria from Stromatolites of Niuafoou's Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and Implications for the Early Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

Abstract Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafoou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Sii) were evaluated, and their importance as analogues for interpreting the early fossil record are discussed. It has been shown that the potential for morphological preservation of Niuafoou cyanobacteria is highly dependent on the timing and type of mineral phase involved in the fossilization process. Four main modes of mineralization of cyanobacteria organic parts have been recognized: (i) primary early postmortem calcification by aragonite nanograins that transform quickly into larger needle-like crystals and almost totally destroy the cellular structures, (ii) primary early postmortem silicification of almost intact cyanobacterial cells that leave a record of spectacularly well-preserved cellular structures, (iii) replacement by silica of primary aragonite that has already recrystallized and obliterated the cellular structures, (iv) occasional replacement of primary aragonite precipitated in the mucopolysaccharide sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances by Al-Mg-Fe silicates. These observations suggest that the extremely scarce earliest fossil record may, in part, be the result of (a) secondary replacement by silica of primary carbonate minerals (aragonite, calcite, siderite), which, due to recrystallization, had already annihilated the cellular morphology of the mineralized microbiota or (b) relatively late primary silicification of already highly degraded and no longer morphologically identifiable microbial remains. Key Words: StromatolitesCyanobacteriaCalcificationSilicificationNiuafoou (Tonga)Archean. Astrobiology 12, 535548. PMID:22794297

Kazmierczak, Jzef; ?ukomska-Kowalczyk, Maja; Kempe, Stephan

2012-01-01

124

Live coral cover in the fossil record: an example from Holocene reefs of the Dominican Republic  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Fossil reefs hold important ecological information that can provide a prehuman baseline for understanding recent anthropogenic changes in reefs systems. The most widely used proxy for reef "health," however, is live coral cover, and this has not been quantified in the fossil record because it is difficult to establish that even adjacent corals were alive at the same time. This study uses microboring and taphonomic proxies to differentiate between live and dead corals along well-defined time surfaces in Holocene reefs of the Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic. At Caada Honda, live coral cover ranged from 59 to 80% along a contemporaneous surface buried by a storm layer, and the reef, as a whole had 33-80% live cover within the branching, mixed, massive and platy zones. These values equal or exceed those in the Dominican Republic and Caribbean today or reported decades ago. The values from the western Dominican Republic provide a geologic baseline against which modern anthropogenic changes in Caribbean reefs can be considered.

Lescinsky, H.; Titus, B.; Hubbard, D.

2012-06-01

125

The Hominin Sites And Paleolakes Drilling Project: Using High Resolution Paleoclimate Records From African Lake Deposits To Interpret Human Evolution  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

For many years paleoanthropologists and earth scientists have explored and debated the potential role of climate and environmental forcing in human evolution. Although no consensus has emerged as to the importance of climate history in understanding human origins, there is broad agreement that obtaining high quality records of paleoclimate is critical for evaluating any proposed relationships. Recent workshops on the subject have converged on the central role that scientific drilling could play in obtaining such records. Records with high continuity and resolution with implications for human evolution can be retrieved from marine or lacustrine sediments, and the latter can be obtained from both extant (ancient) lakes or by drilling lake beds now exposed on land. We report here on a new initiative to obtain drill core records from on-land sites in the East African Rift Valley region. Our objective is to recover continuous cores both directly from the paleolake deposits in the depocenters of basins where important hominin fossils or artifacts have been recovered, and from basins in close proximity to fossil and artifact sites. An initial on-land drilling campaign, using off-the-shelf technology will target five of the most important basins for hominin fossil and archaeological records in East Africa, collectively spanning the last ~4Ma (N. Awash R. and the Chew Bahir Basin in Ethiopia, and W. Turkana, Tugen Hills and the Olorgesailie/L. Magadi areas in Kenya). HSPDP work to date has involved collecting subsurface geophysical data, and combining this with outcrop, prior coring and basin geometry information to identify optimal drilling targets at each area. The overall project objective is to provide detailed paleoenvironmental records across a spatial and temporal range of sites that can address hypotheses of climate/human evolution relationships at local to regional scales, through a combination of core data collection and modeling efforts. In the long term, such records could be linked to more continuous (but also more expensive) marine or ancient lake drill cores that could provide master records of regional to global scale climate change in East Africa.

Cohen, A. S.; Arrowsmith, R.; Behrensmeyer, K.; Campisano, C. J.; Feibel, C. S.; Fisseha, S.; Johnson, R. A.; Kingston, J.; Kubsa, Z.; Lamb, H.; Mbua, E.; Olago, D.; Potts, R.; Renaut, R.; Schaebitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.; Trauth, M. H.; Woldegabriel, G. W.; Umer, M.

2009-12-01

126

Old Stellar Populations: How to Study the Fossil Record of Galaxy Formation  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The book discusses the theoretical path to decoding the information gathered from observations of old stellar systems. It focuses on old stellar systems because these are the fossil record of galaxy formation and provide invaluable information ont he evolution of cosmic structures and the universe as a whole. The aim is to present results obtained in the past few years for theoretical developments in low mass star research and in advances in our knowledge of the evolution of old stellar systems. A particularly representative case is the recent discovery of multiple stellar populations in galactic globular clusters that represents one of the hottest topics in stellar and galactic astrophysics and is discussed in detail.

Cassisi, S.; Salaris, M.

2013-03-01

127

Selective preservation of organic matter in marine environments - processes and impact on the fossil record  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The present paper is the result of a workshop sponsored by the Research Centre Ocean Margins, the International Graduate College EUROPROX and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar Research. The workshop brought together specialists on organic matter degradation and on proxy-based environmental reconstruction. The paper deals with the main theme of the workshop, understanding the impact of selective degradation/preservation of organic matter (OM) in marine sediments on the interpretation of the fossil record. Special attention is paid to (A) the influence of the molecular composition of OM in relation to the biological and physical depositional environment, including new methods for determining complex organic biomolecules, (B) the impact of selective OM preservation on the interpretation of proxies for marine palaeoceanographic and palaeoclimatic reconstruction, and (C) past marine productivity and selective preservation in sediments.

Zonneveld, K. A. F.; Versteegh, G. J. M.; Kasten, S.; Eglinton, T. I.; Emeis, K.-C.; Huguet, C.; Koch, B. P.; de Lange, G. J.; de Leeuw, J. W.; Middelburg, J. J.; Mollenhauer, G.; Prahl, F. G.; Rethemeyer, J.; Wakeham, S. G.

2009-07-01

128

Origin of the Eumetazoa: Testing ecological predictions of molecular clocks against the Proterozoic fossil record  

PubMed Central

Molecular clocks have the potential to shed light on the timing of early metazoan divergences, but differing algorithms and calibration points yield conspicuously discordant results. We argue here that competing molecular clock hypotheses should be testable in the fossil record, on the principle that fundamentally new grades of animal organization will have ecosystem-wide impacts. Using a set of seven nuclear-encoded protein sequences, we demonstrate the paraphyly of Porifera and calculate sponge/eumetazoan and cnidarian/bilaterian divergence times by using both distance [minimum evolution (ME)] and maximum likelihood (ML) molecular clocks; ME brackets the appearance of Eumetazoa between 634 and 604 Ma, whereas ML suggests it was between 867 and 748 Ma. Significantly, the ME, but not the ML, estimate is coincident with a major regime change in the Proterozoic acritarch record, including: (i) disappearance of low-diversity, evolutionarily static, pre-Ediacaran acanthomorphs; (ii) radiation of the high-diversity, short-lived Doushantuo-Pertatataka microbiota; and (iii) an order-of-magnitude increase in evolutionary turnover rate. We interpret this turnover as a consequence of the novel ecological challenges accompanying the evolution of the eumetazoan nervous system and gut. Thus, the more readily preserved microfossil record provides positive evidence for the absence of pre-Ediacaran eumetazoans and strongly supports the veracity, and therefore more general application, of the ME molecular clock. PMID:15983372

Peterson, Kevin J.; Butterfield, Nicholas J.

2005-01-01

129

Origin of the Eumetazoa: testing ecological predictions of molecular clocks against the Proterozoic fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Molecular clocks have the potential to shed light on the timing of early metazoan divergences, but differing algorithms and calibration points yield conspicuously discordant results. We argue here that competing molecular clock hypotheses should be testable in the fossil record, on the principle that fundamentally new grades of animal organization will have ecosystem-wide impacts. Using a set of seven nuclear-encoded protein sequences, we demonstrate the paraphyly of Porifera and calculate sponge/eumetazoan and cnidarian/bilaterian divergence times by using both distance [minimum evolution (ME)] and maximum likelihood (ML) molecular clocks; ME brackets the appearance of Eumetazoa between 634 and 604 Ma, whereas ML suggests it was between 867 and 748 Ma. Significantly, the ME, but not the ML, estimate is coincident with a major regime change in the Proterozoic acritarch record, including: (i) disappearance of low-diversity, evolutionarily static, pre-Ediacaran acanthomorphs; (ii) radiation of the high-diversity, short-lived Doushantuo-Pertatataka microbiota; and (iii) an order-of-magnitude increase in evolutionary turnover rate. We interpret this turnover as a consequence of the novel ecological challenges accompanying the evolution of the eumetazoan nervous system and gut. Thus, the more readily preserved microfossil record provides positive evidence for the absence of pre-Ediacaran eumetazoans and strongly supports the veracity, and therefore more general application, of the ME molecular clock.

Peterson, Kevin J.; Butterfield, Nicholas J.

2005-01-01

130

Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record  

PubMed Central

As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. PMID:22734056

Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I. M.

2012-01-01

131

The Ediacaran emergence of bilaterians: congruence between the genetic and the geological fossil records.  

PubMed

Unravelling the timing of the metazoan radiation is crucial for elucidating the macroevolutionary processes associated with the Cambrian explosion. Because estimates of metazoan divergence times derived from molecular clocks range from quite shallow (Ediacaran) to very deep (Mesoproterozoic), it has been difficult to ascertain whether there is concordance or quite dramatic discordance between the genetic and geological fossil records. Here, we show using a range of molecular clock methods that the major pulse of metazoan divergence times was during the Ediacaran, which is consistent with a synoptic reading of the Ediacaran macrobiota. These estimates are robust to changes in priors, and are returned with or without the inclusion of a palaeontologically derived maximal calibration point. Therefore, the two historical records of life both suggest that although the cradle of Metazoa lies in the Cryogenian, and despite the explosion of ecology that occurs in the Cambrian, it is the emergence of bilaterian taxa in the Ediacaran that sets the tempo and mode of macroevolution for the remainder of geological time. PMID:18192191

Peterson, Kevin J; Cotton, James A; Gehling, James G; Pisani, Davide

2008-04-27

132

Introducing Evolution to Non-Biology Majors via the Fossil Record: A Case Study from the Israeli High School System.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses challenges faced in the teaching and learning of evolution. Presents a curricular program and a case study on evolutionary biology. Investigates students' conceptual knowledge after exposure to the program "From Dinosaurs to Darwin," which focuses on fossil records as evidence of evolution. (Contains 32 references.) (YDS)

Dodick, Jeff; Orion, Nir

2003-01-01

133

GEOL 204 Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors & Evolution: The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds of the Prehistoric Past  

E-print Network

1 GEOL 204 Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors & Evolution: The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds requirements of this syllabus. Course Description: The questions of the origins of humanity and of the other and the evolution of life and humanity. We will also examine the recent (and potential future) impact of human

Holtz Jr., Thomas R.

134

GEOL 204 Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors & Evolution: The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds of the Prehistoric Past  

E-print Network

GEOL 204 Dinosaurs, Early Humans, Ancestors & Evolution: The Fossil Record of Vanished Worlds of humanity and of the other inhabitants of our world have intrigued cultures throughout history. During for an ancient Earth and the evolution of life and humanity. We will also examine the recent (and potential

Holtz Jr., Thomas R.

135

Secular changes recorded in mineralization of African crust  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Variations in enrichment of mineral deposits in continental crust over time may be one way to test for secular changes in crustal genesis. We present spatial and chemical information about African mineral deposits with which to 'fingerprint' the metal endowment of African crust of different age. We then compare three regions of juvenile African crust, all with similar geology, tectonic history, and mineral deposits, but each of a different age. Each region was formed during rapid accretion of similar tectonic units derived from the mantle over 500 million years, and is apparently devoid of older recycled continental crust. Together, the three areas span 2500 million years of Earth history, from 0.5 Ga to 3.0 Ga, (e.g. the Zimbabwe Craton (2.5-3.0 Ga), the Birimian Shield (1.8-2.3 Ga), and the Arabian-Nubian Shield (0.5-1.0 Ga)). The three areas have a studied total of 2671 mineral deposits that are divided into six groups according to their geochemical affinities. Using these known deposits, a measure of spatial association (spatial coefficient) is derived. We show that each region has a unique metal endowment and that, per unit area, there is a greater concentration of mineral deposits in the crust of the Archean Zimbabwe Craton relative to the younger crust of the Birimian Shield and in turn the Arabian-Nubian Shield. This study quantitatively corroborates past studies that suggest older crust is more mineral diverse and enriched in mineral deposits than younger crust. Thus, a secular change in mineralization is implicated, and the mantle derived metal endowment of the African crust has undergone major evolutionary changes from Archean to Neoproterozoic time.

Mabidi, T.; Thiart, C.; de Wit, M. J.

2007-02-01

136

Fossil coral records of tropical Pacific climate over the last millennium: relationship to external forcing  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Significant uncertainty surrounds the tropical Pacific's response to continued greenhouse forcing, contributing to poor constraints on future hydroclimate trends in areas that are directly or indirectly affected by tropical Pacific climate. General circulation models isolate several key mechanisms that may be involved in the response of the tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere coupled system to greenhouse forcing (Vecchi et al., 2006; Held & Soden, 2006; Meehl et al., 2007; DeNezio et al., 2009), but the real-world importance of such mechanisms is best tested using paleoclimate data spanning previous intervals of anomalous radiative forcing. Here we present a compilation of monthly-resolved, overlapping fossil coral-based reconstructions of NINO3.4 sea-surface temperature (SST) from the Line Islands (2-6N, 157-162W) spanning key intervals of the last millennium. Coral oxygen isotopes (?18O) are used to reconstruct changes in SST and/or hydrology, recognizing that on interannual timescales warm SSTs and positive precipitation anomalies combine to generate negative coral ?18O excursions that reliably track variability associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Coral Sr/Ca ratios are used to reconstruct changes in SST across select intervals of the last millennium, which enables us to derive the hydrological component of coral ?18O variability through time (e.g. Nurhati et al., 2009, 2011). The longest coral sequence spans from 1146-1464AD, and is comprised of eight U/Th-dated coral ?18O records that are spliced together using a technique common in dendroclimatology. Additional intervals are available from the 10th, 16th, 17th, and 20th centuries. Taken together, the coral records are poorly correlated to available reconstructions of solar forcing (Bard et al., 2007; Steinhilber et al., 2009), even across some large-amplitude irradiance excursions that occur during the 12th-14th centuries, when we have high confidence in our long 8-coral reconstruction. These results imply that internal variability may overwhelm any naturally-forced signals in NINO3.4 SST over the last millennium. Relatively large positive anomalies in coral ?18O (indicating cool and/or dry conditions) occur during the 10th and late 16th centuries, in line with evidence of severe drought in the western Americas (e.g. Graham et al., 2007) during those times. A large negative excursion in coral ?18O (warm and/or wet conditions) during the late-13th century may be related to a decades-long shift in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Indeed, the 13th century shift in coral ?18O is of the same magnitude as the late 20th century coral ?18O trend that has been linked to a significant shift in central tropical Pacific hydrology (Nurhati et al., 2011). These observations imply an important role for hydrological shifts in explaining fossil coral ?18O variability and highlight the importance of acquiring additional fossil coral Sr/Ca records from this site.

Cobb, K.; Charles, C. D.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R.

2011-12-01

137

Caught in the act: the first record of copulating fossil vertebrates  

PubMed Central

The behaviour of fossil organisms can typically be inferred only indirectly, but rare fossil finds can provide surprising insights. Here, we report from the Eocene Messel Pit Fossil Site between Darmstadt and Frankfurt, Germany numerous pairs of the fossil carettochelyid turtle Allaeochelys crassesculpta that represent for the first time among fossil vertebrates couples that perished during copulation. Females of this taxon can be distinguished from males by their relatively shorter tails and development of plastral kinesis. The preservation of mating pairs has important taphonomic implications for the Messel Pit Fossil Site, as it is unlikely that the turtles would mate in poisonous surface waters. Instead, the turtles initiated copulation in habitable surface waters, but perished when their skin absorbed poisons while sinking into toxic layers. The mating pairs from Messel are therefore more consistent with a stratified, volcanic maar lake with inhabitable surface waters and a deadly abyss. PMID:22718955

Joyce, Walter G.; Micklich, Norbert; Schaal, Stephan F. K.; Scheyer, Torsten M.

2012-01-01

138

Differentiation between Neotropical rainforest, dry forest, and savannah ecosystems by their modern pollen spectra and implications for the fossil pollen record  

Microsoft Academic Search

Accurate differentiation between tropical forest and savannah ecosystems in the fossil pollen record is hampered by the combination of: i) poor taxonomic resolution in pollen identification, and ii) the high species diversity of many lowland tropical families, i.e. with many different growth forms living in numerous environmental settings. These barriers to interpreting the fossil record hinder our understanding of the

William D. Gosling; Francis E. Mayle; Nicholas J. Tate; Timothy J. Killeen

2009-01-01

139

The fossil record of North American mammals: evidence for a Paleocene evolutionary radiation.  

PubMed

Paleontologists long have argued that the most important evolutionary radiation of mammals occurred during the early Cenozoic, if not that all eutherians originated from a single common post-Cretaceous ancestor. Nonetheless, several recent molecular analyses claim to show that because several interordinal splits occurred during the Cretaceous, a major therian radiation was then underway. This claim conflicts with statistical evidence from the well-sampled latest Cretaceous and Cenozoic North American fossil record. Paleofaunal data confirm that there were fewer mammalian species during the latest Cretaceous than during any interval of the Cenozoic, and that a massive diversification took place during the early Paleocene, immediately after a mass extinction. Measurement data show that Cretaceous mammals were on average small and occupied a narrow range of body sizes; after the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction, there was a rapid and permanent shift in the mean. The fact that there was an early Cenozoic mammalian radiation is entirely compatible with the existence of a few Cretaceous splits among modern mammal lineages. PMID:12078635

Alroy, J

1999-03-01

140

Anatomical Correlates to Nectar Feeding among the Strepsirrhines of Madagascar: Implications for Interpreting the Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

One possible ecological scenario for the origin of primates is the archaic pollination and coevolution hypothesis. Its proponents contend that the consumption of nectar by some early primates and the resulting cross-pollination is an example of coevolution that drove adaptive radiations in some primates. This hypothesis is perhaps ecologically sound, but it lacks the morphology-behavior links that would allow us to test it using the fossil record. Here we attempt to identify cranial adaptations to nectar feeding among the strepsirrhines of Madagascar in order to provide such links. Many Malagasy strepsirrhines are considered effective cross-pollinators of the flowers they feed from, and nectar consumption represents as much as 75% of total feeding time. Previous studies identified skeletal correlates to nectar feeding in the crania of nonprimate mammals; from these, nine cranial measurements were chosen to be the focus of the present study. Results indicate that Cheirogaleus, Varecia, and Eulemur mirror other nectar-feeding mammals in having elongated crania and/or muzzles. These strepsirrhines might be effective cross-pollinators, lending support to the coevolution hypothesis. PMID:22567292

Muchlinski, Magdalena N.; Perry, Jonathan M. G.

2011-01-01

141

A fossil record of colonization and response of lacustrine fish populations to climate change  

Microsoft Academic Search

To study fish species colonization and the response of populations to climate change, we reexamined a well- preserved late Pleistocene to early Holocene fossil fish assemblage from lake deposits on the Missouri Coteau, North Dakota. The fossil fishes in the assemblage include complete specimens of yellow perch (Perca flavescens), brassy minnow (Hybognathus hankinsoni), blacknose shiner (Notropis heterolepis), banded killifish (Fundulus

Michael G. Newbrey; Allan C. Ashworth

2004-01-01

142

A 30,000 Year Molecular Fossil Record of Ecological Change From Lake Titicaca, South America  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Changing downcore distributions of hydrocarbon, long-chain alkenone, and sterol lipid molecular fossils from an 8.1 m piston core taken from Lake Titicaca, South America (152 m depth, 16 S, 69 W) reveal a record of significant paleoecological change in the lake for the past ~30,000 years. Trends in lipid abundances and distributions follow previously reported changes in lake water balance and the climate of the northern Altiplano region of Bolivia and Peru over this time period. Hydrocarbon fractions are characterized by a mixture of normal alkanes and alkenes. Most samples have greatest abundances of odd-numbered C21-C25 n-alkanes and alkenes and smaller amounts of longer chain length and even numbered compounds. The ratio of C21 to C29 n-alkanes and the abundance of C25 alkenes follow similar downcore trends with highest values during periods of higher lake level (the last glacial interval and the late Holocene) and lowest values during the mid-Holocene when lake-level was lowered by as much as 90 m from the present level in response to an extended drought. Normal alkanes with chain length >C29 are consistently in low abundance and indicate little terrestrial input into Lake Titicaca throughout the record. Long-chain alkenones (C37-C40), indicators of haptophyte presence that have been used to determine paleotemperatures in marine settings are highly abundant in many mid-Holocene samples when lake-level was especially low, and nearly absent during the last glacial interval and in the late Holocene when lake-level was relatively high. Long-chain alkenones have rarely been reported in lake records, and their presence indicates the past importance of an algal species (from the phylum Chrysophyta) that is not common or absent in the modern lake. The downcore abundance of dinosterol and other 4?-methyl sterols diagnostic to dinoflagellates is also correlated with lake-level change and dinosterol is particularly abundant during the mid-Holocene. Changes in all lipid fractions indicate the algal response to salinity, temperature, and other physical and chemical changes in Lake Titicaca since the late Pleistocene. The great abundance of dinosterol and long-chain alkenones during the mid-Holocene indicate bloom conditions for a few phytoplankton species at this time.

Theissen, K. M.; Zinniker, D. A.; Moldowan, J. M.; Dunbar, R. B.

2002-12-01

143

Finding Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This OLogy activity serves as a kid-friendly how-to manual about searching for fossils. In Not Just Any Rock Will Do, kids learn that fossils "hide out" in sedimentary rock and see examples of shale and sandstone. Do's and Don'ts for Fossil Hunters gives kids practical tips and a list of fossil-hunting supplies. In Fossils You May Find, there are photos of common invertebrate, vertebrate, and plant fossils to guide kids. Paleontology Clubs and Web Sites lists resources to help kids determine where to hunt for fossils. In Keeping a Field Journal, kids are shown a sample journal entry that points out the types of information they should record.

144

Fossil Excavation  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity students excavate their own fossil from a teacher-prepared "rock biscuit". Students chip away the matrix with wooden stirring rods (or sharpened wooden dowels) and glue brushes. In each biscuit is a genuine fossil such as a shark's tooth. The activity is designed to be the culmination of a lesson about fossil collecting, the importance of recording data, and different preparation methods.

145

Egg size evolution in tropical American arcid bivalves: the comparative method and the fossil record.  

PubMed

Marine organisms exhibit a wide range of egg sizes, even among closely related taxa, and egg size is widely considered to be one of the most important components of the life histories of marine species. The nature of the trade-off between egg size and number and the consequences of variation in egg size for offspring growth and survivorship have been extensively modeled. Yet, there is little empirical evidence that supports the relative importance of particular environmental parameters in engendering the tremendous variation in egg size seen in marine organisms. This study compares egg sizes between six geminate species pairs of bivalves in the family Arcidae to determine whether egg size differs in predictable directions between geminate species in the two oceans separated by the Central American isthmus, and whether the direction and timing of egg size evolution among geminates in this family is correlated with both modern and paleoceanographic patterns of oceanic productivity. In all modern members of six geminate pairs, egg size was larger in the species in the western Atlantic than in its sister species the eastern Pacific. This pattern supports the hypothesis that optimal egg size differs in the two oceans due to the low productivity and poor larval feeding environment in the western Atlantic relative to the eastern Pacific. The fossil record of one geminate pair shows that egg size has remained consistently large in the western Atlantic from the Miocene to the Recent, while egg size in the eastern Pacific has decreased to the current small size in less than 2 million years; this suggests that modern-day differences between egg sizes in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific are due to either an increase in productivity in the eastern Pacific and subsequent selection for smaller eggs in that ocean, or differential patterns of extinction that occurred well after the rise of the isthmus. These results agree with ancestral character state reconstruction using linear parsimony, but differ from squared-change parsimony reconstructions. PMID:15696750

Moran, Amy L

2004-12-01

146

Fossil spiders.  

PubMed

Over the last three decades, the fossil record of spiders has increased from being previously biased towards Tertiary ambers and a few dubious earlier records, to one which reveals a much greater diversity in the Mesozoic, with many of the modern families present in that era, and with clearer evidence of the evolutionary history of the group. We here record the history of palaeoarachnology and the major breakthroughs which form the basis of studies on fossil spiders. Understanding the preservation and taphonomic history of spider fossils is crucial to interpretation of fossil spider morphology. We also review the more recent descriptions of fossil spiders and the effect these discoveries have had on the phylogenetic tree of spiders. We discuss some features of the evolutionary history of spiders and present ideas for future work. PMID:19961468

Selden, Paul A; Penney, David

2010-02-01

147

Molecular Evolution of Myoglobin and the Fossil Record: a Phylogenetic Synthesis  

Microsoft Academic Search

An ancestral myoglobin chain has been deduced by comparing the differences in the amino acid sequences of eighteen living species and assessing from the fossil evidence the probable times of divergence of their ancestors.

A. E. Romero-Herrera; H. Lehmann; K. A. JOYSEY; A. E. FRIDAY

1973-01-01

148

Late Cretaceous Extreme Polar Warmth recorded by Vertebrate Fossils from the High Canadian Arctic  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A vertebrate fossil assemblage from Late Cretaceous (Coniacian-Turonian, ~92 to 86 Ma) rocks on Axel Heiberg Island in the High Canadian Arctic reflects what was once a diverse community of freshwater fishes and reptiles. Paleomagnetic data indicate a paleolatitude of ~71 N for the site; the fossils are from non-migratory fauna, so they can provide insight into Late Cretaceous polar climate. The fossil assemblage includes large (> 2.4 m long) champsosaurs (extinct crocodilelike reptiles). The presence of large champsosaurs suggests a mean annual temperature > 14 C (and perhaps as great as 25 C). Here we summarize findings and analyses following the discovery of the fossil-bearing strata in 1996. Examination of larger fish elements, isolated teeth and SEM studies of microstructures indicates the presence of lepisosteids, amiids and teleosts (Friedman et al., 2003) Interestingly, the only other known occurrence of amiids and lepisosteids, fossil or recent, are from intervals of extreme warmth during the Tertiary. Turtles present in the assemblage include Boreralochelys axelheibergensis, a generically indeterminate eucryptodire and a trioychid (Brinkman and Tarduno, 2005). The level of turtle diversity is also comparable to mid-latitude assemblages with a mean annual paleotemperature of at least 14 C. A large portion of the champsosaur fossil assemblage is comprised of elements from subadults. This dominance of subadults is similar to that seen from low latitude sites. Because of the sensitivity of juveniles to ice formation, the make-up of the Arctic champsosaur population further indicates that the Late Cretaceous saw an interval of extreme warmth and low seasonality. We note the temporal coincidence of these fossils with volcanism at large igneous provinces (including high Arctic volcanism) and suggest that a pulse in volcanic carbon dioxide emissions helped cause the global warmth.

Vandermark, D.; Tarduno, J. A.; Brinkman, D.

2006-12-01

149

Orbital forcing on West African monsoon system revealed by KZai 02 pollen record spectral analysis  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The present-day intertropical climate is forced by yearly fluctuations of insolation reorganizing pressure cells. They control, via the wind system, the variations of the precipitation front known as the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Its latitudinal oscillation drives a strong seasonality of rainfalls over Africa. However, connections between African climate during Pleistocene and orbital forcing are blurred by high-latitudes and local direct influence of insolation and need further investigations. The study of KZai 02 core pollen content provides a high-resolution record of changes in West African plant ecosystems during the last 160 kyrs. Spectral analyses were performed on pollen signals to identify periodicity in vegetation dynamics related to environmental fluctuations. The large range of frequencies detected testifies for the sensibility of African biotopes to past climate fluctuations. Milankovitch parameters, especially precession, are identified within variations of the ecological groups of KZai 02 pollen record and interpreted in terms of West African monsoon system variability. Asynchrony in the different plant ecosystem fluctuations suggests the out of step influence of several climatic parameters (precipitation, CO2, temperature) involving local insolation and high-latitude influence. Spectral analysis also reveals sub-Milankovitch periods related to (1) Heinrich and Dansgaard/Oeschger glacial pulsation events and (2) East Asian monsoon oscillations controlled by ice sheet pulses testifying for the strong relationship between low- and high-latitude climate changes.

Dalibard, Mathieu; Popescu, Speranta-Maria; Pittet, Bernard; Fernandez, Vincent; Marsset, Tania; Droz, Laurence; Suc, Jean-Pierre

2013-04-01

150

Molecular and isotopic composition of lipids in modern and fossil bivalve shells: Records of paleoenvironmental change?  

SciTech Connect

Suites of lipids residing in situ in modern and fossil bivalve shells offer new possibilities for the study of paleoecology and paleoclimatology. Distributions of carbon isotopic compositions of modem shell lipids suggests that many of these compounds, including alkanes, sterols, fatty acids, ketones and phytadienes, are derived from the bivalves and not directly from the surrounding environment. The occurrence of fatty acids in modem and fossil shell material opens up the possibility that saturation levels of these compounds may be used as paleothermometers. To date, the utility of fatty acids in paleoclimate studies has been limited because of the swift breakdown of these compounds in sediment. However, initial results indicate that fatty acids in bivalve shells retain their original structure for at least several million years. Comparison of modem bivalve shell fatty acids from tropical, temperate and polar nearshore marine systems will be presented, along with analogous fossil data.

CoBabe, E.A. [Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States)

1995-12-31

151

Paleoredox variations in ancient oceans recorded by rare earth elements in fossil apatite  

Microsoft Academic Search

Rare earth element concentrations in biogenic apatite of conodonts, fish debris and inarticulate brachiopods were determined in over 200 samples from Cambrian to modern sediments. Tests for experimental bias caused by the chemicals used to separate fossils from the rock matrix and for interlaboratory, interexperiment or interspecies related variations clearly show that no resolvable fractionation of REE occurs. Incorporation of

Judith Wright; Hans Schrader; William T. Holser

1987-01-01

152

c h a p t e r t w o The Fossil Record: Biological or  

E-print Network

more gradual. --Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859). Darwin is referring here to Charles. Charles Darwin famously devoted two chapters in On the Origin of Species (Darwin 1859) to the fossil of the evolution of life, preserving all the intermediate forms demanded by his theory. And yet, Darwin ended

Benton, Michael

153

Decay of velvet worms (Onychophora), and bias in the fossil record of lobopodians.  

PubMed

BackgroundFossil lobopodians, including animals proposed to have close affinity to modern onychophorans, are crucial to understanding the evolution of the panarthropod body plan and the phylum-level relationships between the ecdysozoan groups. Unfortunately, the key features of their anatomy are un-mineralized and subject to biases introduced during death, decay and preservation, yet the extent to which these fossils have been affected by the processes of post-mortem decay is entirely untested. Recent experimental work on chordates has highlighted a profound bias caused by decay, resulting in the erroneous interpretation of badly decayed specimens as primitive members of a clade (stemward slippage). The degree to which this bias affects organisms other than chordates is unknown.ResultsHere we use experimental decay of velvet worms (Onychophora) to examine the importance of decay bias in fossil lobopodians. Although we find stemward slippage is not significant in the interpretation of non-mineralized lobopodian fossils, the affect of decay is far from unbiased. Quantitative analysis reveals significant changes in body proportions during decay, a spectrum of decay resistance across anatomical features, and correlated decay of topologically associated characters.ConclusionsThese results have significant implications for the interpretation of fossil lobopodian remains, demonstrating that features such as body outline and relative proportions are unreliable for taxonomy or phylogenetic reconstruction, unless decay is taken into account. Similarly, the non-independent loss of characters, due to juxtaposition in the body, during decay has the potential to bias phylogenetic analyses of non-biomineralized fossils. Our results are difficult to reconcile with interpretations of highly decay-prone tissues and structures, such as neural tissue, and complex musculature, in recently described Cambrian lobopodians. More broadly, we hypothesize that stemward slippage is unlikely to be a significant factor among the taphonomic biases that have affected organisms where decay-resistant features of the anatomy are rich in phylogenetically informative characters. Conversely, organisms which possess decay-resistant body parts but have informative characters concentrated in decay-prone tissues will be just as liable to bias as those that lack decay-resistant body parts. Further experimental analysis of decay is required to test these hypotheses. PMID:25472836

Murdock, Duncan; Gabbott, Sarah E; Mayer, Georg; Purnell, Mark A

2014-11-29

154

Scanning the fossil record: stratophenomics and the generation of primary evolutionary-ecological data  

Microsoft Academic Search

The amount and quality of paleontological data is rapidly increasing thanks to the new developments in geological dating,\\u000a 3D visualization and morphometrics, chemical and histological analysis, and database storage. However, despite the fact that\\u000a data from fossils, their assemblages, temporal successions, spatial gradients and environments are of an evolutionary-ecological\\u000a nature, their contribution to current mainstream evolutionary-ecological theory and methodology is

Jan A. van Dam

155

Estimation of divergence times in cnidarian evolution based on mitochondrial protein-coding genes and the fossil record.  

PubMed

The phylum Cnidaria is comprised of remarkably diverse and ecologically significant taxa, such as the reef-forming corals, and occupies a basal position in metazoan evolution. The origin of this phylum and the most recent common ancestors (MRCAs) of its modern classes remain mostly unknown, although scattered fossil evidence provides some insights on this topic. Here, we investigate the molecular divergence times of the major taxonomic groups of Cnidaria (27 Hexacorallia, 16 Octocorallia, and 5 Medusozoa) on the basis of mitochondrial DNA sequences of 13 protein-coding genes. For this analysis, the complete mitochondrial genomes of seven octocoral and two scyphozoan species were newly sequenced and combined with all available mitogenomic data from GenBank. Five reliable fossil dates were used to calibrate the Bayesian estimates of divergence times. The molecular evidence suggests that cnidarians originated 741 million years ago (Ma) (95% credible region of 686-819), and the major taxa diversified prior to the Cambrian (543 Ma). The Octocorallia and Scleractinia may have originated from radiations of survivors of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, which matches their fossil record well. PMID:22040765

Park, Eunji; Hwang, Dae-Sik; Lee, Jae-Seong; Song, Jun-Im; Seo, Tae-Kun; Won, Yong-Jin

2012-01-01

156

Individual to Community-Level Faunal Responses to Environmental Change from a Marine Fossil Record of Early Miocene Global Warming  

PubMed Central

Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (?20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.14.5C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability. PMID:22558424

Belanger, Christina L.

2012-01-01

157

Individual to community-level faunal responses to environmental change from a marine fossil record of Early Miocene global warming.  

PubMed

Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (? 20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.1-4.5C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability. PMID:22558424

Belanger, Christina L

2012-01-01

158

Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic control on early diagenetic processes and fossil record in Cretaceous continental sandstones of Brazil  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Early Cretaceous, pre-rift continental rock sequences of northeastern Brazil (Rio do Peixe, Araripe, Recncavo-Tucano, and Sergipe-Alagoas basins), deposited in a wide intracontinental basin (Afro-Brazilian Depression), and the Late Cretaceous, post-rift continental deposits of the Paran Basin (Bauru Group, Minas Gerais) reflect the controlling processes related to the Brazilian record of nonmarine fossil vertebrates. These sequences were deposited in braided fluvial, eolian, and lacustrine environments in a semi-arid to arid climate. Sedimentary and diagenetic processes ascribed to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental conditions are among the major factors that control fossil preservation in fluvial deposits. The pre-rift successions contain a rare record of a dinosaur fauna that lived near more humid highlands in the northern portion of the Afro-Brazilian Depression, relative to its southern counterpart, where hardly any fossil remains would have been preserved in the adverse climatic conditions. The Afro-Brazilian Depression is interpreted as a large pathway for dinosaurs before the breakup of Gondwana. Conversely, abundant dinosaur remains (bones, eggs, and teeth) and other vertebrates (turtles, crocodiles, frogs, and fish) are found in the Bauru Group in the Paran Basin. In this unit, the seasonal paleoclimate provided sufficient conditions for the maintenance of bodies of water that served as nesting and living sites for various vertebrate forms. Paleoclimatic conditions are assumed to account for the different preservation of bones in the Paran Basin relative to the Afro-Brazilian Depression, because the latter was subject to more arid conditions, and the humid environment was restricted to the northern margin.

Garcia, Antnio J. V.; da Rosa, tila A. S.; Goldberg, Karin

2005-08-01

159

Abundance Is Not Enough: The Need for Multiple Lines of Evidence in Testing for Ecological Stability in the Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

The fossil record is the only source of information on the long-term dynamics of species assemblages. Here we assess the degree of ecological stability of the epifaunal pterioid bivalve assemblage (EPBA), which is part of the Middle Devonian Hamilton fauna of New Yorkthe type example of the pattern of coordinated stasis, in which long intervals of faunal persistence are terminated by turnover events induced by environmental change. Previous studies have used changes in abundance structure within specific biofacies as evidence for a lack of ecological stability of the Hamilton fauna. By comparing data on relative abundance, body size, and predation, indexed as the frequency of unsuccessful shell-crushing attacks, of the EPBA, we show that abundance structure varied through time, but body-size structure and predation pressure remained relatively stable. We suggest that the energetic set-up of the Hamilton fauna's food web was able to accommodate changes in species attributes, such as fluctuating prey abundances. Ecological redundancy in prey resources, adaptive foraging of shell-crushing predators (arising from predator behavioral or adaptive switching in prey selection in response to changing prey abundances), and allometric scaling of predator-prey interactions are discussed as potential stabilizing factors contributing to the persistence of the Hamilton fauna's EPBA. Our study underscores the value and importance of multiple lines of evidence in tests of ecological stability in the fossil record. PMID:23690981

Handley, John C.; Brett, Carlton E.

2013-01-01

160

Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans  

Microsoft Academic Search

The origin of living Homo sapiens has once again been the subject of much debate. Genetic data on present human population relationships and data from the Pleistocene fossil hominid record are used to compare two contrasting models for the origin of modern humans. Both genetics and paleontology support a recent African origin for modern humans rather than a long period

C. B. Stringer; P. Andrews

1988-01-01

161

Contrasting behavioral and feeding strategies recorded by tidal-flat bivalve trace fossils from the Upper Carboniferous of eastern Kansas  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Upper Carboniferous tidal-flat deposits near Waverly, eastern Kansas (Stull Shale Member, Kanwaka Shale Formation), host abundant and very well-preserved trace fossils attributed to the activity of burrowing bivalves. Thin shell lenses with an abundant bivalve fauna area associated with the ichnofossil-bearing beds and afford an unusual opportunity to relate trace fossils to their makers. Two distinctive life and feeding strategies can be reconstructed on the basis of trace fossil analysis and functional morphology. Lockeria siliquaria hyporeliefs commonly are connected with vertical to inclined, truncated endichnial shafts in the absence of horizontal locomotion traces. These structures record vertical and oblique displacement through the sediment, and suggest relatively stable domiciles rather than temporary resting traces as typically considered. Crowded bedding surfaces displaying cross-cutting relationships between specimens of L. siliquaria and differential preservation at the top (concave versus convex epireliefs) record a complex history of successive events of colonization, erosion, deposition, and recolonization (time-averaged assemblages). Irregujlar contours of some large hypichnia indicate the cast of the foot, while other outlines closely match the anterior area of Wilkingia, its suggested tracemaker. Relatively stable, vertical to inclined life positions and dominanit vertical mobility suggest a filter-feeding strategy. Moreover, the elongate shell and pallial sinus of Wilkingia providfe a strong independent line of evidence for an opisthosiphonate, moderately deep-tier inhabitant. Wilingia may represent a pioneer attempt at siphon-feeding in the late Paleozoic, preceding the outcome of the Mesozoic infaunal radiation. A second strategy is represented by Lockeia ornata and association locomotionm and locomotion/feding structures. Lockeia ornata is commonly connected with chevron locomotion traces that record the bifurcated foot of a protobranch bivalve. Lockeia ornata exhibits distinctive, fine, parallel lines that mimic the ornamentation of Phestia, a nuculanid protobranch bivalve. Rosary and radial structures give evidence of a patterned search for food. Lockeia ornata and associated Protovirgularia record dominant horizontal locomoton and suggest the activity of deposit-feeding bivalves. Morphologic variability of Protovirgularia was controlled by substrate fluidity, which was dependent on sediment heterogeneity and tidal-cycle dynamics. This study demonstrates that detailed analysis of bivalve traces provides valuable information on bivalve ethology and paleoecology, evolutionary innovations, environmental dynamics, and substrate fluidity.

Mangano, M.G.; Buatois, L.A.; West, R.R.; Maples, C.G.

1998-01-01

162

Late glacial climate estimates for southern Nevada: The ostracode fossil record  

SciTech Connect

Climate change plays an important role in determining as possible long term hydrological performance of the potential high level nuclear waste repository within Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Present-day global circulation results in this region having an arid to semi-arid climate characterized by hot and relatively dry summers. Global circulation during the late glacial (about 14 to 20 ka) was very different from the present-day. Preliminary study of late-glacial fossil ostracodes from {open_quotes}marsh deposits{close_quotes} in the upper Las Vegas Valley suggests mean annual precipitation may have been four times higher, while mean annual temperature may have been about 10{degrees}C cooler than today. A major difference between present-day and late-glacial climate was likely the existence of cooler, cloudier, and wetter summers in the past.

Forester, R.M. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Smith, A.J. [Kent State Univ., OH (United States)

1995-10-01

163

Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

Medvedev and Melott (2007) have suggested that periodicity in fossil biodiversity may be induced by cosmic rays which vary as the Solar System oscillates normal to the galactic disk. We re-examine the evidence for a 62 million year (Myr) periodicity in biodiversity throughout the Phanerozoic history of animal life reported by Rohde & Mueller (2005), as well as related questions of periodicity in origination and extinction. We find that the signal is robust against variations in methods of analysis, and is based on fluctuations in the Paleozoic and a substantial part of the Mesozoic. Examination of origination and extinction is somewhat ambiguous, with results depending upon procedure. Origination and extinction intensity as defined by RM may be affected by an artifact at 27 Myr in the duration of stratigraphic intervals. Nevertheless, when a procedure free of this artifact is implemented, the 27 Myr periodicity appears in origination, suggesting that the artifact may ultimately be based on a signal in the...

Lieberman, Bruce S

2007-01-01

164

Trace fossils and substrates of the terminal ProterozoicCambrian transition: Implications for the record of early bilaterians and sediment mixing  

PubMed Central

The trace fossil record is important in determining the timing of the appearance of bilaterian animals. A conservative estimate puts this time at ?555 million years ago. The preservational potential of traces made close to the sedimentwater interface is crucial to detecting early benthic activity. Our studies on earliest Cambrian sediments suggest that shallow tiers were preserved to a greater extent than typical for most of the Phanerozoic, which can be attributed both directly and indirectly to the low levels of sediment mixing. The low levels of sediment mixing meant that thin event beds were preserved. The shallow depth of sediment mixing also meant that muddy sediments were firm close to the sedimentwater interface, increasing the likelihood of recording shallow-tier trace fossils in muddy sediments. Overall, trace fossils can provide a sound record of the onset of bilaterian benthic activity. PMID:12271130

Droser, Mary L.; Jensen, Sren; Gehling, James G.

2002-01-01

165

Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record  

E-print Network

Medvedev and Melott (2007) have suggested that periodicity in fossil biodiversity may be induced by cosmic rays which vary as the Solar System oscillates normal to the galactic disk. We re-examine the evidence for a 62 million year (Myr) periodicity in biodiversity throughout the Phanerozoic history of animal life reported by Rohde & Mueller (2005), as well as related questions of periodicity in origination and extinction. We find that the signal is robust against variations in methods of analysis, and is based on fluctuations in the Paleozoic and a substantial part of the Mesozoic. Examination of origination and extinction is somewhat ambiguous, with results depending upon procedure. Origination and extinction intensity as defined by RM may be affected by an artifact at 27 Myr in the duration of stratigraphic intervals. Nevertheless, when a procedure free of this artifact is implemented, the 27 Myr periodicity appears in origination, suggesting that the artifact may ultimately be based on a signal in the data. A 62 Myr feature appears in extinction, when this same procedure is used. We conclude that evidence for a periodicity at 62 Myr is robust, and evidence for periodicity at approximately 27 Myr is also present, albeit more ambiguous.

Bruce S. Lieberman; Adrian L. Melott

2007-08-22

166

Neotropical mammal diversity and the Great American Biotic Interchange: spatial and temporal variation in South America's fossil record  

PubMed Central

The vast mammal diversity of the Neotropics is the result of a long evolutionary history. During most of the Cenozoic, South America was an island continent with an endemic mammalian fauna. This isolation ceased during the late Neogene after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, resulting in an event known as the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). In this study, we investigate biogeographic patterns in South America, just before or when the first immigrants are recorded and we review the temporal and geographical distribution of fossil mammals during the GABI. We performed a dissimilarity analysis which grouped the faunal assemblages according to their age and their geographic distribution. Our data support the differentiation between tropical and temperate assemblages in South America during the middle and late Miocene. The GABI begins during the late Miocene (~107 Ma) and the putative oldest migrations are recorded in the temperate region, where the number of GABI participants rapidly increases after ~5 Ma and this trend continues during the Pleistocene. A sampling bias toward higher latitudes and younger records challenges the study of the temporal and geographic patterns of the GABI. PMID:25601879

Carrillo, Juan D.; Forasiepi, Anala; Jaramillo, Carlos; Snchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

2015-01-01

167

The Fidelity of the Fossil Record: Using Preservational Characteristics of Fossils within an Assemblage to Interpret the Relative State of Spatial and Temporal Fidelity  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This exercise introduces students to the concept of temporal and spatial fidelity, to the different types of fossil assemblages, and how the taphonomic characteristics of an assemblage can be used to assess the relative state of fidelity. The exercise is suitable when introducing the discipline of taphonomy, typically covered near the beginning of a course in paleontology or paleobiology. Because most universities lack appropriate collections of fossils, particularly collections from assemblages with unusual states of preservation, this exercise provides digital images of fossils from a Middle Devonian obrution deposit (or smothered assemblage) found within thin bedded limestones of the Hamilton Group of western New York State. Students are asked to make predictions concerning the relative states of preservation likely to be found in life assemblages (biocoenoses) and death assemblages (thanatocoenoses and taphocoenoses). A biocoenosis is an assemblage that contains virtually all of the species that existed when the community was alive. A thanatocoenosis is a death assemblage where all the fossils represented existed within the community, but not all community members are present as fossils (species are missing). Finally, a taphocoenosis is an assemblage where not all species present in the community are represented as fossils, and not all the fossil species within the assemblage lived in the community (i.e., there is temporal or spatial mixing). Students are then presented with a PowerPoint presentation of the Hamilton Group strata, the limestones possessing the unusual fossil assemblage, and finally images of fossils with their preservational characteristics highlighted. The slides are annotated to provide observational descriptions and not interpretations. The exercise works best with students working in small groups with each group supplied with a laptop containing the PowerPoint presentation. Finally, each group is asked to interpret the assemblage type represented (bio-, thanato-, or taphocoenosis) and present a cogent argument citing supportive preservational evidence. (Because the assemblage is created through obrution, the assemblage is correctly interpreted as a thanatocoenosis â the fossils present were found within the community with many individuals preserved in life position and with behaviors represented; not all species in the community, however, are preserved as fossils.) If time allows, students could be asked to make predictions concerning the preservational characteristics expected for each assemblage type in advance of the exercise. (A table is attached that I use to help frame their predictions.) Their interpretation and evidential argument could be written up as a short essay. I've asked students to do this individually and other times as a collaborative writing assignment for the group. Once the correct assemblage interpretation is revealed to the students, they could be asked to speculate about the mechanism leading to this style of preservation (i.e., recognizing it as an obrution deposit). A few figures are provided that are helpful in explaining obrution. The following files are uploaded as supportive teaching materials: 1. Discussion Assemblage Types.doc: Notes to guide a discussion to acquire predictions for taphonomic characteristics for each assemblage type. 2. Fossil Assemblages Exercise.ppt: PowerPoint presentation that describes the unknown fossil assemblage. 3. Exercise Assemblage Fidelity Assignment.doc: The handout provided students describing the exercise. 4. Obrution Deposits.ppt: PowerPoint presentation explaining obrution deposits.

Savarese, Michael

168

An annual fossil record of production, planktivory and piscivory during whole-lake manipulations  

Microsoft Academic Search

Annual and subannual paleolimnological records of pigments and zooplankton were used to analyze three whole-lake manipulations. The relative abundance of cladoceran remains in recent seasonal laminae was significantly correlated with the relative abundance of species in the plankton (r2=0.59,PPhoxinus eos, P. neogaeus, Umbra limi) by largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) allowed large herbivores (Daphnia pulex) and invertebrate predators (Chaoborus punctipennis) to

Peter R. Leavitt; Patricia R. Sanford; Stephen R. Carpenter; James F. Kitchell

1994-01-01

169

When did Carcharocles megalodon become extinct? A new analysis of the fossil record.  

PubMed

Carcharocles megalodon ("Megalodon") is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9-2.6 Ma). Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE) model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems. PMID:25338197

Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F

2014-01-01

170

When Did Carcharocles megalodon Become Extinct? A New Analysis of the Fossil Record  

PubMed Central

Carcharocles megalodon (Megalodon) is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.92.6 Ma). Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE) model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems. PMID:25338197

Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F.

2014-01-01

171

Grazing trails formed by soldier fly larvae (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) and their paleoenvironmental and paleoecological implications for the fossil record  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Recent trails formed by soldier fly larvae (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) were examined in a shallow pond in the floodplain of a braided river in Jujuy Province, northwestern Argentina. Collected specimens were identified as Stratiomys convexa van der Wulp. Simple, irregularly meandering trails were produced across the surface of a muddy-silty substrate. Since soldier fly larvae extend their caudal respiratory tube to the water-air interface, they are restricted to extremely shallow water. The presence of benthic algal remains within the mouthparts of the larvae suggests a feeding habit of algal grazing. If preserved, these trails would be included in the ichnogenus Helminthopsis, a common element in ancient freshwater ichnofaunas. Helminthopsis preserved in pond and lacustrine margin deposits younger than Late Jurassic is regarded as one possible trace fossil analogue of the trails documented herein. Additionally, it is suggested that larvae of many aquatic Diptera with similar ecologic restrictions are potential tracemakers of Helminthopsis and other simple trails in these environments, particularly in post-Paleozoic deposits. Studies of modern shallow aquatic habitats and reexamination of the ichnologic record stress the importance of fly larvae as tracemakers in lake margin and pond ecosystems. Ecologic requirements of soldier fly larvae make them inappropriate analogues of Helminthopsis tracemakers in deeper water, lacustrine settings. ?? 1996 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) Amsterdam B.V. Published in The Netherlands by Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH.

Mangano, M.G.; Buatois, L.A.; Claps, G.L.

1996-01-01

172

Major adaptive radiation in neritopsine gastropods estimated from 28S rRNA sequences and fossil records.  

PubMed Central

A well-supported phylogeny of the Neritopsina, a gastropod superorder archaic in origin, radiated ecologically and diverse in morphology, is reconstructed based on partial 28S rRNA sequences. The result (Neritopsidae (Hydrocenidae (Helicinidae + Neritiliidae) (Neritidae + Phenacolepadidae))) is highly congruent with the fossil records and the character distribution of reproductive tracts in extant taxa. We suggest that the Neritopsina originated in subtidal shallow waters, invaded the land and became fully terrestrial at least three times in different clades, by the extinct Dawsonellidae in the Late Palaeozoic and by the Helicinidae and Hydrocenidae in the Mesozoic. Invasion of fresh- and brackish waters is prevalent among the Neritopsina as the Jurassic and freshwater ancestory is most probable for helicinids. The Phenacolepadidae, a group exclusively inhabiting dysoxic environments, colonized deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps in the Late Cretaceous or Early Cenozoic. Submarine caves have served as refuges for the archaic Neritopsidae since the Early to Middle Cenozoic, and the marine neritopsine slug Titiscania represents a highly specialized but relatively recent offshoot of this family. The Neritiliidae is another clade to be found utilizing submarine caves as shelter by the Oligocene; once adapted to the completely dark environment, but some neritiliids have immigrated to surface freshwater habitats. PMID:12495489

Kano, Yasunori; Chiba, Satoshi; Kase, Tomoki

2002-01-01

173

A search for evidence of large body Earth impacts associated with biological crisis zones in the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The natural history of the Earth, how the present plant and animal species developed, how others completely died out, etc., was studied. The rock strata sampled and studied were at the time of deposition at sea bottom. It was found that, exactly at the stratigraphic level corresponding to the extinction, a thin clay layer was greatly enriched in the the rare element iridium. It was hypothesized that the excess irridium at the boundary came from a large steroid like object that hit the earth, and that the impact of this object threw up a dust cloud dense enough and long lasting enough to bring about the extinction of a wide variety of plants and animals, producing the unique break in in the fossil record, the cretaceous-tertiary boundary. The same iridium and platinum metals enrichement are found in a thin clay layer that corresponds with the boundary as difined by sudden radical changes in plant populations. The irridium enrichement is confirmed at other fresh water origin rites in the Raton Basin.

Orth, C. J.; Gilmore, J. S.; Knight, J. D.

1985-01-01

174

A Record of Early to Middle Holocene Hydroclimate Variability from the West African Sahel  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The African Humid Period (ca. 14.8 to 5.5 ka) is an interval of wet climates across northwest Africa, with evidence for widespread lake basins and savannah vegetation in areas that are now desert. There are few high-resolution continental records of hydrologic variability during the African humid period however. In particular, it remains uncertain how periods of north Atlantic climate variability were expressed in northwest Africa. We present results from a 5.4 meter sediment core from Lake Fati in northern Mali (16.29 N, 3.71 W), which represents the first lake sediment core from the western Sahel. The Lake Fati core contains a continuous record of lake mud from 10.43 to 4.66 kyr BP. Centimeter scale XRF scanning indicates strong covariation between iron, calcium, manganese and phosphorous abundance due to enrichment of these elements during periods of enhanced deposition of authigenic siderite. Preliminary oxygen isotope measurements indicate that authigenic siderite ?18O values are positively correlated with Fe counts, suggesting that siderite deposition increased during drier periods with greater evaporation of lake waters. These drying events occurred on decadal to centennial time scales, with higher-frequency variability during the early Holocene. Peaks in zirconium and titanium abundance coincide with some of the inferred dry periods, suggesting that deposition of aeolian silt coincided with periods of increased evaporation of lake water. A roughly 30 year interval of sand deposition at ~8.33 kyr BP suggests major drying and activation of aeolian sand deposition. This abrupt climate change could be related to the 8.2 ka event in the North Atlantic; further efforts to refine the sediment core age model will constrain the relationship of this rapid drying to abrupt climate change in the North Atlantic. Aluminum and silicon counts co-vary for much of the lake Fati record, and are related to input of terrigenous sediment, primarily during seasonal flooding of the Niger river. Al and Si exhibit peak abundance at approximately 9.9 ka followed by a long-term decline, suggesting a long-term decrease in seasonal flooding forced by the precession-controlled reduction in local insolation. Al and Si abundances are decoupled following a transition to deposition of 16 cm sand at 4.5 ka, with Al decreasing and Si increasing rapidly. This period of sand deposition represents the termination of the African Humid Period. The timing of this event is younger than the transition at 5.5 ka recorded in marine cores from ODP site 658 (offshore of Mauritania), possibly due to Lake Fati's location further to the south and closer to the present position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The transition to sand deposition in the Lake Fati core is abrupt (< 40 years), but follows increasing Fe abundance for circa 200 years that could indicate gradual drying preceding this transition. A 6 cm layer of mud at the top of the core indicates the establishment of the current lake system roughly 200 years ago.

McIntosh, R.; Douglas, P. M.; Warren, C.; Meyers, S. R.; Coutros, P.; Park, D. P.

2011-12-01

175

Where's the glass? Biomarkers, molecular clocks, and microRNAs suggest a 200-Myr missing Precambrian fossil record of siliceous sponge spicules  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The earliest evidence for animal life comes from the fossil record of 24-isopropylcholestane, a sterane found in Cryogenian deposits, and whose precursors are found in modern demosponges, but not choanoflagellates, calcareans, hexactinellids, or eumetazoans. However, many modern demosponges are also characterized by the presence of siliceous spicules, and there are no convincing demosponge spicules in strata older than the Cambrian. This temporal disparity highlights a problem with our understanding of the Precambrian fossil record - either these supposed demosponge-specific biomarkers were derived from the sterols of some other organism and are simply retained in modern demosponges, or spicules do not primitively characterize crown-group demosponges. Resolving this issue requires resolving the phylogenetic placement of another group of sponges, the hexactinellids, which not only make a spicule thought to be homologous to the spicules of demosponges, but also make their first appearance near the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary. Using two independent analytical approaches and data sets - traditional molecular phylogenetic analyses and the presence or absence of specific microRNA genes - we show that demosponges are monophyletic, and that hexactinellids are their sister group (together forming the Silicea). Thus, spicules must have evolved before the last common ancestor of all living siliceans, suggesting the presence of a significant gap in the silicean spicule fossil record. Molecular divergence estimates date the origin of this last common ancestor well within the Cryogenian, consistent with the biomarker record, and strongly suggests that siliceous spicules were present during the Precambrian but were not preserved.

Sperling, E. A.; Robinson, J.; Pisani, D.; Peterson, K.

2010-12-01

176

Holocene Asian and African Monsoon Strength Recorded in O-18 of Atmospheric Oxygen  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Prior work using trapped gases in ice cores has shown that the oxygen-18/16 ratio of atmospheric molecular oxygen (?18Oatm) is sensitive to orbital-scale monsoon and ice volume variations (Bender et al., 1994) and millennial-scale monsoon variations during Marine Isotope Stage 4 (Landais et al., 2007). Here we extend these findings with a high-resolution record from the Siple Dome ice core, West Antarctica, covering the last 60 kyr. The early Holocene sample resolution is ~30 yr and precision is 0.009, revealing previously unrecognized centennial-scale variations in ?18Oatm. Removal of the seawater ?18O record (Waelbroeck et al., 2002) yields a record of past changes in the Dole Effect, the difference between the ?18O of air and seawater (+23.8 today). A further calculation using the derivative of the ?18Oatm data and an assumed 1000-yr O2 turnover time allows a deconvolution of the implied effective value of ?18O of O2 introduced to the atmosphere by the terrestrial biosphere (?18Oland). Photosynthesis transfers the ?18O of chloroplast water (H218O/H216O) directly to the O2 that is produced (Guy et al., 1997). Strong monsoons are expected to produce low values of ?18Oland and thus a weak Dole Effect by 1) the low ?18O of heavy rainfall, 2) weak evaporative enrichment of 18O in leaf water due to the high humidity in which monsoon photosynthesis generally occurs, and 3) weak respiratory fractionation in wet tropical soils (Angert et al., 2003). In fact, our calculated ?18Oland correlates surprisingly well with Asian monsoon strength indicators such as the Dongge Cave record (Wang et al., 2005) at periods >0.2 kyr, except at 6 ka, where a prominent increase in ?18Oland coincides with the drying of the Sahara. These observations suggest that ?18Oland from ice cores may be a useful proxy of past Asian and African monsoon variations that integrates over large spatial scales (because the atmosphere is well-mixed, and photosynthesis is ubiquitous). Interestingly, ?18Oland suggests strengthening monsoons over the past ~2 kyr, probably caused by the upturn in May-June 30N insolation, which may obviate the need to call for early anthropogenic emissions to explain rising methane in the last 2 millennia (Ruddiman, 2003).

Severinghaus, J. P.; Beaudette, R.; Brook, E. J.

2008-12-01

177

A comparison of biomarker records of northeast African vegetation from lacustrine and marine sediments  

E-print Network

interval prior to the b-Tulu Bor eruption ca. 3.40 Ma, when the Lokochot Lake occupied part of the Turkana sediments in the Turkana Basin, Kenya, part of the East African Rift System. We ana- lyzed higher plant to biomarkers at a terrestrial site ca. 2000 km away in the Turkana Basin, Kenya, part of the East African Rift

deMenocal, Peter B.

178

Middle Holocene daily light cycle recorded in the strontium/calcium ratios of a fossil giant clam shell  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The historical record of daily light cycle in tropical and subtropical regions is short. Moreover, it remains difficult to extract this cycle in the past from natural archives such as biogenic marine carbonates. Our previous analyses of cultivated giant clam shells (Tridacna derasa) showed a diurnal variation in the Sr/Ca ratio, which is probably reflecting the daily light cycle and not the seawater temperature [1]. In order to apply the proxy method to prehistoric era, we analyzed trace elements of a fossil giant clam shell (Tridacna gigas) which was collected at the coast of the Ishigaki Island (124 09' E, 24 20' N), southern Japan. The giant clam specimen has been living in the middle Holocene, the warmest climate after the last glacial period. An inner layer part of the sample was cut and mounted in Araldite resin disk together with a carbonate standard. This species is known to form a growth line each day [2] and we found similar Sr enrichment lines to those of the cultivated clam [1] using a EPMA. The lines may facilitate age-model determination. We carried out a preliminary analysis of Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios along the growth axis with a 2-micron spot at 2 micron interval using a laterally high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometer (NanoSIMS) installed at Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo. The Sr/Ca ratios of dark and relatively opaque area, which is probably corresponding to a cool winter [3], show striking diurnal cycle. This cycle generally consist of narrow lines of high Sr/Ca ratio and broad increments of low ratio. These variations are consistent with those of the cultivated clam [1] and pointing to the possibility of reconstructing daily light cycle at a few hour timescale in the middle Holocene. The Mg/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios also appear to indicate a diurnal cycle, but the amplitude is rather large and highly irregular, suggesting a strong biological control. Light-enhanced calcification and elemental transportation processes, in giant clam and symbiotic algae, may explain these synchronized variations [4]. [1] Sano et al. (2012) Nature Commun. 3, 761. [2] Watanabe and Oba (1999) JGR 104, 667-674. [3] Bonham (1965) Science 149, 300-302. [4] Hippler et al. (2013) PPP 373, 75-87.

Sano, Y.; Hori, M.; Takahata, N.; Shirai, K.; Watanabe, T.

2013-12-01

179

First evidence of a bipartite medial cuneiform in the hominin fossil record: a case report from the Early Pleistocene site of Dmanisi  

PubMed Central

A medial cuneiform exhibiting complete bipartition was discovered at the Early Pleistocene site of Dmanisi, Georgia. The specimen is the oldest known instance of this anatomical variant in the hominin fossil record. Here we compare developmental variation of the medial cuneiform in fossil hominins, extant humans and great apes, and discuss potential implications of bipartition for hominin foot phylogeny and function. Complete bipartition is rare among modern humans (< 1%); incomplete bipartition was found in 2 of 200 examined great ape specimens and also appears in the form of a divided distal articular surface in the Stw573c Australopithecus africanus specimen. Although various developmental pathways lead to medial cuneiform bipartition, it appears that the bipartite bone does not deviate significantly from normal overall morphology. Together, these data indicate that bipartition represents a phyletically old developmental variant of the medial cuneiform, which does not, however, affect the species-specific morphology and function of this bone. PMID:20579174

Jashashvili, Tea; Ponce de Len, Marcia S; Lordkipanidze, David; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

2010-01-01

180

The origin and early evolution of Sauria: reassessing the permian Saurian fossil record and the timing of the crocodile-lizard divergence.  

PubMed

Sauria is the crown-group of Diapsida and is subdivided into Lepidosauromorpha and Archosauromorpha, comprising a high percentage of the diversity of living and fossil tetrapods. The split between lepidosauromorphs and archosauromorphs (the crocodile-lizard, or bird-lizard, divergence) is considered one of the key calibration points for molecular analyses of tetrapod phylogeny. Saurians have a very rich Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossil record, but their late Paleozoic (Permian) record is problematic. Several Permian specimens have been referred to Sauria, but the phylogenetic affinity of some of these records remains questionable. We reexamine and review all of these specimens here, providing new data on early saurian evolution including osteohistology, and present a new morphological phylogenetic dataset. We support previous studies that find that no valid Permian record for Lepidosauromorpha, and we also reject some of the previous referrals of Permian specimens to Archosauromorpha. The most informative Permian archosauromorph is Protorosaurus speneri from the middle Late Permian of Western Europe. A historically problematic specimen from the Late Permian of Tanzania is redescribed and reidentified as a new genus and species of basal archosauromorph: Aenigmastropheus parringtoni. The supposed protorosaur Eorasaurus olsoni from the Late Permian of Russia is recovered among Archosauriformes and may be the oldest known member of the group but the phylogenetic support for this position is low. The assignment of Archosaurus rossicus from the latest Permian of Russia to the archosauromorph clade Proterosuchidae is supported. Our revision suggests a minimum fossil calibration date for the crocodile-lizard split of 254.7 Ma. The occurrences of basal archosauromorphs in the northern (30N) and southern (55S) parts of Pangea imply a wider paleobiogeographic distribution for the group during the Late Permian than previously appreciated. Early archosauromorph growth strategies appear to be more diverse than previously suggested based on new data on the osteohistology of Aenigmastropheus. PMID:24586565

Ezcurra, Martn D; Scheyer, Torsten M; Butler, Richard J

2014-01-01

181

The potential ocean acidification event at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary: Constraining carbonate chemistry using the presence of corals and coral reefs in the fossil record  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Ocean acidification associated with emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) has been hypothesized as a kill mechanism for the Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) mass extinction (~200Ma), but few direct proxies for ancient ocean acidity are available. Here, we suggest that the presence of fossil corals and coral reefs can constrain palaeocean acidity. Modern scleractinian corals lose the ability to biomineralize a robust skeleton below aragonite saturation states (?Arag) of 2 and modern shallow water coral reefs are only found in ?Arag > 3; we use these minima to constrain ancient ocean carbonate chemistry when corals or coral reefs are preserved in the fossil record. Atmospheric pCO2 reconstructions are combined with the coral ?Arag limitations to calculate the total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) in the Late Triassic Ocean, which is a measure of the buffering capacity or ocean sensitivity to acidification. Our results suggest that Late Triassic TCO2 values were low to moderate (2000-3000 ?mol/kg) such that the pCO2 increases across the T-J boundary would have depressed saturation state to the point where coral biomineralization would have been challenging (?Arag < 2), likely resulting in the observed coral and reef gap in the fossil record. While the average pCO2 elevations recorded in stomatal and pedogenic proxies are not sufficient to cause complete carbonate undersaturation, modeled scenarios for CAMP-related T-J pCO2 increases suggest that aragonite undersaturation is plausible and in extreme cases calcite undersaturation is possible. Thus, a short but extreme acidification in an ocean with a low TCO2 concentration could occur and would satisfactorily explain the significant extinction of calcareous organisms, the coral gap, and possibly the T-J carbonate crisis.

Martindale, R. C.; Berelson, W.; Corsetti, F. A.; Bottjer, D. J.; West, A.

2011-12-01

182

Analysis of hospital records in four African countries, 1975-1990, with emphasis on infectious diseases.  

PubMed

Detailed standardized annual reports are analysed for 17 rural hospitals in four African countries, with admission figures of 1.2 million patients (excluding deliveries) and more than 67,000 deaths over a period of 16 years. The countries involved are Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. Figures on admission, causes of death and clinical case fatality rates are presented per country and per 4-year calendar period for the most important infectious diseases. The number of admissions increased substantially in 3 of the 4 countries (50-77%) between 1976 and 1990, but admission rates (per 1,000 population per year) by much less (6-25%), indicating that a large part of the increase in the volume of services was due to population growth. The number of infectious disease admissions in Ghana, however, decreased by 12% and even more in terms of admission rates (by 42%). About 75% of all admissions in children below 15 years of age were due to infections and infection related diseases; for adults this figure was 31%. Malaria is the single most important infectious disease both in terms of admissions and as a cause of death; it has increased substantially in three of the four countries. Bacterial infections, in particular pneumonia, gastroenteritis, meningitis and tuberculosis, are also important diseases in terms of admissions and deaths. On the whole they have remained at more or less the same level in 1975-1990 in terms of both admissions and deaths. Immunizable diseases and measles, once important as causes of admissions and deaths, have declined in all countries. Case fatality rates vary substantially by type of disease. They are very high for tetanus (36.7-68.8%) and meningitis (14.7-43%), and low for malaria (0.6-4.6%). However, they vary considerably in the four countries included in the study and are usually lower in children than in adults. A need for detailed studies with good "standardized" hospital records is emphasized. Representative data are needed from all hospitals in a given catchment area, with defined diagnoses for diseases and details regarding age and sex. This kind of information is highly desirable for planning and operation of curative and preventive medical care in developing countries. PMID:7636917

Petit, P L; van Ginneken, J K

1995-08-01

183

Characterization of fossil organic matter with Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy: an attempt to record extraterrestrial life .  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The characterization of the insoluble macromolecular fraction of organic matter preserved in carbonate sediments allows the identification of fossil organisms otherwise not recognizable. This approach represents a new tool for the detection of extraterrestrial traces of life even in their primitive form, one of the primary goals of exobiological studies on Mars. Considering the deep connection between carbonate sediments and biological activities on Earth, we checked if it was possible to characterize the organic matter remains dispersed within these rocks, with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The experiment was performed on ancient and well preserved carbonates, belonging to the Calcare di Base Formation outcropping in Northern Calabria (Rossano Basin). The origin of these Miocene deposits is problematic, due to the absence of skeletal fossils. The results demonstrate that FTIR is a reliable method for the characterization of the organic matter preserved in carbonates, and generally in all types of sedimentary rocks.

Guido, A.; Mastandrea, A.; Tosti, F.; Demasi, F.; Blanco, A.; D'Elia, M.; Orofino, V.; Fonti, S.; Russo, F.

184

First Fossil Record of Alphonsea Hk. f. & T. (Annonaceae) from the Late Oligocene Sediments of Assam, India and Comments on Its Phytogeography  

PubMed Central

A new fossil leaf impression of Alphonsea Hk. f. & T. of the family Annonaceae is described from the Late Oligocene sediments of Makum Coalfield, Assam, India. This is the first authentic record of the fossil of Alphonsea from the Tertiary rocks of South Asia. The Late Oligocene was the time of the last significant globally warm climate and the fossil locality was at 1015N palaeolatitude. The known palaeoflora and sedimentological studies indicate a fluvio-marine deltaic environment with a mosaic of mangrove, fluvial, mire and lacustrine depositional environments. During the depositional period the suturing between the Indian and Eurasian plates was not complete to facilitate the plant migration. The suturing was over by the end of the Late Oligocene/beginning of Early Miocene resulting in the migration of the genus to Southeast Asia where it is growing profusely at present. The present study is in congruence with the earlier published palaeofloral and molecular phylogenetic data. The study also suggests that the Indian plate was not only a biotic ferry during its northward voyage from Gondwana to Asia but also a place for the origin of several plant taxa. PMID:23349701

Srivastava, Gaurav; Mehrotra, Rakesh C.

2013-01-01

185

Generating Sexually Differentiated Vocal Patterns: Laryngeal Nerve and EMG Recordings from Vocalizing Male and Female African  

E-print Network

Vocalizing Male and Female African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis) Ayako Yamaguchi and Darcy B. Kelley clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) produce sexually dimorphic vocalizations; for males these include ad is the source of sexually differentiated vocalizations in Xenopus laevis. Fur- thermore, detailed analyses

Kelley, Darcy B.

186

African climate change and faunal evolution during the Pliocene-Pleistocene  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Environmental theories of African faunal evolution state that important evolutionary changes during the Pliocene-Pleistocene interval (the last ca. 5.3 million years) were mediated by changes in African climate or shifts in climate variability. Marine sediment sequences demonstrate that subtropical African climate periodically oscillated between markedly wetter and drier conditions, paced by earth orbital variations, with evidence for step-like (0.2 Ma) increases in African climate variability and aridity near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, coincident with the onset and intensification of high-latitude glacial cycles. Analysis of the best dated and most complete African mammal fossil databases indicates African faunal assemblage and, perhaps, speciation changes during the Pliocene-Pleistocene, suggesting more varied and open habitats at 2.9-2.4 Ma and after 1.8 Ma. These intervals correspond to key junctures in early hominid evolution, including the emergence of our genus Homo. Pliocene-Pleistocene shifts in African climate, vegetation, and faunal assemblages thus appear to be roughly contemporary, although detailed comparisons are hampered by sampling gaps, dating uncertainties, and preservational biases in the fossil record. Further study of possible relations between African faunal and climatic change will benefit from the accelerating pace of important new fossil discoveries, emerging molecular biomarker methods for reconstructing African paleovegetation changes, tephra correlations between terrestrial and marine sequences, as well as continuing collaborations between the paleoclimatic and paleoanthropological communities.

deMenocal, Peter B.

2004-03-01

187

Fossil Fondue  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

To understand how fossils are formed, students model the process of fossilization by making fossils using small toy figures and melted chocolate. They extend their knowledge to the many ways that engineers aid in the study of fossils, including the development of tools and technologies for determining the physical and chemical properties of fossilized organisms, and how those properties tell a story of our changing world.

Integrated Teaching And Learning Program

188

4th Grade Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Introduction to Fossils What is a fossil What is a Fossil? Body and Trace Fossils Body and Trace Fossils Life of a Vertebrate fossil Life of a Vertebrate Fossil Finding Fossils Finding Fossils How fossils are found How fossils are formed Age of Fossils Age of Fossils in Sedimentary Rock Fossils found in Utah Fossils found in Utah Where fossils are found in Utah Where fossils are found in Utah Utah County Map Utah County Map ...

richrigby

2010-01-26

189

Fossil primates 1 Fossil primates  

E-print Network

Fossil primates 1 Fossil primates Extinct members of the order of mammals to which humans belong group of living primates. However, the chewing teeth and the locomotor anatomy of these fossil forms). These animals are also known from fossil deposits on Ellesmere Island, in Arctic Canada, which was then covered

Delson, Eric

190

Fossil humans 1 Fossil humans  

E-print Network

Fossil humans 1 Fossil humans All prehistoric skeletal remains of humans which are archeologically or fossilization of bone, and regardless of whether the remains may be classed as Homo sapi- ens sapiens of the Neanderthal speci- men in 1856. Fossil human remains have come prin- cipally from Europe, Asia, China, Java

Delson, Eric

191

Palaeolithic use of fossil combustible linked to singular environmental conditions : the long term el Kowm record (Syria).  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Identifying the adaptation of hunter-gatherer communities to particular situations that provided natural resources is a major concern for multidisciplinary team studying archaeological contexts. This challenge is illustrated in the desertic El Kowm basin in central Syria by data from Hummal and El Kowm Paleolithic sites. The sites form prominent mounds at artesian springs resulting from recurrent episodes of lacustrine, limnic and aeolian sedimentation in pseudo-karstic depressions. The few meter sequences provide semi-continuous succession of archaeological levels from the Oldest Palaeolithic (Oldowan) to the early Neolithic period. This long term continuity of occupation is partly due to attracting conditions due to the profusion of water from epithermal artesian wells during periods of high water recharge. In addition, we document here the unique potential of this endoreic basin to have accumulated singular fossil combustible of high energy value during particular environmental episodes. The latter are represented by the recurrence of distinctive black organogenic facies showing a contrasting micro stratification formed of interlayered grey calcareous silty clay, dark brown organic rich clay and dull orange clay. Spatial excavation has shown the unique preservation of Palaeolithic occupation surfaces in association to the microstratified facies. High resolution sampling and multi-proxy analysis have allowed explaining the formation of the microstratified facies from rapid changes of environmental conditions in response to contrasting fluctuations of atmospheric dust loading, precipitation events, rainwater quality and evapotranspiration. Organogenic microfacies formed at different time periods share common compositional assemblage and structural behaviour: occurrence of exotic fine sand-sized debris formed of metal-rich carbonaceous components with polymer, fine charcoal, vitrous carbon, carbon fibres, and exotic rock clasts with a metal-rich carbonaceous coating; highly stable microstructure and low wettability. Based on their analytical properties, the carbonaceous polymorphs and the associated mineral components are shown to deriving from fossil combustible of stratospheric origin. The comparison with modern analogues (cf. Courty et al., 2012) has provided keys to explaining the organogenic microfacies from accumulation episodes of exotic stratospheric aerosols in response to serial meteor explosion at high altitude. Geogenic markers and microfacies pattern show four situations: (1) nearly intact ancient surfaces with pulverized carbonaceous composite debris that trace the local effects of meteor explosion ; (2) secondary concentrations expressing accumulation of stratospheric aerosols from the heavy rainfall events subsequent to the meteor explosions; (3) relictual concentrations resulting from selective accumulation of the most resistant components by chemical and physical erosion along to the fossilization; (4) human-controlled concentrations of the unusual debris indicating intentional collect, use and transformation of the singular fossil combustible and related materials. Ancient humans are thus suggested to have regularly exploited the local sources of the singular fossil combustible that formed during episodes of serial cosmic explosions. The direct effect of increased atmospheric dust loading on precipitation regime explains the apparent synchrony between occupation phases and local climate changes. These are simply two distinctive responses to a common cause. Courty, Benot and Vaillant (2012). Possible interaction of meteor explosion with stratospheric aerosols on cloud nucleation based on 2011 observations. Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 14, EGU2012.

Courty, M.-A.; Le Tensorer, J.-M.; Boda, E.; Muhesen, S.; Alsakhel, E.; Wegmller, F.

2012-04-01

192

Discovering Fossils: Fossil Tools & Resources  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Fossil enthusiasts Roy Shephard and Luci Algar combined their professional skills in media and education to develop this informative and entertaining website. Designed to be educational and accessible to children, this site presents a wide variety of information about fossils. The site contains a nice collection of images and diagrams; and includes a fossils guide for beginners, information on preparing fossils, a collection of fossil myths, information on ammonites, and more. The site also contains a Games & Activities section for teachers and students, a glossary of fossil terms, a neat diagram depicting the evolution of life on our planet, and even some free fossil desktop images.

193

A diverse Rancholabrean vertebrate microfauna from southern California includes the first fossil record of ensatina ( Ensatina eschscholtzii: Plethodontidae)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Analysis of late Pleistocene fossils recovered from near the Huntington Beach, California (USA), pier (site LACM 7679) has revealed a diverse fauna dating to approximately 40 14C ka BP. Extinct megafauna (three genera) are present; however, a microfauna including three genera of fish, five genera of amphibians, twelve genera of reptiles, two genera of birds, and ten genera of small mammals dominates the assemblage in terms of diversity. Additional identification of seven genera of non-marine mollusks and various macro- and microscopic plant remains including grasses, three families of herbs, and seven genera of trees provides a wealth of information concerning the past ecology of what is currently a coastal dune field complex. During the Rancholabrean Period, the LACM 7679 locality was approximately 10 km inland from the Pleistocene coastline and contained lush riparian zones interspersed with coastal sage scrub, a few trees, and grasslands teeming with a variety of small and large animals.

Wake, Thomas A.; Roeder, Mark A.

2009-11-01

194

Imprint of Climate Variability on Mesozoic Fossil Tree Rings: Evidences of Solar Activity Signals on Environmental Records Around 200 Million Years Ago?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Evidence of the solar activity modulation of the Earth's climate has been observed on several parameters, from decadal to millennial time scales. Several proxies have been used to reconstruct the paleoclimate as well as the solar activity. The paleoclimate reconstructions are based on direct and/or indirect effects of global and regional climate conditions. The solar activity reconstructions are based on the production of the 14C isotope due to the interaction of cosmic ray flux and the Earth's atmosphere. Because trees respond to climate conditions and store 14C, they have been used as proxies for both for climate and solar activity reconstructions. The imprints of solar activity cycles dating back to 10,000 years ago have been observed on tree-ring samples using 14C data, and those dating back to 20 million years ago have been analyzed using fossil tree-growth rings. All this corresponds to the Cenozoic era. However, solar activity imprints on tree rings from earlier than that era have not been investigated yet. In this work, we showed that tree rings from the Mesozoic Era (of ~200 million years ago) recorded 11- and 22-year cycles, which may be related to solar activity cycles, and that were statistically significant at the 95 % confidence level. The fossil wood was collected in the southern region of Brazil. Our analysis of the fossils' tree-ring width series power spectra showed characteristics similar to the modern araucaria tree, with a noticeable decadal periodicity. Assuming that the Earth's climate responds to solar variability and that responses did not vary significantly over the last ~200 million years, we conclude that the solar-climate connection was likely present during the Mesozoic era.

Prestes, A.; Rigozo, N. R.; Nordemann, D. J. R.; Echer, E.; Vieira, L. E. A.; Souza Echer, M. P.; Wrasse, C. M.; Guarnieri, F. L.

2014-08-01

195

"Fossil" Forecasting.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Presents a density study in which students calculate the density of limestone substrate to determine if the specimen contains any fossils. Explains how to make fossils and addresses national standards. (YDS)

Brody, Michael J.; deOnis, Ann

2001-01-01

196

How fragmented was the British Holocene wildwood? Perspectives on the Vera grazing debate from the fossil beetle record  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The reconstruction and structure of the European Holocene "wildwood" has been the focus of considerable academic debate. The ability of palaeoecological data and particularly pollen analysis to accurately reflect the density of wildwood canopy has also been widely discussed. Fossil insects, as a proxy for vegetation and landscape structure, provide a potential approach to address this argument. Here, we present a review and re-analysis of 36 early and mid-Holocene (9500-2000 cal BC) sub-fossil beetle assemblages from Britain, examining percentage values of tree, open ground and dung beetles as well as tree host data to gain an insight into vegetation structure, the role of grazing animals in driving such structure and establish independently the importance of different types of trees and associated shading in the early Holocene "wildwood". Open indicator beetle species are persistently present over the entire review period, although they fluctuate in importance. During the early Holocene (9500-6000 cal BC), these indicators are initially high, at levels which are not dissimilar to modern data from pasture woodland. However, during the latter stages of this and the next period, 6000-4000 cal BC, open ground and pasture indicators decline and are generally low compared with previously. Alongside this pattern, we see woodland indicators generally increase in importance, although there are significant local fluctuations. Levels of dung beetles are mostly low over these periods, with some exceptions to this pattern, especially towards the end of the Mesolithic and in floodplain areas. Host data associated with the fossil beetles indicate that trees associated with lighter canopy conditions such as oak, pine, hazel and birch are indeed important components of the tree canopy during the earlier Holocene (c. 9500-6000 cal BC), in accordance with much of the current pollen literature. Beetles associated with more shade-tolerant trees (such as lime and elm) become more frequent in the middle Holocene (6000-4000 cal BC) suggesting that at this stage the woodland canopy was less open than previously, although open ground and pasture areas appear to have persisted in some locations. The onset of agriculture (4000-2000 cal BC) coincides with significant fluctuations in woodland composition and taxa. This is presumably as a result of human impact, although here there are significant regional variations. There are also increases in the amounts of open ground represented and especially in the levels of dung beetles present in faunas, suggesting there is a direct relationship between the activities of grazing animals and the development of more open areas. One of the most striking aspects of this review is the variable nature of the landscape suggested by the palaeoecological data, particularly but not exclusively with the onset of agriculture: some earlier sites indicate high variability between levels of tree-associated species on the one hand and the open ground beetle fauna on the other, indicating that in some locations, open areas were of local significance and can be regarded as important features of the Holocene landscape. The role of grazing animals in creating these areas of openness was apparently minimal until the onset of the Neolithic.

Whitehouse, Nicki J.; Smith, David

2010-02-01

197

Landscape planning for the future: using fossil records to independently validate potential threats, opportunities and likely future range-shifts for socio-economically valuable plant species in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Bioclimatic Envelope Models (BEMs) for a set of socio-economically important tree species in Europe were independently validated using a hindcasting approach and fossil pollen records spanning the last 1000 years, including the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the 20th Century warming (PRES). The aim was to determine the accuracy of combining BEMs and palaeoecological data to predict continental-scale changes in distribution, and the availability of fossil data to hindcast economically important species. Eight types of BEMs were implemented in this study, covering most state-of-the-art modelling techniques. Present and palaeoclimatic data were obtained from the Atmosphere-Ocean Global Circulation Model ECHO-G. Last millenium was divided into three climatically distinct periods: MWP (AD 900-1300), LIA (AD 1600-1850) and PRES (AD 1900-2000). Models were calibrated for each period and validated with climatic and pollen data from the remaining periods. Successfully validated models were projected onto a 1-degree European grid, allowing the reconstruction of past modelled species distributions. BEMs were successfully validated with independent data. Strong model performance suggested high potential for BEMs to be used to model future species distributions, and highlighted the importance of palaeoecological data to independently validate these models, taking into account the scales at which this data operates. Although valid, BEMs showed poorer performance with species heavily managed and/or growing in heterogeneous terrain or with discontinuous distributions. Last millennium in Europe was characterized by an increase of crop woody species and a decline of forest species, suggesting an increasing land use by humans. The same approach was then implemented to a set of sub-Saharan plant species of high importance as a source of food, wood, and other ecosystem services such as carbon storage or erosion protection. The African study covered most of the Holocene, including the sharp transition from wet to dry climate about 5000 yr. B.P., of crucial importance to understand the response of the savannah/desert system to large climatic shifts over a region especially sensitive to these oscillations. Validated models were projected onto ensemble climate projections for the late 21st century, providing robust predictions of the future distribution of these key plant species.

Macias Fauria, M.; Willis, K. J.

2011-12-01

198

East African mid-Holocene wet-dry transition recorded in palaeo-shorelines of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya Rift  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The 'wet' early to mid-Holocene of tropical Africa, with its enhanced monsoon, ended with an abrupt shift toward drier conditions and was ultimately replaced by a drier climate that has persisted until the present day. The forcing mechanisms, the timing, and the spatial extent of this major climatic transition are not well understood and remain the subject of ongoing research. We have used a detailed palaeo-shoreline record from Lake Turkana (Kenya) to decipher and characterise this marked climatic transition in East Africa. We present a high-precision survey of well-preserved palaeo-shorelines, new radiocarbon ages from shoreline deposits, and oxygen-isotope measurements on freshwater mollusk shells to elucidate the Holocene moisture history from former lake water-levels in this climatically sensitive region. In combination with previously published data our study shows that during the early Holocene the water-level in Lake Turkana was high and the lake overflowed temporarily into the White Nile drainage system. During the mid-Holocene (~ 5270 300 cal. yr BP), however, the lake water-level fell by ~ 50 m, coeval with major episodes of aridity on the African continent. A comparison between palaeo-hydrological and archaeological data from the Turkana Basin suggests that the mid-Holocene climatic transition was associated with fundamental changes in prehistoric cultures, highlighting the significance of natural climate variability and associated periods of protracted drought as major environmental stress factors affecting human occupation in the East African Rift System.

Garcin, Yannick; Melnick, Daniel; Strecker, Manfred R.; Olago, Daniel; Tiercelin, Jean-Jacques

2012-05-01

199

Osteological associations with unique tooth development in manatees (Trichechidae, Sirenia): a detailed look at modern Trichechus and a review of the fossil record.  

PubMed

Modern manatees have a unique type of tooth development, continually forming identical new molars in the posterior end of each quadrant of their mouths, and then progressively moving teeth anteriorly, only to reabsorb roots and spit out worn crowns. This process is not only developmentally complex, but requires space in the oral cavity that imposes its own limitations on other uses of that space. To gain a clearer understanding of the anatomical constraints on the evolution of this unique developmental process, we identified the specialized craniodental features in modern Trichechus that permit this specialization using visual observation and CT. Furthermore, to better understand the evolution of these traits, we review the fossil record of trichechids for these traits, including CT analysis of the skull of Miosiren kocki, a possible early member of the family from the Early Miocene of Belgium. PMID:22777871

Beatty, Brian Lee; Vitkovski, Taisia; Lambert, Olivier; Macrini, Thomas E

2012-09-01

200

Plant and insect fossils at Norwood in south-central Minnesota: A record of late-glacial succession*1  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Norwood site in Sibley Co., Minnesota, contains 1.6 m of silt resting on till and overlain by peat. The base of the peat has been radiocarbon dated at 12,400 60 and the top at 11,200 250 yr B.P. The pollen, plant macrofossils, and insect remains in the basal silt consist of boreal species inhabiting open environments, but not tundra. No modern analogue exists for the insect assemblage, which includes elements of boreal forest, tundra-forest, and western affinities. The transition from an unstable open environment to a stable coniferous forest is reflected by both plant and insect fossils and is interpreted as a successional rather than a climatic event. During this time of significant biologic change, the climate is inferred to have been relatively uniform, with temperatures similar to those presently existing in the boreal forest south of the tundra-forest transition zone. The geologic and ecologic succession at Norwood is generally similar to that presently associated with ice stagnation of the Klutlan Glacier in the Yukon Territory. Localized successional sequences similar to those at Norwood are conceived to have occurred repeatedly during the melting of the Laurentide ice, and thus the proposed model has potentially broad application to the interpretation of late-glacial sequences.

Ashworth, Allan C.; Schwert, Donald P.; Watts, William A.; Wright, H. E.

1981-07-01

201

A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6-4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA  

USGS Publications Warehouse

In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the oceanatmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 20102011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~ 140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.

Miller, Ian M.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Anderson, R. Scott; Johnson, Kirk R.; Mahan, Shannon A.; Ager, Thomas A.; Baker, Richard G.; Blaauw, Maarten; Bright, Jordon; Brown, Peter M.; Bryant, Bruce; Calamari, Zachary T.; Carrara, Paul E.; Michael D., Cherney; Demboski, John R.; Elias, Scott A.; Fisher, Daniel C.; Gray, Harrison J.; Haskett, Danielle R.; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Jimnez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Kline, Douglas; Leonard, Eric M.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Lucking, Carol; McDonald, H. Gregory; Miller, Dane M.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Nash, Stephen E.; Newton, Cody; Paces, James B.; Petrie, Lesley; Plummer, Mitchell A.; Porinchu, David F.; Rountrey, Adam N.; Scott, Eric; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Sharpe, Saxon E.; Skipp, Gary L.; Strickland, Laura E.; Stucky, Richard K.; Thompson, Robert S.; Wilson, Jim

2014-01-01

202

"It's Alive!" Fossil Activity  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The first lab activity for the course is called "PaleontologyPast, Present, and Future". In addition to discussing several documents related to present and future research directions in the field, students review a brief timeline of the historical development of paleontology as a science. Then they get their first opportunity to work directly with fossils. Students are presented with a set of fossil specimens in boxes (with no identifying labels). Each student selects one fossil of their own. They are asked to make and record very close, detailed observations of the specimen, and to sketch the fossil. Then they are told to "think like it's 1600." Someone has brought this object, taken out of the local rocks, for the student to investigate. The student must write a "proof" that this fossil was obviously once alive, and is not just an interesting mineral or rock formation. They can use their observations, compare the specimen to other objects with which they're familiar, resort to pure logic, or apply any other avenue of argumentation they think will help make their case. Note: In the next lab, on fossil preservation and taphonomy, the students revisit their fossil specimen, and determine its mode of preservation. Indeed, the student's "pet fossil" could be used throughout the course to illustrate various components of the course content.

Peg Yacobucci

203

Fossils 1: Fossils and Dinosaurs  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This lesson will go beyond naming dinosaurs and give students a broad understanding of how we know about the great beasts. This lesson focuses on what we have learned and can learn from fossils. The follow-up lesson, Dinosaurs Fossils - Uncovering the Facts, explores what information can be discerned by comparing fossils to living organisms.

Science Netlinks

2001-10-20

204

U-Pb dated Speleothem records of Plio-Pleistocen climate variability from South African hominin bearing caves  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen to investigate the potential palaeoclimate records from the caves near Johannesburg in South Africa. The sediments in these caves contain early human (hominin) fossils, as well as speleothem material, providing an ideal opportunity to investigate the palaeo-enviroments of our earliest ancestors. These sites are dated via uranium-lead to between 2.8 and 1.5 Ma and provide a window into changing climatic conditions, rare from both this period and region. We micro-drilled stalagmite and flowstone samples from Sterkfontein (2.8 -2.0 Ma), Swartkrans (2.4 -1.7 Ma) and Cooper's Cave (1.5 - 1.4 Ma) at 0.5mm spacing to provide a total of five high resolution records. Oxygen isotope values range from -6.5 to -3, clustering around -4.5. Carbon isotopes range from -8 to 2 and show more variation. Both a Hendy test and a C vs. O plot show that the deposits in question were deposited in equilibrium with their surroundings and the data can be used for environmental interpretations. Care was also taken to examine the petrography of all the speleothem material to access the mineralogy (calcite vs aragonite) and the extent of re-crystallisation. Oxygen isotope values are interpreted as the product of the amount and type of rainfall, with wetter periods represented by enriched excursions. The contribution of the dolomite aquifer above the cave may, however, obscure the ?18O signal. The carbon isotopes reflect changes in the vegetational communities above the cave, with varying amounts of C3 and C4 plants. At present each speleothem piece has only one U-Pb date, the distribution of suitable uranium rich layers limits the spatial resolution of dates. The Cooper's Cave flowstone pieces display visible growth layers; should these be annual layers, then these two records represent as little as 60 years climate variability - specifically in the amount of rainfall. However, this would require very fast speleothem growth rates (0.5mm/year). The scale of variation observed in these records is within the same range as other speleothem records from southern Africa and these bands are more likely records of a longer term cycle of a few 1000 years. Still the records presented here do not document long-term climatic variations, but rather snap shot records of short term, detailed climate change. This is especially pertinent as the hominins (and other fauna) would have been more vulnerable to changes on these shorter, life-time time scales.

Pickering, Robyn; Gktrk, Ozan; Badertscher, Seraina; Fleitmann, Dominik; Kramers, Jan

2010-05-01

205

Fossil fuel and wood combustion as recorded by carbon particles in Lake Erie sediments 1850-1998.  

PubMed

Carbon particle analysis was performed on a dated sediment core from Lake Erie in order to explore the inputs of pollution from incomplete combustion of coal, oil, and wood. Carbon particles were isolated from the sediment by chemical digestion, and elemental carbon content was determined by CHN analysis. The type of carbon particle (from burning coal, oil, and wood) and particle size and relative abundance were determined using scanning electron microscopy on 100 particles from each core section. The elemental carbon content in the Lake Erie core ranges from 2.5 to 7.4 mg of carbon/g of sediment (1850-1998), and the maximum carbon content in the sediment occurs in the late 1960s to early 1970s. It is shown that particle mass is a better predictor than particle number of historical energy consumption records. This is especially clear for wood where variable particle volumes play a significant role in determining the record of elemental carbon mass from wood burning. Lake Erie core's content of total carbon and carbon particle type is in agreement with U.S. energy consumption records, except that a wood maximum occurs during 1905-1917, about 36 yr after the U.S. consumption maximum from 1870 to 1880. PMID:11999043

Kralovec, Andrew C; Christensen, Erik R; Van Camp, Ryan P

2002-04-01

206

Pollen dispersal over complex terrain: How does anisotropic airborne pollen transport affect interpretation of fossil pollen records? A case study in Northern Patagonia.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Accumulated pollen in stratified fossil reservoirs is used to infer temporal changes in vegetation composition. Transport and dispersal by winds are known to introduce large biases in the interpretation of polynic records. In order to calibrate the models used to infer information about past species distributions, human activities and climate, contemporary time series of polynic records are assessed and modelled. In this study we analyse measurements collected hourly in Bariloche, Argentina (41 10' S, 71 15' W, 850 masl) of the species Weinmannia trichosperma, a characteristic forest tree which grows only the western (Chilean) slopes of the Andes, but not on the eastern (Argentinian) slopes where the measurements were collected. Instead of the simplistic Gaussian plume mixing model that is usually employed by the palynological community, we apply a full 3D Lagrangian dispersion model to interpret the observations and assess the impact of long-range transport over the Andean mountain range. The Lagrangian calculation of the origins of the air masses (the "backward footprint") is consistent not only with the Chilean Weinmania pollen measurements but also with a set of species only found on the dryer steppe located to the east of the measurement site in Argentina. The agreement of the modelling results indicates that significant interpretation mistakes may arise from inconsistent transport treatment. We also discuss the further application of inverse trajectory modelling to the estimation of source intensity.

Prez, Claudio; Bianchi, Mara Martha; Gassmann, Marisa; Pisso, Ignacio

2014-05-01

207

Fossil formation  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The National Science Education Standards Life Science Content Standard mentions that fossils indicate extinct species and contribute to an understanding of evolution and diversity. The Earth and Space Sciences Content Standard tells us they provide clues about past environments. But what is a fossil? How does it form? The processes can be complex. An understanding of fossil formation will enable accurate student conceptions of related science concepts including methods of science in geology, paleontology, and evolution.

University, Staff A.

2008-03-07

208

Complex Records of Environmental Character and Change in Neogene African Rift Basins  

Microsoft Academic Search

The Neogene rift basins of East Africa preserve complex environmental records encompassing the effects of tectonics and climate along with the influences of volcanism, landscape succession and biotic change. Detailed reconstruction of individual basin evolution, along with the integration of parallel basin histories can allow the isolation of controlling factors, particularly when they are represented by distinctive signatures. Major Neogene

C. S. Feibel

2004-01-01

209

Stable isotopes in East African precipitation record Indian Ocean zonal M. Vuille,1  

E-print Network

simulations show that the d18 O composition of precipitation in East Africa is closely related to the coupled in convective activity and precipitation over East Africa. The IOZM is recorded as significant departures in d18 O not only over East Africa but as a dipole mode with opposite sign to the east and west

Massachusetts at Amherst, University of

210

Fossil Fuels.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may

Crank, Ron

211

Ediacara Fossils  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented

Science Teacher, 2005

2005-01-01

212

Influences of the Agulhas Current on South African terrestrial climate as inferred from speleothem stable isotope records  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

South African (SA) climate is strongly influenced by the circulation systems surrounding the subcontinent. The warm tropical Agulhas Current provides large amounts of moisture, transported onshore by south-easterly trade winds during summer. As the trade wind shifts north during winter, the south-western tip of SA is especially affected by temperate westerlies. High amounts of rainfall from the Benguela region off the west coast then only affect the very south-west of the country. This seasonal pattern creates a highly variable terrestrial climate, characterized by strong E-W gradients in the seasonal distribution and amount of rainfall. As summer and winter rain is derived from sources with different properties (density, salinity, temperature), the rainfall also displays seasonal isotopic compositional variations, as for example the present mean ?18O of rainfall in Mossel Bay located in the transition region varies from ~0.13 in January to -6.05 in July. Vegetation type (C3 vs C4) also follows the rainfall regime with C4 vegetation dominating in the summer rainfall region. As part of the GATEWAYS project, speleothems are used as an excellent, high resolution, precisely dated archive of terrestrial paleoenvironmental conditions[1]. This study focuses on a speleothem record from Crevice Cave on the South African south coast (near Mossel Bay), covering the interval between ~111 and ~53 ka[1,2]. At present, the area is influenced by both summer and winter rainfall, and has mostly C3 type vegetation. Variations in the past show more positive ?18O and ?13C values in the interval corresponding to the glacial MIS 4 and indicate increased summer rainfall and C4 vegetation. This contradicts the common assumption that MIS 4 was characterized by a northward shift of the climatic belts over SA and an increase of winter rainfall and C3 vegetation in the cave area[3]. Comparison of the record to marine sediment cores from the Agulhas Retroflection area[4] and the Cape Basin[5,6] as well as an ice-core record from Antarctica[7] reveal that the speleothem ?18O and ?13C are more closely related to the sea surface temperature shifts in the Agulhas region and Antarctica (with lower ?18O and ?13C values corresponding to higher temperatures) than to the influence of global ice-volume related changes in the isotopic composition of the ocean. A contemporary record from a cave site situated ~92 km inland from Mossel Bay (E-Flux Cave, Klein Karoo) shows a very different signal, corresponding to overall changes in Obliquity[8]. The influence of the Agulhas Current is thus apparent on the coast, but reduced inland. [1] Bar-Matthews, M. et al. 2010. Quaternary Science Reviews 29 p2131. [2] Braun, K. et al. 2011. Conference Abstract, Climate Change - The Karst Record 6. Birmingham England p27. [3] Chase, B. M. & Meadows, M. E., 2007. Earth-Science Reviews 84 p103. [4] Cortese, G. et al. 2004. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 222 p767. [5] Martnez-Mndez, G. et al. (2010). Paleoceanography 25(PA4227): doi:10.1029/2009PA001879. [6] Peeters, F. J. C. et al. 2004. Nature 430 p661. [7] Petit, J. R. et al. 1999. Nature 399 p429. [8] Berger, A. L. 1978. Quaternary Research 9 p139.

Braun, K.; Bar-Matthews, M.; Ayalon, A.; Marean, C.; Herries, A. I. R.; Zahn, R.; Matthews, A.

2012-04-01

213

Fossil Fuels  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

How much does the United States depend on fossil fuels? This web page, part of a site on the future of energy, introduces students to fossil fuels as an energy source. Here students read about the uses, benefits, and limitations of fossil fuels. There is also information on how these fuels are distributed geographically and how they affect the U.S. economy through supply and demand. Thought-provoking questions afford students opportunities to reflect on what they've read. Articles about clean coal, the national energy policy, and the formation of fossil fuels, together with a fossil fuels fact sheet, are accessible from a sidebar. In addition, five PBS NewsHour links to energy-related stories are included.

Iowa Public Television. Explore More Project

2004-01-01

214

Cosmic-Ray Production of 6Li by Structure Formation Shocks in the Early Milky Way: A Fossil Record of Dissipative Processes during Galaxy Formation  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

While the abundances of Be and B observed in metal-poor halo stars are well explained as resulting from spallation of CNO-enriched cosmic rays (CRs) accelerated by supernova shocks, accounting for the observed 6Li in such stars with supernova CRs is more problematic. Here we propose that gravitational shocks induced by infalling and merging subgalactic clumps during hierarchical structure formation of the Galaxy should dissipate enough energy at early epochs so that the CRs accelerated by such shocks can provide a natural explanation of the observed 6Li. In clear contrast to supernovae, structure formation shocks do not eject freshly synthesized CNO nor Fe, so that ?-? fusion, which is the only effective production channel at low metallicity, is capable of generating sufficient 6Li with no accompanying Be or B and no direct correspondence with Fe. Correlations between the 6Li abundance and the kinematic properties of the halo stars may also be expected in this scenario. Further, more extensive observations of 6Li in metal-poor halo stars, e.g., by the Subaru High Dispersion Spectrograph or the Very Large Telescope UV-Visual Echelle Spectrograph, may offer us an invaluable fossil record of dissipative dynamical processes that occurred during the formation of our Galaxy.

Suzuki, Takeru Ken; Inoue, Susumu

2002-07-01

215

Cosmic Ray Production of Lithium-6 by Structure Formation Shocks in the Early Milky Way: A Fossil Record of Dissipative Processes during Galaxy Formation  

E-print Network

While the abundances of Be and B observed in metal-poor halo stars are well explained as resulting from spallation of CNO-enriched cosmic rays (CRs) accelerated by supernova shocks, accounting for the observed $^6$Li in such stars with supernova CRs is more problematic. Here we propose that gravitational shocks induced by infalling and merging sub-Galactic clumps during hierarchical structure formation of the Galaxy should dissipate enough energy at early epochs, and CRs accelerated by such shocks can provide a natural explanation of the observed $^6$Li. In clear constrast to supernovae, structure formation shocks do not eject freshly synthesized CNO nor Fe, so that the only effective production channel at low metallicity is $\\alpha-\\alpha$ fusion, capable of generating sufficient $^6$Li with no accompanying Be or B and no direct correspondence with Fe. Correlations between the $^6$Li abundance and the kinematic properties of the halo stars may also be expected in this scenario. Further, more extensive observations of $^6$Li in metal-poor halo stars, e.g. by the Subaru HDS or VLT/UVES, may offer us an invaluable fossil record of dissipative dynamical processes which occurred during the formation of our Galaxy.

Takeru K. Suzuki; Susumu Inoue

2002-03-04

216

Suid evolution and correlation of African hominid localities.  

PubMed

Recently discovered Plio-Pleistocene vertebrate assemblages have allowed complete systematic revision of the sub-Saharan African Suidae. New phylogenies are proposed for the 7 genera and 16 species of fossil and extant representatives. Suids are common elements of African Plio-Pleistocene faunas, and their evolutionary trends, particularly in the species Mesochoerus limnetes and Metridiochoerus andrewsi, are of great correlative value. Suid data are employed in a refinement of stratigraphic correlations at Omo Shungura, Olduvai, and east of Lake Turkana (formerly East Rudolf) and in a correlation of East African and South African sites, with important implications for interpretation of hominid evolution. The suid record also bears significantly on questions of theoretical evolutionary biology. PMID:331477

White, T D; Harris, J M

1977-10-01

217

East African Soil Erosion Recorded in a 300 Year old Coral Colony From Kenya  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Soil erosion threatens the food security of 2.6 billion people worldwide. The situation is particularly dire in East and Sub-Saharan Africa where per capita food production has declined over the past 45 years. Erosion and the resultant loss of fertile soil is a key socio-economic and ecological problem in Kenya, affecting all sectors of its economy and damaging marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The temporal pattern of soil erosion is almost unknown and currently only sparse and rather anecdotal information exists. To aid in filling this gap of knowledge, we present a 300-year long Barium record from two Kenyan coral colonies (Porites sp., 315'S, 409' E; Malindi Marine National Park) that documents a dynamic history of soil erosion in the Sabaki river drainage basin. To reconstruct Sabaki River sediment flux to the Malindi coral reef Ba/Ca ratios were measured in the skeleton of two Porites colonies (Mal 96-1 and Mal 95-3). Well-developed annual bands allow us to develop annually precise chronologies. Ba/Ca ratios were measured in core Mal 96-1 at continuous 40 ?m intervals (~400 to 500 samples yr-1) using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA- ICP-MS). To test for reproducibility and accuracy of the Mal 96-1 Ba/Ca profile, coral core Mal 95-3 was analyzed at lower resolution (1 to 12 samples yr-1) using discrete micro-drill sampling and isotope dilution ICP-MS. The close similarity between both coral Ba/Ca profiles, in absolute values as well as general pattern, underscores the accuracy of the LA-ICP-MS technique and adds confidence to our interpretation of the 300 year long Mal 96-1 Ba/Ca profile. The Ba/Ca coral proxy record shows that while the sediment flux from the Sabaki River is nearly constant between 1700 and 1900, a continuous rise in sediment flux is observed since 1900, reflecting steadily increasing demographic pressure on land use. The peak in suspended sediment load and hence soil erosion recorded at the Malindi reef occurred between 1974 and 1980 where there is a five to tenfold increase relative to natural levels. This is attributed to the combined effects of dramatically increasing population, unregulated land use, deforestation and severe droughts in the early 1970s. It is concluded that despite laudable attempts to instigate soil conservation measures, it is unlikely that in Kenya there will be a sustainable reduction in soil erosion without a significant improvement in socio-economic conditions.

Dunbar, R. B.; Fleitmann, D.; McCulloch, M.; Mudelsee, M.; Vuille, M.; McClanahan, T.; Cole, J.; Eggins, S.

2006-12-01

218

Fossil Evidence of Bipedalism  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This video segment adapted from NOVA shows how scientists use the fossil record to trace when early human ancestors and related species began walking on two legs instead of four, and to determine whether they were more apelike or human in appearance.

2010-03-10

219

A Sub-annual-resolution record of East African Climate from Lake Malawi for the Past ~1200 Years  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There are few high-resolution climate records available for the tropics; this situation is particularly acute in Africa. We present a sub-annual-resolution record of East African climate for the past ~1200 years, based analyses of varved sections of three replicate cores taken as part of the Lake Malawi Scientific Drilling Project. The varves consist of alternating couplets of clastic and diatomaceous material. We have undertaken x-ray fluorescence core scanning at 0.2 mm resolution, which provides six to ten analyses of the sedimentary composition (Fe, Mn, Ti, Si, Ca, K, ...) within each varve couplet. Changes in these elements have been correlated to the seasonal variations that form the light and dark varves. A chronology was developed by comparison of elemental profiles, x-radiographs and optical images from the three cores. Time series analyses provide evidence of the changing influence of sub-decadal climate cycles. Changes in varve thicknesses also show variation in sedimentation rates. In these sediments, the ratio of incoherent to coherent scattering closely follows total organic carbon and Si:Ti variability is dominated by changes in biogenic silica. 'BSi' and 'TOC' strongly co-vary on sub-decadal timescales until 1890. However, after that time TOC variability no longer corresponds to changes in BSi, which itself shows much less variability. This is consistent with a change in algal assemblage, with a switch away from a diatom- dominated system at that time, consistent with recent biomarker studies that suggest a shift in dominant algal groups in the late 19th Century.

Petrick, B. F.; Brown, E. T.; Johnson, T. C.

2008-12-01

220

Restoring Fossil Creek  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

As part of an ongoing environmental project and partnership with a local university, high school students monitor changes to Fossil Creek in Arizona. Components of the project include fish behavior studies, responses to fishing, water chemistry measurements, aquatic invertebrate studies, photographic recording, riparian habitat transects, and small mammal trapping transects. The data collected will ultimately provide an invaluable annual record for students, working scientists, and the wider community as changes are monitored over time.

Leroy, Carri J.; Marks, Jane C.; Vlieg, Julie; Flaccus, Kathleen

2004-07-01

221

Morphometric variation in the papionin muzzle and the biochronology of the South African Plio-Pleistocene karst cave deposits.  

PubMed

Papionin monkeys are widespread, relatively common members of Plio-Pleistocene faunal assemblages across Africa. For these reasons, papionin taxa have been used as biochronological indicators by which to infer the ages of the South African karst cave deposits. A recent morphometric study of South African fossil papionin muzzle shape concluded that its variation attests to a substantial and greater time depth for these sites than is generally estimated. This inference is significant, because accurate dating of the South African cave sites is critical to our knowledge of hominin evolution and mammalian biogeographic history. We here report the results of a comparative analysis of extant papionin monkeys by which variability of the South African fossil papionins may be assessed. The muzzles of 106 specimens representing six extant papionin genera were digitized and interlandmark distances were calculated. Results demonstrate that the overall amount of morphological variation present within the fossil assemblage fits comfortably within the range exhibited by the extant sample. We also performed a statistical experiment to assess the limitations imposed by small sample sizes, such as typically encountered in the fossil record. Results suggest that 15 specimens are sufficient to accurately represent the population mean for a given phenotype, but small sample sizes are insufficient to permit the accurate estimation of the population standard deviation, variance, and range. The suggestion that the muzzle morphology of fossil papionins attests to a considerable and previously unrecognized temporal depth of the South African karst cave sites is unwarranted. PMID:19918994

Gilbert, Christopher C; Grine, Frederick E

2010-03-01

222

A 25 m.y. isotopic record of paleodiet and environmental change from fossil mammals and paleosols from the NE margin of the Tibetan Plateau  

Microsoft Academic Search

We use the carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of fossil tooth enamel and paleosols to reconstruct the late Cenozoic history of vegetation and environmental change in the Linxia Basin at the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The ?13C values of fossil enamel from a diverse group of herbivores and of paleosol carbonate and organic matter indicate that C4 grasses

Yang Wang; Tao Deng

2005-01-01

223

Fossil Halls  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The American Museum of Natural History is home to the world's largest collection of vertebrate fossils, totaling nearly one million specimens. This Web site offers visitors a virtual visit to the Museum's famed Fossil Halls. It features sections on Cladistics, Vertebrate Evolution, Exhibit Specimens, a collection of 19 biographies of important people in paleontology and Virtual Tours of four of the halls. There is also an elementary school teacher guide to the museum exhibit.

224

Science Sampler: Fossil detectives  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Middle school students are transformed into Fossil detectives as they examine the fossil record and use evidence about paleo-environments to develop an understanding of structure and function in living systems and changes over time in Earths history. In this enrichment activity, students work in teams to research an assigned geologic time period. They determine available habitats, food sources and types (animal, plant; woody, herbaceous, etc.), cover sources, methods of getting food, defense, and reproduction that would allow an animal to live in the assigned paleoenvironment. In culmination of their efforts, students create a diorama to display their findings.

Bourdeau, Virginia

2006-07-01

225

Recognition of deep-water benthic assemblages in the fossil record: Taphonomy and community characteristics of Louisiana continental slope petroleum seep assemblages  

SciTech Connect

Chemoautotrophic benthic assemblages associated with petroleum seepage form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Five biofacies are associated with petroleum seepage, dominated respectively by vestimentiferan tubeworms, lucinid, thyasirid and vesicomyid clams and mytilid mussels. The taphonomy of petroleum seep death assemblages includes dissolution as the most pervasive mode of shell alteration. The dominant species in each assemblage reflect the taphonomic signature of the assemblage they dominate. The taphonomic attributes of petroleum seep death assemblages are similar to those of ancient autochthonous benthic assemblages. Paleoecological characteristics representative of cold seep assemblages include: high density-low diversity molluscan assemblages dominated by large individuals, high molluscan biomass concentrations aligned in linear trends, carbons with depleted [delta][sup 13]C values associated with faunally depauperate shales, laminated or massive sedimentary structures, variable articulation frequencies, poor shell preservation, and a trophic structure dominated by one trophic group. The Campanian Tepee Buttes share many paleoecological characteristics with recognized ancient seep assemblages. Methane and hydrogen sulfide-rich fluids from underlying strata were transported along fault conduits to supply a localized nutrient source for lucinid-dominated benthic communities. The Tepee Butte assemblages were dominated by dense accumulations of Nymphalucina occidentalis with moderate to high articulation frequencies. The lucinids probably used H[sub 2]S as a nutrient source. Cold seeps can be recognized in the fossil record, based on criteria developed by the study of modern cold seep death assemblages, because the paleoecological characteristics of cold seep assemblages are very conservative.

Callender, W.R.

1992-01-01

226

Tropical tales of polar ice: evidence of Last Interglacial polar ice sheet retreat recorded by fossil reefs of the granitic Seychelles islands  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the search for a record of eustatic sea level change on glacial-interglacial timescales, the Seychelles ranks as one of the best places on the planet to study. Owing to its location with respect to the former margins of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets that wax and wane on orbital cycles, the local-or relative-sea level history is predicted to lie within a few meters of the globally averaged eustatic signal during the Last Interglacial period. We have surveyed and dated Last Interglacial fossil corals to ascertain peak sea level and hence infer maximum retreat of polar ice sheets during this time interval. We observe a pattern of gradually rising sea level in the Seychelles between ?129 and 125 thousand years ago (ka), with peak eustatic sea level attained after 125ka at 7.61.7mhigher than present. After accounting for thermal expansion and loss of mountain glaciers, this sea-level budget would require ?5-8mof polar ice sheet contribution, relative to today's volume, of which only ?2mcame from the Greenland ice sheet. This result clearly identifies the Antarctic ice sheet as a significant source of melt water, most likely derived from one of the unstable, marine-based sectors in the West and/or East Antarctic ice sheet. Furthermore, the establishment of a+5.91.7m eustatic sea level position by 128.60.8ka would require that partial AIS collapse was coincident with the onset of the sea level highstand.

Dutton, Andrea; Webster, Jody M.; Zwartz, Dan; Lambeck, Kurt; Wohlfarth, Barbara

2015-01-01

227

The oldest fossil myxogastroid slime mould.  

PubMed

A piece of Baltic amber (Tertiary, Eocene) contains a sporocarp of a slime mould which is assigned to the recent genus Arcyria and described as A. sulcata sp. nov. Apart from a fossil stemonitoid myxomycete, there are no further unambiguous fossil records of slime moulds and therefore the fossil gives new insights into the evolutionary history of the Myxomycetes. PMID:12735253

Drfelt, Heinrich; Schmidt, Alexander R; Ullmann, Peter; Wunderlich, Jrg

2003-01-01

228

Using extant patterns of dental variation to identify species in the primate fossil record: a case study of middle Eocene Omomys from the Bridger Basin, southwestern Wyoming  

Microsoft Academic Search

Patterns of extant primate dental variation provide important data for interpreting taxonomic boundaries in fossil forms.\\u000a Here I use dental data from several well-known living primates (as well as data from selected Eocene forms) to evaluate dental\\u000a variation in Middle Eocene Omomys, the first North American fossil primate identified by paleontologists. Measurements were collected from a sample of 148\\u000a omomyid

Frank P. Cuozzo

2008-01-01

229

Bird Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

A fossil of a small, feathered animal, Longisquama insignis, that lived approximately 220 million years ago (Ma) in what is now Central Asia, was re-discovered recently in the dusty drawers of a Moscow museum collection. This discovery has rocked the paleontological world because the fossil exhibits feather impressions, making it possibly the world's oldest known bird. Archaeopteryx, thought until now to be the oldest true bird, is from a limestone deposit in Germany dated at approximately 145 Ma. This new fossil discovery fires the debate over whether birds are descended from dinosaurs, or branched off from an earlier group of reptiles. This week's In The News takes a look at scientists' latest understanding of the reptile-bird evolutionary transition, and the surrounding controversies.

230

Hominid mandibular corpus shape variation and its utility for recognizing species diversity within fossil Homo  

PubMed Central

Mandibular corpora are well represented in the hominin fossil record, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the utility of mandibular corpus morphology for species recognition, particularly with respect to the linear dimensions that are most commonly available. In this study, we explored the extent to which commonly preserved mandibular corpus morphology can be used to: (i) discriminate among extant hominid taxa and (ii) support species designations among fossil specimens assigned to the genus Homo. In the first part of the study, discriminant analysis was used to test for significant differences in mandibular corpus shape at different taxonomic levels (genus, species and subspecies) among extant hominid taxa (i.e. Homo, Pan, Gorilla, Pongo). In the second part of the study, we examined shape variation among fossil mandibles assigned to Homo(including H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster, late African H. erectus, Asian H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens). A novel randomization procedure designed for small samples (and using group distinctness values) was used to determine whether shape variation among the fossils is consistent with conventional taxonomy (or alternatively, whether a priori taxonomic groupings are completely random with respect to mandibular morphology). The randomization of distinctness values was also used on the extant samples to assess the ability of the test to recognize known taxa. The discriminant analysis results demonstrated that, even for a relatively modest set of traditional mandibular corpus measurements, we can detect significant differences among extant hominids at the genus and species levels, and, in some cases, also at the subspecies level. Although the randomization of distinctness values test is more conservative than discriminant analysis (based on comparisons with extant specimens), we were able to detect at least four distinct groups among the fossil specimens (i.e. H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, Asian H. erectus and a combined African Homo group consisting of H. habilis sensu stricto, H. rudolfensis, early African H. erectus/H. ergaster and late African H. erectus). These four groups appear to be distinct at a level similar to, or greater than, that of modern hominid species. In addition, the mandibular corpora of H. neanderthalensis could be distinguished from those of African Homo, although not from those of H. sapiens, H. heidelbergensis, or the Asian H. erectus group. The results suggest that the features most commonly preserved on the hominin mandibular corpus have some taxonomic utility, although they are unlikely to be useful in generating a reliable alpha taxonomy for early African members of the genus Homo. PMID:19094183

Lague, Michael R; Collard, Nicole J; Richmond, Brian G; Wood, Bernard A

2008-01-01

231

Pronounced occurrence of long-chain alkenones and dinosterol in a 25,000-year lipid molecular fossil record from Lake Titicaca, South America  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Our analysis of lipid molecular fossils from a Lake Titicaca (16 S, 69 W) sediment core reveals distinct changes in the ecology of the lake over an 25,000-yr period spanning latest Pleistocene to late Holocene time. Previous investigations have shown that over this time period Lake Titicaca was subject to large changes in lake level in response to regional climatic variability. Our results indicate that lake algal populations were greatly affected by the changing physical and chemical conditions in Lake Titicaca. Hydrocarbons are characterized by a combination of odd-numbered, mid- to long-chain (C 21-C 31) normal alkanes and alkenes. During periods when lake level was higher (latest Pleistocene, early Holocene, and late Holocene), the C 21n-alkane, and the C 25 and C 27 alkenes dominate hydrocarbon distributions and indicate contribution from an algal source, potentially the freshwater alga Botryococcus braunii. The C 30 4 ?-methyl sterol (dinosterol) increases sharply during the mid-Holocene, suggesting a greatly increased dinoflagellate presence at that time. Long-chain alkenones (LCAs) become significant during the early Holocene and are highly abundant in mid-Holocene samples. There are relatively few published records of LCA detection in lake sediments but their occurrence is geographically widespread (Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America). Lake Titicaca represents the first South American lake and the first low-latitude lake in which LCAs have been reported. LCA abundance and distribution may be related to the temperature-dependent response of an unidentified algal precursor. Although the LCA unsaturation indices cannot be used to determine absolute Lake Titicaca temperatures, we suspect that the published LCA U37K unsaturation calibrations can be applied to infer relative temperatures for early to mid-Holocene time when LCA concentrations are high. Using these criteria, the U37K unsaturation indices suggest relatively warmer temperatures in the mid-Holocene. In contrast to previous speculation, lipid analysis provides little evidence of a greatly increased presence of aquatic plants during the mid-Holocene. Instead, it appears that a few algal species were dominant in the lake. Based on the dramatic rise in abundances of LCAs and dinosterol during the early to mid-Holocene, we suspect that the algal producers of these compounds rose in response to a combination of physical and chemical changes in the lake. These include temperature, salinity, and alkalinity changes that occurred as lake level dropped sharply during a multi-millennial drought affecting the Central Andean Altiplano.

Theissen, Kevin M.; Zinniker, David A.; Moldowan, J. Michael; Dunbar, Robert B.; Rowe, Harold D.

2005-02-01

232

A high-resolution geochemical record from Lake Edward, Uganda Congo and the timing and causes of tropical African drought during the late Holocene  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

High-resolution analyses of the elemental composition of calcite and biogenic silica (BSi) content in piston cores from Lake Edward, equatorial Africa, document complex interactions between climate variability and lacustrine geochemistry over the past 5400 years. Correlation of these records from Lake Edward to other climatically-forced geochemical and lake level records from Lakes Naivasha, Tanganyika, and Turkana allows us to develop a chronology of drought events in equatorial East Africa during the late Holocene. Major drought events of at least century-scale duration are recorded in lacustrine records at about 850, 1500, 2000, and 4100 cal year BP. Of these, the most severe event occurred between about 2050 and 1850 cal year BP, during which time Lake Edward stood about 15 m below its present level. Numerous additional droughts of less intensity and/or duration are present in the Lake Edward record, some of which may be correlated to other lacustrine climate records from equatorial East Africa. These events are superimposed on a long-term trend of increasingly arid conditions from 5400 to about 2000 cal year BP, followed by a shift toward wetter climates that may have resulted from an intensification of the winter Indian monsoon. Although the causes of decade- to century-scale climate variability in the East African tropics remain obscure, time-series spectral analysis suggests no direct linkage between solar output and regional rainfall. Rather, significant periods of 725, 125, 63-72, 31-25, and 19-16 years suggest a tight linkage between the Indian Ocean and African rainfall, and could result from coupled ocean-atmosphere variability inherent to the tropical monsoon system.

Russell, James M.; Johnson, Thomas C.

2005-07-01

233

Metamorphic record and Thermo-mechanical modelling of lower crust exhumation during the Palaeoproterozoic Eburnean orogeny, West African Craton  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A thermo-mechanical interpretation of the metamorphic evolution of moderate- to high-pressure volcano-sedimentary rocks (6-8 to >10 Kb) in the Birimian Province (2.2-2.0 Ga) of the West African Craton is explored in terms of burial and exhumation processes. Metamorphic data collected in Burkina Faso, southwest Ghana and eastern Senegal suggest that during the Eburnean orogeny (~2.1 Ga),this Palaeoproterozoic Birimian crust was dominated by moderate apparent geothermal gradients of 20-30C/km (M2a), that produced greenschist- to amphibolite-facies metamorphic assemblages associated with regional shortening and granitoid intrusions. The M2a gradient is superimposed on a colder thermal regime (M1 : <10-15 C/km) that produced high-P greenschist- to blueschist-facies metamorphic assemblages, and which most likely recorded the earlier formation of the protolith. The geodynamical origin of M1 is not directly addressed here. Thermo-mechanical two-dimensional numerical models were built in order to test whether late-stage compressional tectonics could generate the exhumation of meta-sediments, collected in Ca0-poor granitoids and which record elevated metamorphic pressures (P> 6-8 Kb). The poor data quality provide limited constraints on the appropriate initial setup conditions, and a number of tests have led us to conceptualize the spatial distribution of a hypothezised succession of volcanic island arcs emplaced on top of CaO rich TTG (Tonalite- Trondjhemite-Granodiorite suites) basement, tectonically paired with sedimentary basins. We postulated therefore the preexistence of wide (about 250 km) and thick flexural sedimentary basins (depth 15 km) in an orogenic mafic crust (about 20 km thick), underplated by a more felsic and lighter layer representing a TTG melange. The numerical results show that a mechanism of burial, heating and exhumation of meta-sediments can occur by simultaneous folding and gravitational instabilities within the broad extent of the basin, provided the conversion rate is slow enough, and the basin is weak and thick enough. At around 25 km depth and after about 30 Myrs of compression at a rate of 5mm/yr, the TTG layer has deepened enough to reach appropriate PT conditions for melting. The buoyant and low-viscosity partially molten material (comprising a fraction of CaO-poor melt and residual material) then ascends through the overlying sediments, and entrains upwards lower crustal material as well as the surrounding sediments up, to about 10 km depth, and over the ~200 km width of the basin. This scenario explains the important breaks in metamorphic conditions observed in the Birimian province between the thin slivers (< 2 km thick) of high-pressure rocks (P> 8 Kb) preserved in the thermal aureoles of granites, and the adjacent greenstones synforms, which consist of low-grade metasediments (P< 6 Kb; T< 450C). This scenario is consistent with a significant recycling of the TTGs in the genesis of CaO-poor granitoid melts. Although we cannot model the subsequent evolution, we propose that further exhumation to the surface occurred by transcurrent motion. In the discussion about the implications of our results on the tectono-metamorphic and mechanical evolution of Palaeoproterozoic orogenies, the question rises as to whether an external change in far-field boundary motion or increasing internal driving forces triggered this transcurrent motion, that ended the Eburnean orogeny.

Gerbault, Muriel; Ganne, Jerome; Block, Sylvain

2014-05-01

234

Fossil Fuels  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The Department of Energy Web site Fossil Fuels is billed as an energy education site mainly for older kids, but can be enjoyed by adult kids as well. The site gives an introduction to energy, and then a more detailed look at the acquisition and uses of coal, oil, and gas. The good descriptions, illustrations, and animations, along with the frequent questions page and glossary of related terms, combine to give a clear and enlightening overview of the subject.

235

Pronounced occurrence of long-chain alkenones and dinosterol in a 25,000-year lipid molecular fossil record from Lake Titicaca, South America  

Microsoft Academic Search

Our analysis of lipid molecular fossils from a Lake Titicaca (16 S, 69 W) sediment core reveals distinct changes in the ecology of the lake over an ?25,000-yr period spanning latest Pleistocene to late Holocene time. Previous investigations have shown that over this time period Lake Titicaca was subject to large changes in lake level in response to regional climatic

Kevin M. Theissen; David A. Zinniker; J. Michael Moldowan; Robert B. Dunbar; Harold D. Rowe

2005-01-01

236

Fossil legumes from the Middle Eocene (46.0 Ma) Mahenge Flora of Singida, Tanzania.  

PubMed

Middle Eocene age caesalpinioid and mimosoid legume leaves are reported from the Mahenge site in north-central Tanzania. The Mahenge flora complements a sparse Paleogene tropical African fossil plant record, which until now consisted of a single macrobotanical assemblage, limited palynological studies in West Africa and Egypt, and fossil wood studies primarily from poorly dated deposits. Mahenge leaf macrofossils have the potential to add significantly to what is known of the evolutionary history of extant African plant groups and to expand our currently limited knowledge of African Paleogene environments. The site is associated with a kimberlite eruption and demonstrates the potential value of kimberlite-associated lake deposits as much-needed resources for African Paleogene floras. In this report we document a relatively diverse component of the flora consisting of the leaves of at least five species of Leguminosae. A new species of the extant genus Acacia (Mimosoideae), described herein, is represented by a bipinnate leaf. Another taxon is described as a new species of the extant genus Aphanocalyx (Caesalpinioideae), and a third leaf type may be related to the extant genus Cynometra (Caesalpinioideae). Two additional leaf types are less well understood: one appears to be referable to the Caesalpinioideae and subfamily affinities of the other taxon are unknown. PMID:10991905

Herendeen, P S; Jacobs, B F

2000-09-01

237

The oldest African bat from the early Eocene of El Kohol (Algeria)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Afro-Arabian Paleogene fossil record of Chiroptera is very poor. In North Africa and Arabia, this record is limited, thus far, to a few localities mainly in Tunisia (Chambi, late early Eocene), Egypt (Fayum, late Eocene to early Oligocene), and Sultanate of Oman (Taqah, early Oligocene). It consists primarily of isolated teeth or mandible fragments. Interestingly, these African fossil bats document two modern groups (Vespertilionoidea and Rhinolophoidea) from the early Eocene, while the bat fossil record of the same epoch of North America, Eurasia, and Australia principally includes members of the "Eochiroptera." This paraphyletic group contains all primitive microbats excluding modern families. In Algeria, the region of Brezina, southeast of the Atlas Mountains, is famous for the early Eocene El Kohol Formation, which has yielded one of the earliest mammalian faunas of the African landmass. Recent fieldwork in the same area has led to the discovery of a new vertebrate locality, including isolated teeth of Chiroptera. These fossils represent the oldest occurrence of Chiroptera in Africa, thus extending back the record of the group to the middle early Eocene (Ypresian) on that continent. The material consists of an upper molar and two fragments of lower molars. The dental character association matches that of "Eochiroptera." As such, although very fragmentary, the material testifies to the first occurrence of "Eochiroptera" in Algeria, and by extension in Africa. This discovery demonstrates that this basal group of Chiroptera had a worldwide distribution during the early Paleogene.

Ravel, Anthony; Marivaux, Laurent; Tabuce, Rodolphe; Adaci, Mohammed; Mahboubi, Mohammed; Mebrouk, Fateh; Bensalah, Mustapha

2011-05-01

238

Describing Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students are given a description of a fossil brachiopod, from the literature, along with a one-page handout describing the basic morphology of brachiopods. Students work independently to make a scale drawing of the fossil described (brachial valve, pedicle valve, anterior view, lateral view). They have access to textbooks (Moore, Laliker & Fisher; Clarkson), the Treatise volume, and the internet to get information on morphological terms. This takes about an hour, after which I display all of the diagrams on the wall along with the photographs from the paper from which the description was extracted. We discuss some of the differences and where problems arose in interpreting the description. I emphasize the importance of an accurate drawing or photograph to accompany a description. Students are then given a different brachiopod specimen and asked to produce a written description (pedicle-valve, brachial valve, anterior view, lateral view) of their fossil similar to the one that they readi.e. using all of the appropriate terms. They are told that other students will be trying to match their description to their specimen. I collect all of the descriptions, edit them (remove portions that use incorrect terminology or inappropriate), and produce a handout of all of the descriptions. At the next class, students are given the descriptions and asked to match descriptions to specimens. They do this independently outside of class. The specimens are made available in the lab room for several days. I add a couple of 'extra' specimens (without description) so that it is not a process of elimination.

Judy Massare

239

Cretaceous African life captured in amber  

PubMed Central

Amber is of great paleontological importance because it preserves a diverse array of organisms and associated remains from different habitats in and close to the amber-producing forests. Therefore, the discovery of amber inclusions is important not only for tracing the evolutionary history of lineages with otherwise poor fossil records, but also for elucidating the composition, diversity, and ecology of terrestrial paleoecosystems. Here, we report a unique find of African amber with inclusions, from the Cretaceous of Ethiopia. Ancient arthropods belonging to the ants, wasps, thrips, zorapterans, and spiders are the earliest African records of these ecologically important groups and constitute significant discoveries providing insight into the temporal and geographical origins of these lineages. Together with diverse microscopic inclusions, these findings reveal the interactions of plants, fungi and arthropods during an epoch of major change in terrestrial ecosystems, which was caused by the initial radiation of the angiosperms. Because of its age, paleogeographic location and the exceptional preservation of the inclusions, this fossil resin broadens our understanding of the ecology of Cretaceous woodlands. PMID:20368427

Schmidt, Alexander R.; Perrichot, Vincent; Svojtka, Matthias; Anderson, Ken B.; Belete, Kebede H.; Bussert, Robert; Drfelt, Heinrich; Jancke, Saskia; Mohr, Barbara; Mohrmann, Eva; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Nel, Andr; Nel, Patricia; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Saupe, Erin E.; Schmidt, Kerstin; Schneider, Harald; Selden, Paul A.; Vvra, Norbert

2010-01-01

240

Cretaceous African life captured in amber.  

PubMed

Amber is of great paleontological importance because it preserves a diverse array of organisms and associated remains from different habitats in and close to the amber-producing forests. Therefore, the discovery of amber inclusions is important not only for tracing the evolutionary history of lineages with otherwise poor fossil records, but also for elucidating the composition, diversity, and ecology of terrestrial paleoecosystems. Here, we report a unique find of African amber with inclusions, from the Cretaceous of Ethiopia. Ancient arthropods belonging to the ants, wasps, thrips, zorapterans, and spiders are the earliest African records of these ecologically important groups and constitute significant discoveries providing insight into the temporal and geographical origins of these lineages. Together with diverse microscopic inclusions, these findings reveal the interactions of plants, fungi and arthropods during an epoch of major change in terrestrial ecosystems, which was caused by the initial radiation of the angiosperms. Because of its age, paleogeographic location and the exceptional preservation of the inclusions, this fossil resin broadens our understanding of the ecology of Cretaceous woodlands. PMID:20368427

Schmidt, Alexander R; Perrichot, Vincent; Svojtka, Matthias; Anderson, Ken B; Belete, Kebede H; Bussert, Robert; Drfelt, Heinrich; Jancke, Saskia; Mohr, Barbara; Mohrmann, Eva; Nascimbene, Paul C; Nel, Andr; Nel, Patricia; Ragazzi, Eugenio; Roghi, Guido; Saupe, Erin E; Schmidt, Kerstin; Schneider, Harald; Selden, Paul A; Vvra, Norbert

2010-04-20

241

The largest fossil rodent  

PubMed Central

The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000?kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San Jos Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the PliocenePleistocene (42?Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities. PMID:18198140

Rinderknecht, Andrs; Blanco, R. Ernesto

2008-01-01

242

Correlations in fossil extinction and origination rates through geological time  

E-print Network

Correlations in fossil extinction and origination rates through geological time James W. Kirchner1, implying that the fossil record may be controlled by self-organized criticality or other scale-free internal dynamics of the biosphere. Here we directly test for correlations in the fossil record

Kirchner, James W.

243

Inferring natural selection in a fossil threespine stickleback  

Microsoft Academic Search

Inferring the causes for change in the fossil record has been a persistent problem in evo- lutionary biology. Three independent lines of evidence indicate that a lineage of the fossil stick- leback fish Gasterosteus doryssus experienced directional natural selection for reduction of armor. Nonetheless, application to this lineage of three methods to infer natural selection in the fossil record could

Michael A. Bell; Matthew P. Travis; D. Max Blouw

2006-01-01

244

Phytogeographical Implication of Bridelia Will. (Phyllanthaceae) Fossil Leaf from the Late Oligocene of India  

PubMed Central

Background The family Phyllanthaceae has a predominantly pantropical distribution. Of its several genera, Bridelia Willd. is of a special interest because it has disjunct equally distributed species in Africa and tropical Asia i.e. 1820 species in Africa-Madagascar (all endemic) and 18 species in tropical Asia (some shared with Australia). On the basis of molecular phylogenetic study on Bridelia, it has been suggested that the genus evolved in Southeast Asia around 335 Ma, while speciation and migration to other parts of the world occurred at 102 Ma. Fossil records of Bridelia are equally important to support the molecular phylogenetic studies and plate tectonic models. Results We describe a new fossil leaf of Bridelia from the late Oligocene (Chattian, 28.423 Ma) sediments of Assam, India. The detailed venation pattern of the fossil suggests its affinities with the extant B. ovata, B. retusa and B. stipularis. Based on the present fossil evidence and the known fossil records of Bridelia from the Tertiary sediments of Nepal and India, we infer that the genus evolved in India during the late Oligocene (Chattian, 28.423 Ma) and speciation occurred during the Miocene. The stem lineage of the genus migrated to Africa via Iranian route and again speciosed in Africa-Madagascar during the late Neogene resulting in the emergence of African endemic clades. Similarly, the genus also migrated to Southeast Asia via Myanmar after the complete suturing of Indian and Eurasian plates. The emergence and speciation of the genus in Asia and Africa is the result of climate change during the Cenozoic. Conclusions On the basis of present and known fossil records of Bridelia, we have concluded that the genus evolved during the late Oligocene in northeast India. During the Neogene, the genus diversified and migrated to Southeast Asia via Myanmar and Africa via Iranian Route. PMID:25353345

Srivastava, Gaurav; Mehrotra, R.C.

2014-01-01

245

African Art, African Voices  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This website created by the Philadelphia Museum of Art complements an exhibition that "surveys the artistic achievements of just a few of the many cultures of sub-Saharan Africa" organized by the Seattle Art Museum, using artifacts from its African collections. The largest section of the Web site, African Voices, features interviews with African artists, art historians and others, focusing on particular aspects of African cultures. For example, Hannah Kema Foday, a Mende woman from Segbwema, southwestern Sierra Leone, now living in New York city, speaks about Sowei masks and initiation for girls into womanhood. The other two sections - African Art in Motion and Contemporary African Art, show the expressive use of figures in African sculpture and the work of modern African artists, living in Africa and all over the world, respectively.

246

The joints of the evolving foot. Part III. The fossil evidence.  

PubMed Central

The fossil record supports the conclusions derived from the study of extant species that the Primates evolved a unique suite of characters in the articulations of the foot. The tarsal bones of African Miocene apes show specializations characteristic of hominoid evolution and provide reasonable precursors for the morphology of Pan, Gorilla and even Pongo. The OH8 foot is essentially ape-like in it major features, with many close resemblances to Pan. Although fairly clearly from a bipedal primate, it lacked important functional specializations found in the human foot. PMID:6780500

Lewis, O J

1980-01-01

247

A Fossil Thermometer  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, students calculate temperatures during a time in the geologic record when rapid warming occurred using a well known method called 'leaf-margin analysis.' Students determine the percentage of the species that have leaves with smooth edges, as opposed to toothed, or jagged, edges. Facsimiles of fossil leaves from two collection sites are examined, categorized, and the data is plugged into an equation to provide an estimate of paleotemperature for two sites in the Bighorn Basin. It also introduces students to a Smithsonian scientist who worked on the excavation sites and did the analysis.

Institution, Smithsonian; Institute, Smithsonian

248

Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

A comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.

Schopf, J. W.

1976-01-01

249

Fossil energy review  

SciTech Connect

The Fossil Energy Review provides an update of key events in the Department of Energy's Fossil Energy Program. This issue contains topics relating to: clean coal technology; fossil energy research; and petroleum reserves. (JEF)

Not Available

1989-01-01

250

Will My Fossil Float?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Explains how young students can be introduced to fossils. Suggests books to read and science activities including "Fossils to Eat" where students make fossils from peanut butter, honey, and powdered milk. (PR)

Riesser, Sharon; Airey, Linda

1993-01-01

251

Creature Features - Showcase of Living Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity is a side project that students work on through the organismal portion of a course in paleobiology/paleontology. Students present on the lifestyle, habitat, and behavior of "living fossil" groups. The activity ties the fossil record to the modern living world and allows students to engage with ideas of evolutionary stasis, taphonomy, and functional morphology.

Sunderlin, David

252

Supermassive Black Holes at Work: ``Fossil Records'' of Outbursts from Supermassive Black Holes and the Effects of Outbursts on the Evolution of Gas Rich Galaxies, Groups, and Galaxy Clusters  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) play key roles in galaxy and cluster evolution. This is most clearly seen in the ``fossil record'' that is imprinted in the gas rich atmospheres of early type galaxies, groups, and clusters by powerful SMBH outbursts. From detailed X-ray studies of clusters and groups, we present the properties of typical SMBH outbursts, their evolution, and the energy partition between shocks and the enthalpy of the gas cavities inflated by the SMBHs focussing on M87. The interplay between gas cooling and SMBH outbursts can be traced over cosmological time. We discuss several galaxies where SMBH outbursts at very early epochs have truncated star formation and altered the ``normal'' evolution of the stellar component of galaxy bulges. We conclude by describing a future mission that would allow us to understand the evolution of SMBHs and their host galaxies from high redshifts to the present.

Forman, William R.; Churazov, Eugene; Jones, Christine; Heinz, Sebastian; Bogdan, Akos

2015-01-01

253

Calibration of an M L scale for South Africa using tectonic earthquake data recorded by the South African National Seismograph Network: 2006 to 2009  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A relation to determine local magnitude ( M L) based on the original Richter definition is empirically derived from synthetic Wood-Anderson seismograms recorded by the South African National Seismograph Network. In total, 263 earthquakes in the distance range 10 to 1,000 km, representing 1,681 trace amplitudes measured in nanometers from synthesized Wood-Anderson records on the vertical channel were considered to derive an attenuation relation appropriate for South Africa through multiple regression analysis. Additionally, station corrections were determined for 26 stations during the regression analysis resulting in values ranging between -0.31 and 0.50. The most appropriate M L scale for South Africa from this study satisfies the equation: {M_{{{L}}}} = {{lo}}{{{g}}_{{10}}}(A) + 1.149{{lo}}{{{g}}_{{10}}}(R) + 0.00063R + 2.04 - S The anelastic attenuation term derived from this study indicates that ground motion attenuation is significantly different from Southern California but comparable with stable continental regions.

Saunders, Ian; Ottemller, Lars; Brandt, Martin B. C.; Fourie, Christoffel J. S.

2013-04-01

254

Summary of the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume. A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6-4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean-atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010-2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~ 140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.

Miller, Ian M.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Scott Anderson, R.; Johnson, Kirk R.; Mahan, Shannon A.; Ager, Thomas A.; Baker, Richard G.; Blaauw, Maarten; Bright, Jordon; Brown, Peter M.; Bryant, Bruce; Calamari, Zachary T.; Carrara, Paul E.; Cherney, Michael D.; Demboski, John R.; Elias, Scott A.; Fisher, Daniel C.; Gray, Harrison J.; Haskett, Danielle R.; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Jimnez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Kline, Douglas; Leonard, Eric M.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Lucking, Carol; Gregory McDonald, H.; Miller, Dane M.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Nash, Stephen E.; Newton, Cody; Paces, James B.; Petrie, Lesley; Plummer, Mitchell A.; Porinchu, David F.; Rountrey, Adam N.; Scott, Eric; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Sharpe, Saxon E.; Skipp, Gary L.; Strickland, Laura E.; Stucky, Richard K.; Thompson, Robert S.; Wilson, Jim

2014-11-01

255

Deductions from Fossil Preservtion  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students will view fossils, sometimes with supporting illustrations, and answer questions about them via deductive reasoning. The exercise is highly interactive, with the instructor providing hints and helpful questions. The questions concern ways in which fossil preservation reveals information about things like what kind of organism the fossil represents, how that organism lived, and how the fossil came into being.

Steven Stanley

256

History of Animals using Isotope Records (HAIR): A 6-year dietary history of one family of African elephants  

PubMed Central

The dietary and movement history of individual animals can be studied using stable isotope records in animal tissues, providing insight into long-term ecological dynamics and a species niche. We provide a 6-year history of elephant diet by examining tail hair collected from 4 elephants in the same social family unit in northern Kenya. Sequential measurements of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotope rations in hair provide a weekly record of diet and water resources. Carbon isotope ratios were well correlated with satellite-based measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of the region occupied by the elephants as recorded by the global positioning system (GPS) movement record; the absolute amount of C4 grass consumption is well correlated with the maximum value of NDVI during individual wet seasons. Changes in hydrogen isotope ratios coincided very closely in time with seasonal fluctuations in rainfall and NDVI whereas diet shifts to relatively high proportions of grass lagged seasonal increases in NDVI by ?2 weeks. The peak probability of conception in the population occurred ?3 weeks after peak grazing. Spatial and temporal patterns of resource use show that the only period of pure browsing by the focal elephants was located in an over-grazed, communally managed region outside the protected area. The ability to extract time-specific longitudinal records on animal diets, and therefore the ecological history of an organism and its environment, provides an avenue for understanding the impact of climate dynamics and land-use change on animal foraging behavior and habitat relations. PMID:19365077

Cerling, Thure E.; Wittemyer, George; Ehleringer, James R.; Remien, Christopher H.; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

2009-01-01

257

Fossil Papio Cranium From !Ncumtsa (Koanaka) Hills, Western Ngamiland, Botswana  

E-print Network

Fossil Papio Cranium From !Ncumtsa (Koanaka) Hills, Western Ngamiland, Botswana Blythe A. Williams cercopithecoid; baboon; Kalahari; Pleistocene ABSTRACT Three fossils, a cranium of Papio, a cer- copithecid crania of Papio are extremely rare in the fossil record outside of South Africa and because

258

Himalayan fossils of the oldest known pantherine establish ancient origin of big cats  

PubMed Central

Pantherine felids (big cats) include the largest living cats, apex predators in their respective ecosystems. They are also the earliest diverging living cat lineage, and thus are important for understanding the evolution of all subsequent felid groups. Although the oldest pantherine fossils occur in Africa, molecular phylogenies point to Asia as their region of origin. This paradox cannot be reconciled using current knowledge, mainly because early big cat fossils are exceedingly rare and fragmentary. Here, we report the discovery of a fossil pantherine from the Tibetan Himalaya, with an age of Late MioceneEarly Pliocene, replacing African records as the oldest pantherine. A total evidence phylogenetic analysis of pantherines indicates that the new cat is closely related to the snow leopard and exhibits intermediate characteristics on the evolutionary line to the largest cats. Historical biogeographic models provide robust support for the Asian origin of pantherines. The combined analyses indicate that 75% of the divergence events in the pantherine lineage extended back to the Miocene, up to 7 Myr earlier than previously estimated. The deeper evolutionary origin of big cats revealed by the new fossils and analyses indicate a close association between Tibetan Plateau uplift and diversification of the earliest living cats. PMID:24225466

Tseng, Z. Jack; Wang, Xiaoming; Slater, Graham J.; Takeuchi, Gary T.; Li, Qiang; Liu, Juan; Xie, Guangpu

2014-01-01

259

Himalayan fossils of the oldest known pantherine establish ancient origin of big cats.  

PubMed

Pantherine felids ('big cats') include the largest living cats, apex predators in their respective ecosystems. They are also the earliest diverging living cat lineage, and thus are important for understanding the evolution of all subsequent felid groups. Although the oldest pantherine fossils occur in Africa, molecular phylogenies point to Asia as their region of origin. This paradox cannot be reconciled using current knowledge, mainly because early big cat fossils are exceedingly rare and fragmentary. Here, we report the discovery of a fossil pantherine from the Tibetan Himalaya, with an age of Late Miocene-Early Pliocene, replacing African records as the oldest pantherine. A 'total evidence' phylogenetic analysis of pantherines indicates that the new cat is closely related to the snow leopard and exhibits intermediate characteristics on the evolutionary line to the largest cats. Historical biogeographic models provide robust support for the Asian origin of pantherines. The combined analyses indicate that 75% of the divergence events in the pantherine lineage extended back to the Miocene, up to 7 Myr earlier than previously estimated. The deeper evolutionary origin of big cats revealed by the new fossils and analyses indicate a close association between Tibetan Plateau uplift and diversification of the earliest living cats. PMID:24225466

Tseng, Z Jack; Wang, Xiaoming; Slater, Graham J; Takeuchi, Gary T; Li, Qiang; Liu, Juan; Xie, Guangpu

2014-01-01

260

Note on: Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record, by Lieberman and Melott, arXiv preprint 0704.2896  

E-print Network

Lieberman and Melott built their recent arXiv preprint 0704.2896 on my published paper and (a preprint of) a subsequent comment by Liebermans associate Cornette. But had this group waited for the Cornette comment to actually appear in print together with the expected Reply, they would have learned that his comment exposes Cornettes confusion that likely was due to journal misprint of my figure. Thus 0704.2896 is baseless. Despite receiving the extended Reply with Errata, these authors still fail to recognize that detrending of paleontological records-which they erroneously promote as a must-is an arbitrary rather than a universal operation.

M. Omerbashich

2007-06-09

261

Note on: Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record, by Lieberman and Melott, arXiv preprint 0704.2896  

E-print Network

Lieberman and Melott built their recent arXiv preprint 0704.2896 on my published paper and (a preprint of) a subsequent comment by Liebermans associate Cornette. But had this group waited for the Cornette comment to actually appear in print together with the expected Reply, they would have learned that his comment exposes Cornettes confusion that likely was due to journal misprint of my figure. Thus 0704.2896 is baseless. Despite receiving the extended Reply with Errata, these authors still fail to recognize that detrending of paleontological records-which they erroneously promote as a must-is an arbitrary rather than a universal operation.

Omerbashich, M

2007-01-01

262

The ancient sun: Fossil record in the earth, moon and meteorites; Proceedings of the Conference, Boulder, CO, October 16-19, 1979  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Papers are presented concerning theories of solar variability and their consequences for luminosity, particle emission and magnetic field changes within the past 4.5 billion years, and on the records of such solar behavior in lunar, meteoritic and terrestrial materials. Specific topics include the neutrino luminosity of the sun, the relation of sunspots to the terrestrial climate of the past 100 years, solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays, the historical record of solar activity, C-14 variations in terrestrial and marine reservoirs, and solar particle fluxes as indicated by track, thermoluminescence and solar wind measurements in lunar rocks. Attention is also given to the spin-down of the solar interior through circulation currents and fluid instabilities, grain surface exposure models in planetary regoliths, rare gases in the solar wind, nitrogen isotopic variations in the lunar regolith, the influence of solar UV radiation on climate, and the pre-main sequence evolution of the sun and evidence of the primordial solar wind in the electromagnetic induction heating of the asteroids and moon.

Pepin, R. O. (editor); Eddy, J. A.; Merrill, R. B.

1980-01-01

263

Transitional Tetrapod Fossil  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this video segment from NOVA: Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, learn about the discovery of a well-preserved transitional fossil and how such transitional fossils support the theory of evolution.

Foundation, Wgbh E.

2007-11-01

264

The first recorded decline of the Malvinokaffric Devonian fauna in the Paran Basin (southern Brazil) and its cause; taphonomic and fossil evidences  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The first recorded decline of the Malvinokaffric Devonian fauna in the Paran Basin, south Brazil, occurred between early and early late Emsian. The event is recognized on biostratigraphic implications, and it coincides with a regional hiatus resulting from tectonic activity during a Precordilleran epeirogeny. The Emsian beds, dated with palynomorphs, indicate a late Pragian - early Emsian (PoW Su spore Zone) age below, and an early late Emsian (upper FD - lower AP spore Zones) age above the hiatus. The extinctions that occurred between the late Pragian - early Emsian regression, and the initial transgression in the early late Emsian, were extensive and more dramatic than elsewhere on the globe. In the Paran Basin invertebrates 4 classes, 25 families, 41 genera, and 54 species become extinct. The Emsian sedimentation in the Paran Basin was realized under constant oscillation of sea level punctuated by storm events, probably due to Milankovitch orbital cycles. It is known that the eccentricity cycles are the most striking in regions at higher latitudes, which was the case of the ParanBasin during the Emsian. This was, however, not a factor of major importance for the large decline of the fauna. The decline of the shelly fauna was an effect of the late Pragian - early Emsian regression, and the early late Emsian transgression introduced a reduced and less provincial shelly fauna.

Bosetti, Elvio Pinto; Grahn, Yngve; Horodyski, Rodrigo Scalise; Mauller, Paula Mendlowicz

2012-08-01

265

Southern African Phanerozoic marine invertebrates: Biogeography, pal?oecology, climatology and comments on adjacent regions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Palaeozoic marine invertebrate fossil record in southern Africa is characterised by extensive data for the Early and Middle Devonian but extremely limited or absent for other Palaeozoic Periods. The Mesozoic Era is lacking in marine invertebrate fossils for the Triassic, Late Jurassic, and Cretaceous. For the Cenozoic Era there is limited marine megafossil information. Overall, in benthic, cool waters, Palaeozoic, marine megafossils from southern Africa appear to represent relatively low diversity communities, when compared to ecologically comparable warm water environments elsewhere. However, the marine benthic Cretaceous and Cenozoic faunas of southwestern Africa are typically diverse warm water types, until the later Miocene when cool waters again prevailed. The Benguela Current clearly influenced lower diversity faunas. Climatically, it can be inferred from the marine megabenthic pal?ontological evidence, thatwarm conditions were present from Early Cambrian until mid-Ordovician times, followed by a much cooler climate that persisted well into the Middle Devonian. The Late Palaeozoic evidence thus indicates cool to cold conditions. In contrast, the Late Permian fossils are consistent with warmer conditions, continuing through Late Jurassic and Cretaceous times along the East African and West African coasts, until the Late Miocene. Within the Gondwanan framework, a Central African region can be envisaged that was subject to non-marine conditions during the entire Phanerozoic Eon. Peripheral to this central African region were marine environments of various ages. The geological history of these peripheral regions was fairly unique. Some features in southern Africa are similar of those found in the Paran Basin and the Falkland Islands. Most of North Africa from central Senegal to Libya contains a Phanerozoic marine cover extending from the Early Cambrian through to the Carboniferous, characterised by warm water faunas, except for the Ordovician which yields cool-cold water faunas. The Palaeozoic of Arabia, which was an integral part of Africa until the Miocene, has yieldedwarm water fossils.

Boucot, A. J.

266

Follow a Fossil  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The Follow a Fossil Web site is presented by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It documents the prospecting, evacuation, preparation, curation, research, and exhibiting of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant fossils. The site is simple and effective, giving a good introduction to the process of finding and using fossils for learning about the past.

2000-01-01

267

Documenting biogeographical patterns of African timber species using herbarium records: a conservation perspective based on native trees from Angola.  

PubMed

In many tropical regions the development of informed conservation strategies is hindered by a dearth of biodiversity information. Biological collections can help to overcome this problem, by providing baseline information to guide research and conservation efforts. This study focuses on the timber trees of Angola, combining herbarium (2670 records) and bibliographic data to identify the main timber species, document biogeographic patterns and identify conservation priorities. The study recognized 18 key species, most of which are threatened or near-threatened globally, or lack formal conservation assessments. Biogeographical analysis reveals three groups of species associated with the enclave of Cabinda and northwest Angola, which occur primarily in Guineo-Congolian rainforests, and evergreen forests and woodlands. The fourth group is widespread across the country, and is mostly associated with dry forests. There is little correspondence between the spatial pattern of species groups and the ecoregions adopted by WWF, suggesting that these may not provide an adequate basis for conservation planning for Angolan timber trees. Eight of the species evaluated should be given high conservation priority since they are of global conservation concern, they have very restricted distributions in Angola, their historical collection localities are largely outside protected areas and they may be under increasing logging pressure. High conservation priority was also attributed to another three species that have a large proportion of their global range concentrated in Angola and that occur in dry forests where deforestation rates are high. Our results suggest that timber tree species in Angola may be under increasing risk, thus calling for efforts to promote their conservation and sustainable exploitation. The study also highlights the importance of studying historic herbarium collections in poorly explored regions of the tropics, though new field surveys remain a priority to update historical information. PMID:25061858

Romeiras, Maria M; Figueira, Rui; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Beja, Pedro; Darbyshire, Iain

2014-01-01

268

Size, shape, and asymmetry in fossil hominins: The status of the LB1 cranium based on 3D morphometric analyses  

E-print Network

Size, shape, and asymmetry in fossil hominins: The status of the LB1 cranium based on 3D that LB1 best fits predictions for a small specimen of fossil Homo but not for a small modern human extant African ape species. Compared to other fossil specimens, the degree of asymmetry in LB1

Baab, Karen L.

269

Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy  

PubMed Central

Abstract Spiders (Araneae) are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant). Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa) were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids) through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field. PMID:22639535

Penney, David; Dunlop, Jason A.; Marusik, Yuri M.

2012-01-01

270

An Indoor Fossil/Archeological Dig  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, students will participate in a simulated fossil hunt or archeological excavation. Working in groups, they will excavate fossils or artifacts buried in a container and tag, number and label, and record the position and details of each object encountered. They will make site sketches as each layer is removed. When all the objects have been found, and all the information obtained, the group can compose a field report on the dig site that makes some inferences about the conditions that existed at the time the fossil/artifact was buried. A student worksheet is provided.

2011-06-24

271

Phylogeny and biogeography of African Murinae based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences, with a new tribal classification of the subfamily  

PubMed Central

Background Within the subfamily Murinae, African murines represent 25% of species biodiversity, making this group ideal for detailed studies of the patterns and timing of diversification of the African endemic fauna and its relationships with Asia. Here we report the results of phylogenetic analyses of the endemic African murines through a broad sampling of murine diversity from all their distribution area, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the two nuclear gene fragments (IRBP exon 1 and GHR). Results A combined analysis of one mitochondrial and two nuclear gene sequences consistently identified and robustly supported ten primary lineages within Murinae. We propose to formalize a new tribal arrangement within the Murinae that reflects this phylogeny. The diverse African murine assemblage includes members of five of the ten tribes and clearly derives from multiple faunal exchanges between Africa and Eurasia. Molecular dating analyses using a relaxed Bayesian molecular clock put the first colonization of Africa around 11 Mya, which is consistent with the fossil record. The main period of African murine diversification occurred later following disruption of the migration route between Africa and Asia about 79 Mya. A second period of interchange, dating to around 56.5 Mya, saw the arrival in Africa of Mus (leading to the speciose endemic Nannomys), and explains the appearance of several distinctive African lineages in the late Miocene and Pliocene fossil record of Eurasia. Conclusion Our molecular survey of Murinae, which includes the most complete sampling so far of African taxa, indicates that there were at least four separate radiations within the African region, as well as several phases of dispersal between Asia and Africa during the last 12 My. We also reconstruct the phylogenetic structure of the Murinae, and propose a new classification at tribal level for this traditionally problematic group. PMID:18616808

2008-01-01

272

vol. 164, no. 5 the american naturalist november 2004 Maintenance of Trophic Structure in Fossil Mammal  

E-print Network

vol. 164, no. 5 the american naturalist november 2004 Maintenance of Trophic Structure in Fossil are difficult to detect in the fossil record, we here used fossil locality coverage to approximate changes environmental change. Ecomor- phological grouping of fossils indicates that herbivore genera have low taxon

Jernvall, Jukka

273

Trace fossils and their palaeoecological significance in Lower Cretaceous lacustrine conservation deposits, El Montsec, Spain  

Microsoft Academic Search

La Pedrera and La Cabra at El Montsec, Spain, are two Lower Cretaceous lacustrine conservation deposits (Konservat-Lagersttten) that have provided a rich, diverse, and well-preserved faunal and floral fossil record. Although the lithographic limestones where the body fossils are found are finely laminated and essentially undisturbed by bioturbation, epigenic trace fossils occur on the surface of certain laminae. Trace fossils

J. M de Gibert; M. A Fregenal-Mart??nez; L. A Buatois; M. G Mngano

2000-01-01

274

The oldest Asian record of Anthropoidea  

PubMed Central

Undisputed anthropoids appear in the fossil record of Africa and Asia by the middle Eocene, about 45 Ma. Here, we report the discovery of an early Eocene eosimiid anthropoid primate from India, named Anthrasimias, that extends the Asian fossil record of anthropoids by 910 million years. A phylogenetic analysis of 75 taxa and 343 characters of the skull, postcranium, and dentition of Anthrasimias and living and fossil primates indicates the basal placement of Anthrasimias among eosimiids, confirms the anthropoid status of Eosimiidae, and suggests that crown haplorhines (tarsiers and monkeys) are the sister clade of Omomyoidea of the Eocene, not nested within an omomyoid clade. Co-occurence of Anthropoidea, Omomyoidea, and Adapoidea makes it evident that peninsular India was an important center for the diversification of primates of modern aspect (euprimates) in the early Eocene. Adaptive reconstructions indicate that early anthropoids were mouselemur-sized (?75 grams) and consumed a mixed diet of fruit and insects. Eosimiids bear little adaptive resemblance to later Eocene-early Oligocene African Anthropoidea. PMID:18685095

Bajpai, Sunil; Kay, Richard F.; Williams, Blythe A.; Das, Debasis P.; Kapur, Vivesh V.; Tiwari, B. N.

2008-01-01

275

Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the interface oxic - anoxic zone of marine sediments. This fulfils the idea that such processes, commonly found in the modern realm, should be also present in the geological past. Trichichnus is an exceptional trace fossil due to its very thin diameter (mostly less than 1 mm) and common pyritic filling. It is ubiquitous in some fine-grained sediments, where it has been interpreted as a burrow formed deeper than any other trace fossils, below the redox boundary. Trichichnus formerly referred to as deeply burrowed invertebrates, has been found as remnant of a fossilized intrasediment bacterial mat that is pyritized. As visualized in 3-D by means of X-ray computed microtomography scanner, Trichichnus forms dense filamentous fabric, which reflects that produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Trichichnus-related taxa, which are able to house a complex bacterial consortium. Several stages of Trichichnus formation, including filamentous, bacterial mat and its pyritization, are proposed to explain an electron exchange between oxic and suboxic/anoxic layers in the sediment. Therefore, Trichichnus can be considered a fossilized "electric wire".

K?dzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

2014-12-01

276

Calibrating the Tree of Life: fossils, molecules and evolutionary timescales  

PubMed Central

Background Molecular dating has gained ever-increasing interest since the molecular clock hypothesis was proposed in the 1960s. Molecular dating provides detailed temporal frameworks for divergence events in phylogenetic trees, allowing diverse evolutionary questions to be addressed. The key aspect of the molecular clock hypothesis, namely that differences in DNA or protein sequence between two species are proportional to the time elapsed since they diverged, was soon shown to be untenable. Other approaches were proposed to take into account rate heterogeneity among lineages, but the calibration process, by which relative times are transformed into absolute ages, has received little attention until recently. New methods have now been proposed to resolve potential sources of error associated with the calibration of phylogenetic trees, particularly those involving use of the fossil record. Scope and Conclusions The use of the fossil record as a source of independent information in the calibration process is the main focus of this paper; other sources of calibration information are also discussed. Particularly error-prone aspects of fossil calibration are identified, such as fossil dating, the phylogenetic placement of the fossil and the incompleteness of the fossil record. Methods proposed to tackle one or more of these potential error sources are discussed (e.g. fossil cross-validation, prior distribution of calibration points and confidence intervals on the fossil record). In conclusion, the fossil record remains the most reliable source of information for the calibration of phylogenetic trees, although associated assumptions and potential bias must be taken into account. PMID:19666901

Forest, Flix

2009-01-01

277

Fossil Mapping of Utah  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Fossils are evidence of living organisms from the past and are usually preserved in sedimentary rocks. A fossil may be an impression left in sediments, the preserved remains of an organism, or a trace mark showing that an organism once existed. Fossils are usually made from the hard parts of an organism because soft parts decay quickly. Fossils provide clues to Earth's history. They provide evidence that can be used to make inferences about past environments. Fossils can be compared to one another, to living organisms, and to organisms that lived long ago. Students will understand how fossils are formed, where they may be found in Utah, and how they can be used to make inferences. Research locations where fossils are found in Utah and construct a simple fossil map. 4th Grade Utah Core Curriculum, Science Benchmark, Standard 4, Objective 1, UEN TASK Congratulations. You have all become Paleontologists. You study fossils and it is your job to map the fossils of Utah for the State. Students will be divided into 4 groups. Each group will be given a Utah County Map. Each group will focus on one category ...

Ramsey

2009-11-18

278

African Retentions in Blues and Jazz.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The perseverance of African musical characteristics among American Blacks is an historic reality. African retentions have been recorded in Black music of the antebellum period. Various African scales and rhythms permeate Black American music today as evidenced in the retentions found in blues and jazz. (RLV)

Meadows, Eddie S.

1979-01-01

279

596 SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY VOL. 48 of randomly distributed fossil horizons. Paleobiol-  

E-print Network

596 SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY VOL. 48 of randomly distributed fossil horizons. Paleobiol- ogy 20:459­469. MAXWELL, W. D., AND M. J. BENTON. 1990. Historical tests of the absolute completeness of the fossil record superpositional and phylogenetic patterns: Comparing cladistic patterns with fossil records. Cladistics 8

Barker, F. Keith

280

Globular cluster formation - The fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Properties of globular clusters which have remained unchanged since their formation are used to infer the internal pressures, cooling times, and dynamical times of the protocluster clouds immediately prior to the onset of star formation. For all globular clusters examined, it is found that the cooling times are much less than the dynamical times, implying that the protoclusters must have been maintained in thermal equilibrium by external heat sources, with fluxes consistent with those found in previous work, and giving the observed rho-T relation. Self-gravitating clouds cannot be stably heated, so that the Jeans mass forms an upper limit to the cluster masses. The observed dependence of protocluster pressure upon galactocentric position implies that the protocluster clouds were in hydrostatic equilibrium after their formation. The pressure dependence is well fitted by that expected for a quasi-statically evolving background hot gas, shock heated to its virial temperature. The observations and inferences are combined with previous theoretical work to construct a picture of globular cluster formation.

Murray, Stephen D.; Lin, Douglas N. C.

1992-01-01

281

Plantae: Fossil Record and First Appearances  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This University of California Berkeley Museum of Paleontology site provides an interactive geologic timescale that illustrates the temporal distribution of several important plant groups. First appearances of major plant groups are plotted on a colorful timescale and each group is linked to references, text, images, and further information. Key Cretaceous plant groups featured include Anthocerotophyta, Anthophyta and Gnetales. The site might be a useful resource for constructing introductory level lectures concerned with paleobotany and paleoecology of the Cretaceous Period.

Brian, Speer; Paleontology, University O.

282

THE FOSSIL RECORD OF PREDATION IN DINOSAURS  

Microsoft Academic Search

Predatory theropod dinosaurs can usually be identified as such by features of their jaws, teeth, and postcrania, but different clades of these reptiles differed in their adaptations for prey handling. Inferences about theropod diets and hunting behavior based on functional morphology are sometimes supported by evidence from taphonomic associations with likely prey species, bite marks, gut contents, coprolites, and trackways.

JAMES O. FARLOW; THOMAS R. HOLTZ

283

The Fossil Record of the Peronosporomycetes (Oomycota)  

E-print Network

that thrive in both aquatic and terrestrial environments where they are effective as saprotrophs and disease-causative agents in plants and animals including humans (Margulis and Schwartz 1998). Within the group are economically important phytopathogens....e. haustoria) suggestive of parasitism. This might suggest that most Carbonifer- ous Peronosporomycetes lived as saprotrophs. As far as is known none have been reported associated with roots or other types of below ground anchoring and absorbing organs. While...

Krings, Michael; Taylor, Thomas N.; Dotzler, Nora

2011-01-01

284

Fossil Record of Precambrian Life on Land  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The argument that the earth's early ocean was up to two times modern salinity was published in 'Nature' and presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Toronto. The argument is bolstered by chemical data for fluid inclusions in Archean black smokers. The inclusions were 1.7 times the modern salinity causing the authors to interpret the parent fluids as evaporite brines (in a deep marine setting). I reinterpreted the data in terms of the predicted value of high Archean salinities. If the arguments I presented are on track, early life was either halophilic or non-marine. Halophiles are not among the most primitive organisms based on RNA sequencing, so here is an a priori argument that non-marine environments may have been the site of most early biologic evolution. This result carries significant implications for the issue of past life on Mars or current life on the putative sub-ice oceans on Europa and possibly Callisto. If the Cl/H2O ratio on these objects is similar to that of the earth, then oceans and oceanic sediments are probably not the preferred sites for early life. On Mars, this means that non-marine deposits such as caliche in basalt may be an overlooked potential sample target.

Knauth, Paul

2000-01-01

285

Mass Extinctions and the Fossil Record  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students write a short essay that compares the Permo-Triassic (Permo is short for Permian) mass extinction with the Cretaceous-Tertiary (Tertiary is the beginning of the Cenozoic) mass extinction. The use online resources and their textbooks as source material for their essay. Students must include information about the magnitude of the extinction events. Additionally students describe the groups of organisms that were impacted by the event. Students discuss the cause(s) of each the extinction event and compare the different causes. They explain how the cause impacted the different groups of organisms or why those particular groups were impacted. The discussion must include some of the organisms that never recovered from the extinction.

Heise, Elizabeth

286

Fossil Energy Website  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This site serves as a gathering point for US Department of Energy (USDOE) materials related to fossil energy. Well-organized and easily navigated, the Fossil Energy Website hosts a wealth of resources, including fossil energy news, related USDOE budget information, an events calendar, in-depth explorations of selected issues, speeches and testimony, technical reports, statistics, and an overview of fossil energy-related global activities, among others. Additional resources include regulatory information, a news headlines ticker, a free email update service, related links, and professional notices.

287

Fossil Energy Program  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy is reported. The following topics are discussed: coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation studies, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, solid waste disposal, coal preparation waste utilization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA FBC demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and general equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies.

McNeese, L. E.

1981-01-01

288

Modes of fossil preservation  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

Schopf, J.M.

1975-01-01

289

NYSGA 2010 Trip 4 -Olsen Fossil Great Lakes of the Newark Supergroup  

E-print Network

NYSGA 2010 Trip 4 - Olsen 101 Fossil Great Lakes of the Newark Supergroup ­ 30 Years Later Paul E: THE TRIASSIC-JURASSIC GREAT LAKES OF CENTRAL PANGEA This guidebook focuses of the deposits, fossils dimension comparable to the scale of the American Great Lakes or the East African Great Lakes and perhaps

Olsen, Paul E.

290

The use of Holocene bovid fossils to infer palaeoenvironment in Africa  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this paper, we develop an original statistical method to infer palaeoenvironmental conditions from fossil taxonomical assemblages based on the present-day observed environmental characteristics of these taxa. We illustrate this method by analysing present-day and Holocene African bovid (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) species assemblages. Firstly, the modern bovid species occurrences in African environments ranging from tropical rainforest to desert are compiled in

Hlne Jousse; Gilles Escarguel

2006-01-01

291

Make a Model Fossil  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity is a combination outdoor/indoor lab where students will collect natural materials from the environment and use them to create both a mold and cast model of a fossil. Students will learn how a fossil is formed and why scientists use models to help them understand how things work and develop.

292

Trace Fossil Image Database  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This database from Emory University consists of images and basic information concerning trace fossils photographed by Anthony Martin. Included in this information is the formation, age, and locality of the specimen if known. Many of the images were originally photographed while in the field, and each type of trace fossil has numerous examples to browse through.

Anthony Martin

293

Dinosaur Footprints & Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, early learners simulate fossil prints in play dough or clay. Using plastic dinosaur feet to make footprints on their mud (much as dinosaurs walked around their habitat) and harvest items (leaves, corn, twigs, acorns) to make impressions, learners simulate fossil prints. This resource includes open-ended discussion questions to encourage reflection.

Omsi

2004-01-01

294

Restoring Fossil Creek  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Fossil Creek had been dammed for the past 90 years, and plans were underway to restore the stream. The creek runs through Central Arizona and flows from the high plateaus to the desert, cutting through the same formations that form the Grand Canyon. This article discusses the Fossil Creek monitoring project. In this project, students and teachers

Flaccus, Kathleen; Vlieg, Julie; Marks, Jane C.; LeRoy, Carri J.

2004-01-01

295

Eumetazoan fossils in terminal Proterozoic phosphorites?  

PubMed Central

Phosphatic sedimentary rocks preserve a record of early animal life different from and complementary to that provided by Ediacaran fossils in terminal Proterozoic sandstones and shales. Phosphorites of the Doushantuo Formation, South China, contain eggs, egg cases, and stereoblastulae that document animals of unspecified phylogenetic position; small fossils containing putative spicules may specifically record the presence of sponges. Microfossils recently interpreted as the preserved gastrulae of cnidarian and bilaterian metazoans can alternatively be interpreted as conventional algal cysts and/or egg cases modified by diagenetic processes known to have had a pervasive influence on Doushantuo phosphorites. Regardless of this interpretation, evidence for Doushantuo eumetazoans is provided by millimeter-scale tubes that display tabulation and apical budding characteristic of some Cnidaria, especially the extinct tabulates. Like some Ediacaran remains, these small, benthic, colonial fossils may represent stem-group eumetazoans or stem-group cnidarians that lived in the late Proterozoic ocean. PMID:11095754

Xiao, Shuhai; Yuan, Xunlai; Knoll, Andrew H.

2000-01-01

296

Deciphering whale origins with molecules and fossils  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recent efforts by paleontologists to find fossils that record the origin of whales have yielded an impressive collection of transitional forms from the Eocene. Simultaneously, molecular biologists have dramatically increased the genetic information relevant to whale phylogeny. Combined analyses of the available data indicate areas of congruence but also gross conflict between characters from extinct and extant organisms. The incongruence

John Gatesy; Maureen A. O'Leary

2001-01-01

297

Molecules, morphometrics and new fossils provide an integrated view of the evolutionary history of Rhinopomatidae (Mammalia: Chiroptera)  

PubMed Central

Background The Rhinopomatidae, traditionally considered to be one of the most ancient chiropteran clades, remains one of the least known groups of Rhinolophoidea. No relevant fossil record is available for this family. Whereas there have been extensive radiations in related families Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae, there are only a few species in the Rhinopomatidae and their phylogenetic relationship and status are not fully understood. Results Here we present (a) a phylogenetic analysis based on a partial cytochrome b sequence, (b) new fossils from the Upper Miocene site Elaiochoria 2 (Chalkidiki, Greece), which represents the first appearance datum of the family based on the fossil record, and (c) discussion of the phylogeographic patterns in both molecular and morphological traits. We found deep divergences in the Rhinopoma hardwickii lineage, suggesting that the allopatric populations in (i) Iran and (ii) North Africa and the Middle East should have separate species status. The latter species (R. cystops) exhibits a shallow pattern of isolation by distance (separating the Middle East and the African populations) that contrasts with the pattern of geographic variation in the morphometrical traits. A deep genetic gap was also found in Rhinopoma muscatellum (Iran vs. Yemen). We found only minute genetic distance between R. microphyllum from the Levant and India, which fails to support the sub/species distinctness of the Indian form (R. microphyllum kinneari). Conclusion The mtDNA survey provided phylogenetic tree of the family Rhinopomatidae for the first time and revealed an unexpected diversification of the group both within R. hardwickii and R. muscatellum morphospecies. The paleobiogeographic scenario compiled in respect to molecular clock data suggests that the family originated in the region south of the Eocene Western Tethyan seaway or in India, and extended its range during the Early Miocene. The fossil record suggests a Miocene spread into the Mediterranean region, followed by a post-Miocene retreat. Morphological analysis compared with genetic data indicates considerable phenotypic plasticity in this group. PMID:17868440

Hulva, Pavel; Hor?ek, Ivan; Benda, Petr

2007-01-01

298

Fossil energy program  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The projects reported include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation studies, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, TVA, FBC demonstration plant program technical support, and PFBC systems analysis. Fossil fuel application assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and general equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies are presented.

McNeese, L. E.

1981-02-01

299

Fossil Identification Project  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students attend a class fieldtrip where over five locations across Tennessee representing three different geological time periods (Ordovician, Devonian, and Cretaceous) are visited. The students are required to collect 20 different taxa (5 of which must be unique to each student) and then using the knowledge they have gained in labs identify their taxa to species level. They must make a powerpoint presentation summarizing the paleocological and paleoclimatological information gained about each locality through the collection of the fossil taxa. The activity helps familiarize students with the geology of Tennessee and field collection of fossils in addition to lab identification of fossils.

Lobegeier, Melissa

300

A 25,000-year record of climate-induced changes in lowland vegetation of eastern equatorial Africa revealed by the stable carbon-isotopic composition of fossil plant leaf waxes  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The debate of climate versus CO2 in controlling the long-term dynamics of tropical African vegetation has focused on events at the upper tree-line, since the relevant paleodata tend to be from mid-elevation sites (~ 2000-3000 m). Less well known is the relative importance of CO2 in regulating the dynamics of tropical lowland (< 1500 m) vegetation, particularly that of the dry open woodlands, bush- and grasslands covering much of eastern equatorial Africa. Here we examine the stable carbon isotopic composition of n-alkanes in the sediment record of Lake Challa, a lowland crater lake near Mt. Kilimanjaro, covering the last 25,000 years. The distributions of the n-alkanes, with dominance of the long-chain odd-carbon-numbered components, and their isotopic composition reveal a mixed origin. The C23 and C25n-alkanes are depleted in 13C, with ?13C values between - 30 and - 50. In shallow lakes these n-alkanes are thought to derive from non-emergent aquatic plants, but this is unlikely in this steep-sided crater lake as it lacks a significant littoral habitat. The C27+n-alkanes are predominantly derived from leaf wax lipids of terrestrial plants, brought into the lake predominantly by local soil run-off. Their ?13C values, in particular that of the n-C31 alkane, reveal a marked transition in local lowland vegetation from being dominated (~ 70-100%) by C4 plants during the glacial period until 16.5 cal kyr BP, to a more mixed C3/C4 composition (~ 30-60% C4) during the Holocene. The start of the late-glacial trend towards a greater proportion of C3 plants coincided with the start of increasing monsoon rainfall, ~ 1500 years after the onset of the rise in atmospheric CO2 and ~ 3500 years after the onset of post-glacial warming. The transition was interrupted during the dry Younger Dryas period (13.0-11.7 cal kyr BP), when C4 plants again became much more prevalent, almost reaching their glacial-period abundance. Notably, the principal trend in leaf-wax ?13C values infers C4 dominance during both wet and dry phases of the glacial period, and a mixed C3/C4 vegetation during both wet and dry phases of the Holocene. Our results indicate that long-term variation in pCO2 exerted important control on the composition of drought-adapted savanna vegetation in this currently semi-arid lowland region of equatorial East Africa.

Sinninghe Damst, Jaap S.; Verschuren, Dirk; Ossebaar, Jort; Blokker, Jord; van Houten, Rianne; van der Meer, Marcel T. J.; Plessen, Birgit; Schouten, Stefan

2011-02-01

301

Fossil energy program  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

A compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives as sources of clean energy is presented. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process analysis; and engineering evaluations, fossil energy environmental analysis, flue gas desulfurization, solid waste disposal, coal preparation and waste utilization, plant control development, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, Tennessee Valley Authority Fluidized Bed Combustion demonstration plant program technical support, PFBC systems analysis, fossil fuel applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international energy technology assessment, and generalized equilibrium models of liquid and gaseous fuel supplies.

McNeese, L. E.

1981-03-01

302

Fossilized Dinosaur Bones  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This slide show presents images of dinosaur bones and shows paleotologists at work excavating and preserving these fossils, the best evidence remaining of these long-lost creatures. A background essay and discussion questons are included.

303

Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses how genetic data on present human population relationships and data from the Pleistocene fossil hominid record are being used to compare two contrasting models for the origin of modern humans. (TW)

Stringer, C. B.; Andrews, P.

1988-01-01

304

CLANIMAE: Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts on African Ecosystems  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Global studies of historical land use focusing on the large-scale landscape change that can potentially affect global climate (via effects on surface albedo, aerosols, and the carbon cycle) have concluded that the impact of pre-colonial East African cultures on regional ecosystems was limited, due to very low mean population density. This contrasts with the paradigm in East African archaeology and paleoecology that the onset of anthropogenic deforestation started at least 2500 years ago, following the introduction of iron metallurgy by Bantu immigrants. This conflict highlights the present lack of real data on historical climate-environment-human interactions in East Africa, which are eminently relevant to sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in a future of continued population growth and global climate change. CLANIMAE responds to the urgent need of a correct long-term perspective to today's climate-environment-human interactions in East Africa, by reconstructing simultaneously the histories of past climate change and of vegetation and water-quality changes over the last 2500 years, through multi-disciplinary analysis of dated lake-sediment records. The climate reconstructions integrate information on biological, geochemical and sedimentological indicators of past changes in the water balance of the study lakes, which cover the climatological gradient from (sub-)humid western Uganda to semi-arid eastern Kenya. Reconstruction of past terrestrial vegetation dynamics is based on analyses of fossil plant pollen and phytoliths, plus the fossil spores of fungi associated with the excrements of large domestic animals as indicators of lake use by pastoralists. The evolution of water quality through time is reconstructed using silicon isotopes in diatom algae as proxy indicator for past phytoplankton productivity, and paleoecological analyses of fossil diatoms and aquatic macrophytes, following calibration of diatom and macrophyte species distribution against lake trophic status and turbidity in the modern-day regional lake gradient. The integrated paleoecological research method of this project addresses the question of past climate-environment-human relationships at the time scale at which the relevant processes have actually occurred. This will allow us to 1) separate the influences of natural climate variability and human activity on East African ecosystems, 2) determine the exact timing and relative magnitude of indigenous (pre-20th century) anthropogenic land clearance compared to recent landscape alteration, 3) determine the severity of lake water-quality losses due to siltation and excess nutrient input directly linked to deforestation and agriculture, compared to those associated with natural ecosystem variability, and 4) assess the resilience of African ecosystems, and prospects for the restoration of disturbed ecosystems if human pressure were to be reversed.

Verschuren, D.; Andr, L.; Mahy, G.; Cocquyt, C.; Plisnier, P.-D.; Gelorini, V.; Rumes, B.; Lebrun, J.; Bock, L.; Marchant, R.

2009-04-01

305

The Great Fossil Find  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

On an imaginary fossil hunt, learners "find" (remove from envelope) paper "fossils" of some unknown creature, only a few at a time. Each time, they attempt to reconstruct the creature, and each time their interpretation tends to change as new pieces are "found." Use this as an introduction to the nature of science inquiry -- scientists don't always have all the information, scientists must form interpretations of the information, scientists must work together to come to consensus about interpretations.

Steve Rendak

1999-01-01

306

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Modern and fossil non-pollen palynomorphs from the Basque  

E-print Network

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Modern and fossil non-pollen palynomorphs from the Basque mountains (western to aid interpretation of the local fossil pollen record as an independent `proxy' to assess past pastoral. Keywords Non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) Á Modern and fossil NPPs Á Coprophilous Ascomycetes Á Grazing

Boyer, Edmond

307

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Modern and fossil non-pollen palynomorphs from the Basque  

E-print Network

ORIGINAL ARTICLE Modern and fossil non-pollen palynomorphs from the Basque mountains (western of the local fossil pollen record as an independent `proxy' to assess past pastoral dynamics. This study-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) Á Modern and fossil NPPs Á Coprophilous Ascomycetes Á Grazing activities Á Pyrenees

Boyer, Edmond

308

vol. 165, no. 2 the american naturalist february 2005 Assessing Concordance of Fossil Calibration Points in  

E-print Network

vol. 165, no. 2 the american naturalist february 2005 Assessing Concordance of Fossil Calibration and accuracy of the fossil record as calibration points. Recent methodological advances have provided powerful rates among lineages. However, relatively little attention has focused on the accuracy of fossil cali

Shaffer, H. Bradley

309

vol. 163, no. 2 the american naturalist february 2004 Exploring Developmental Modes in a Fossil Arthropod  

E-print Network

vol. 163, no. 2 the american naturalist february 2004 Exploring Developmental Modes in a Fossil to explore postem- bryonic development within the fossil record of arthropod evolution. In contrast to most. Given the considerable range in seg- ment numbers observed in fossil and ex- tant arthropods

310

Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi.  

PubMed

Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved Carboniferous and Triassic fossils interpreted as zygosporangium-gametangia complexes and resembling those of modern Endogonales. Enigmatic microfossils from the Precambrian to Cenozoic that have variously been interpreted as, or compared to, zygomycetous fungi are also discussed. Among these, the spherical structures collectively termed 'sporocarps' are especially interesting because of their complex investments and abundance in certain Carboniferous and Triassic rocks. Circumstantial evidence suggests that at least some 'sporocarp' types represent mantled zygosporangia. Zygomycetous fungi probably were an important element in terrestrial paleoecosystems at least by the Carboniferous. PMID:24027344

Krings, M; Taylor, T N; Dotzler, N

2013-06-01

311

African Studies  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The African Studies WWW server contains information on programs and resources at the University of Pennsylvania, in Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere. The web site is supported by the African Studies Center, part of a four-school consortium, including Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania.

312

Fossil Fuels: Capstone  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This lesson summarizes our dependency upon fossil fuels, pointing out that there are very few aspects of our daily life that are not impacted by their use. The discussion centers around whether these fuels could be replaced and makes the point that there is a significant percentage of them which is used to manufacture products and is not simply burned for energy. The lesson includes an activity in which students use an online calculator to estimate how much of each fossil fuel they are responsible for consuming each year.

John Pratte

313

Fossil reptilian gelatins.  

PubMed

1. Studies have been made of products obtained by treating several reptilian fossil bones with dilute formic acid. 2. Their amounts and compositions have been compared with those of similarly treated fresh and Pleistocene bones. 3. Fewer and small peptides are obtained from the older fossils but in only one instance was the composition significantly different from that of the total protein. 4. For the collagenous proteins aspartic acid was the most readily freed by hydrolysis; for these older proteins it is alanine. 5. Unlike the Pleistocene proteins, the chromatograms from these older proteins have always had peaks in the position of beta-alanine, and usually others of unidentified origin. PMID:318304

Wyckoff, R W; Davidson, F D

1979-01-01

314

What is a Fossil?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity about dinosaurs, learners explore how and why fossils form. First, learners are introduced to dinosaur fossils by reading the book "Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones" by Byron Barton. Then, learners make impressions in clay using a seashell, pennies, dinosaur teeth and other items. Next, learners make dinosaur tracks in the clay as they "walk" plastic models across the soft clay. Learners also use sponges pre-cut in the shape of dinosaur feet to make more tracks. This activity is featured on page 29 of the "Dinosphere" unit of study for K-2 learners.

2014-04-14

315

Old fossilsyoung species: evolutionary history of an endemic gastropod assemblage in Lake Malawi  

PubMed Central

Studies on environmental changes provide important insights into modes of speciation, into the (adaptive) reoccupation of ecological niches and into species turnover. Against this background, we here examine the history of the gastropod genus Lanistes in the African Rift Lake Malawi, guided by four general evolutionary scenarios, and compare it with patterns reported from other endemic Malawian rift taxa. Based on an integrated approach using a mitochondrial DNA phylogeny and a trait-specific molecular clock in combination with insights from the fossil record and palaeoenvironmental data, we demonstrate that the accumulation of extant molecular diversity in the endemic group did not start before approximately 600?000 years ago from a single lineage. Fossils of the genus from the Malawi Rift, however, are over one million years older. We argue that severe drops in the lake level of Lake Malawi in the Pleistocene offer a potential explanation for this pattern. Our results also challenge previously established phylogenetic relationships within the genus by revealing parallel evolution and providing evidence that the endemic Lanistes species are not restricted to the lake proper but are present throughout the Malawi Rift. PMID:19439440

Schulthei, Roland; Van Bocxlaer, Bert; Wilke, Thomas; Albrecht, Christian

2009-01-01

316

Therapod Fossil Hunt Dispatch  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This online article reports on the finding of a dromaeosaur fossil, the best specimen to date to show that feathers existed long before modern birds and flight. The research was a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History and the Geological Museum of China.

317

Fossils and Minerals  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This site from the Black Hills Institute features information about different types of fossils, minerals, meteorites, and geology in general. Each topic has a brief description, with links to a more detailed explanation. Various samples and books are abailable for purchase on the site.

Research, Inc. B.

318

Rethinking Fossil Fuels  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Climate change and fossil fuel use are connected. It would serve the world well to: begin a moratorium on coal-fired power plants; explore and use renewable energy; insist on immediate action from world governments; and penalize industries putting excess CO2 into the atmosphere.

James Hansen (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; )

2008-09-09

319

Fossil Halls: Vertebrate Evolution  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Part of a larger virtual tour of the Museum's famed Fossil Halls, this Web site has an interactive cladogram with 20 clickable evolutionary branching points. It shows vertebrate evolution for the following three AMNH halls: Hall of Vertebrate Origins, Hall of Dinosaurs and Hall of Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives.

320

Fossil Biodiversity: Red Noise Plus Signal  

E-print Network

We have examined the Fourier power spectrum as well as the Hurst exponent of extinction, origination, and total biodiversity in the marine fossil record, using a recently improved geologic timescale. We find all of them strongly inconsistent with past claims of self-similarity as well as inconsistent with random walk behavior. Instead, they are dominated by low-frequency power, with approximate f^-2 power over one decade in frequency. The spectrum turns over at about 10^5 y, lending plausibility to connections with galactic dynamics. Even in the background of this low-frequency dominance, a previously noted 62 My biodiversity cycle stands out with better than 99% confidence above the noise level, accounting for about 35% of the total variance in the fossil biodiversity record.

Melott, A L; Melott, Adrian L.; Lieberman, Bruce S.

2006-01-01

321

Fossil Biodiversity: Red Noise Plus Signal  

E-print Network

We have examined the Fourier power spectrum as well as the Hurst exponent of extinction, origination, and total biodiversity in the marine fossil record, using a recently improved geologic timescale. We find all of them strongly inconsistent with past claims of self-similarity as well as inconsistent with random walk behavior. Instead, they are dominated by low-frequency power, with approximate f^-2 power over one decade in frequency. The spectrum turns over at about 10^8 y, lending plausibility to connections with galactic dynamics. Even in the background of this low-frequency dominance, a previously noted 62 My biodiversity cycle stands out with better than 99% confidence above the noise level, accounting for about 35% of the total variance in the fossil biodiversity record.

Adrian L. Melott; Bruce S. Lieberman

2006-06-14

322

Sustainability of Fossil Fuels  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental effects of injecting excess carbon into the environment need to be eliminated before fossil fuels can be considered sustainable. Sustainable fossil fuel use would likely rely on abundant, low-grade hydrocarbons like coal, tar, and shale. It would require a closed cycle approach in which carbon is extracted from the ground, processed for its energy content, and returned into safe and stable sinks for permanent disposal. Such sequestration technologies already exist and more advanced approaches that could maintain access to fossil energy for centuries are on the drawing boards. I will review these options and outline a pathway towards a zero emission fossil fuel based economy that could provide energy at prices comparable to those of today for several centuries. A successful implementation will depend not only on technological advances but also on the development of economic institutions that allow one to pay for the required carbon management. If done correctly the markets will decide whether renewable energy, or sustainable fossil energy provides a better choice.

Lackner, K. S.

2002-05-01

323

Termites of a South African savanna  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study describes the termite fauna of the South African Savanna Ecosystem Project study area at Nylsvley Reserve, Naboomspruit, northern Transvaal. Twenty species of fifteen genera and two families are recorded, and biological notes are given. The faunal composition is broadly similar to that of West African savannas, but a little impoverished. Main deficiencies are in variety of Macrotermitinae and

Paul Ferrar

1982-01-01

324

YZC Animal of the Month, September 2012 African Elephant  

E-print Network

YZC Animal of the Month, September 2012 African Elephant Loxodonta africana Go to the lower gallery. The African Elephant is the largest land-living animal alive today. The biggest animal on record measured up. University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge September 2012 African Elephants live in a range

325

Triassic Leech Cocoon From Antarctica Contains Fossil Bell Animal  

E-print Network

Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter...

Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.; Moestrup, Ø jvind; Taylor, Edith L.

2012-01-01

326

Exceptional fossil preservation and the cambrian explosion.  

PubMed

Exceptionally preserved, non-biomineralizing fossils contribute importantly to resolving details of the Cambrian explosion, but little to its overall patterns. Six distinct "types" of exceptional preservation are identified for the terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian interval, each of which is dependent on particular taphonomic circumstances, typically restricted both in space and time. Taphonomic pathways yielding exceptional preservation were particularly variable through the Proterozoic-Cambrian transition, at least in part a consequence of contemporaneous evolutionary innovations. Combined with the reasonably continuous record of "Doushantuo-type preservation," and the fundamentally more robust records of shelly fossils, phytoplankton cysts and trace fossils, these taphonomic perturbations contribute to the documentation of major evolutionary and biogeochemical shifts through the terminal Proterozoic and early Cambrian.Appreciation of the relationship between taphonomic pathway and fossil expression serves as a useful tool for interpreting exceptionally preserved, often problematic, early Cambrian fossils. In shale facies, for example, flattened non-biomineralizing structures typically represent the remains of degradation-resistant acellular and extracellular "tissues" such as chaetae and cuticles, whereas three-dimensional preservation represents labile cellular tissues with a propensity for attracting and precipitating early diagenetic minerals. Such distinction helps to identify the acuticular integument of hyolithids, the chaetae-like nature of Wiwaxia sclerites, the chaetognath-like integument of Amiskwia, the midgut glands of various Burgess Shale arthropods, and the misidentification of deposit-feeding arthropods in the Chengjiang biota. By the same reasoning, putative lobopods in the Sirius Passet biota and putative deuterostomes in the Chengiang biota are better interpreted as arthropods. PMID:21680421

Butterfield, Nicholas J

2003-02-01

327

Further records of Amphipoda from Baltic Eocene amber with first evidence of prae-copulatory behaviour in a fossil amphipod and remarks on the taxonomic position of Palaeogammarus Zaddach, 1864.  

PubMed

Two pieces of Baltic amber with amphipod inclusions were studied. One of them contained approximately twenty individuals identified as belonging to the extinct genus Palaeogammarus and described as P. debroyeri sp. nov. Interestingly, among the individuals there are two pairs preserved in an evident prae-copula position. This is the first finding of such mating behaviour in fossil amphipods. Based on this behavioural trait and on the observed morphological features, we conclude that the genus Palaeogammarus should be placed in Gammaridae and not in Crangonyctidae. The second amber piece contains two individuals identified as belonging to the still extant genus Synurella and described as S. aliciae sp. nov. PMID:24870911

Ja?d?ewski, Krzysztof; Grabowski, Micha?; Kupryjanowicz, Janusz

2014-01-01

328

Fossil evidence of water lilies (Nymphaeales) in the Early Cretaceous.  

PubMed

Phylogenetic analyses have identified the water lilies (Nymphaeales: Cabombaceae and Nymphaeaceae), together with four other small groups of flowering plants (the 'ANITA clades': Amborellaceae, Illiciales, Trimeniaceae, Austrobaileyaceae), as the first diverging lineages from the main branch of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, but evidence of these groups in the earliest phases of the angiosperm fossil record has remained elusive. Here we report the earliest unequivocal evidence, based on fossil floral structures and associated pollen, of fossil plants related to members of the ANITA clades. This extends the history of the water lilies (Nymphaeales) back to the Early Cretaceous (125-115 million years) and into the oldest fossil assemblages that contain unequivocal angiosperm stamens and carpels. This discovery adds to the growing congruence between results from molecular-based analyses of relationships among angiosperms and the palaeobotanical record. It is also consistent with previous observations that the flowers of early angiosperms were generally very small compared with those of their living relatives. PMID:11268209

Friis, E M; Pedersen, K R; Crane, P R

2001-03-15

329

Bibliography of Fossil Vertebrates  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), one of most reputable American paleontological societies, sponsors this online edition of its Bibliography of Fossil Vertebrates. The database, which currently covers the years 1509-1958 and 1981-1993 with approximately 112,000 references, is searchable by author, subject, taxon, language, editor, and journal book or volume title. A help page with query instructions for the somewhat finicky search engine is provided.

1997-01-01

330

The Unknown Fossil Report  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This project challenges the students ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness! They each receive a fossil of unknown identity (general geographic locality may be given, e.g., I-55 south of St. Louis, MO). The specimen is described in as much detail as possible. Their report should include taxonomic classification (as complete as they can), age, paleoecology, Earth history, and other interpretations they can infer. Identification may require library work, Internet search, etc.

Max Reams

331

Fossil Halls: Timelines  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Part of a larger virtual tour of the Museum's famed Fossil Halls, this Web site allows students to travel back in time to several prehistoric points in the history of Earth. At each, they'll find a fleshed-out portrait of the period's creatures and their environment. The eight periods students will visit, some of which include more than one point-in-time snapshot, are Pleistocene, Miocene, Oligocene, Eocene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Permian and Devonian Periods.

332

Fossil Microbes on Mars?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This online article, from Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge, reports on the controversial discovery of Martian meteorite ALH84001. In 1996, a team of scientists led by David McKay of NASAs Johnson Space Flight Center announced that they had discovered evidence for microscopic fossil life in this meteorite from Mars. From the start, the evidence was both fascinating and controversial, and to this day it remains so.

333

Fossil Age Estimation Model  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity (page 1 of the PDF), learners will model how paleontologists estimate the age of fossil discoveries by extracting fossil playing cards from newspapers stacked in chronological order. Learners identify the age of the card based on the evidence (printed date) in the surrounding pages. They then create a data table and graph and analyze their findings. Use this activity to introduce learners to paleontology and geology. Relates to the linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Dinosaurs.

Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.

2006-01-01

334

Living and Fossil Macrocyprididae  

E-print Network

behave in one way and sometimes in the other. You cannot lay down general rules of what is important in classification and what is not. Peter C. Sylvester-Bradley, 1969, p. 245 LIVING AND FOSSIL MACROCYPRIDIDAE (OSTRACODA) Rosalie F. Maddocks Department... are redescribed from type and additional specimens, 54 new species are named, and 48 additional species are described in open nomenclature. Appendage and genital characters are described for 73 of these species. A review of more than 100 additional species...

Maddocks, R. F.

1990-02-27

335

Reviving the African Wolf Canis lupus lupaster in North and West Africa: A Mitochondrial Lineage Ranging More than 6,000 km Wide  

PubMed Central

The recent discovery of a lineage of gray wolf in North-East Africa suggests the presence of a cryptic canid on the continent, the African wolf Canis lupus lupaster. We analyzed the mtDNA diversity (cytochrome b and control region) of a series of African Canis including wolf-like animals from North and West Africa. Our objectives were to assess the actual range of C. l. lupaster, to further estimate the genetic characteristics and demographic history of its lineage, and to question its taxonomic delineation from the golden jackal C. aureus, with which it has been considered synonymous. We confirmed the existence of four distinct lineages within the gray wolf, including C. lupus/familiaris (Holarctic wolves and dogs), C. l. pallipes, C. l. chanco and C. l. lupaster. Taxonomic assignment procedures identified wolf-like individuals from Algeria, Mali and Senegal, as belonging to C. l. lupaster, expanding its known distribution c. 6,000 km to the west. We estimated that the African wolf lineage (i) had the highest level of genetic diversity within C. lupus, (ii) coalesced during the Late Pleistocene, contemporaneously with Holarctic wolves and dogs, and (iii) had an effective population size of c. 80,000 females. Our results suggest that the African wolf is a relatively ancient gray wolf lineage with a fairly large, past effective population size, as also suggested by the Pleistocene fossil record. Unique field observations in Senegal allowed us to provide a morphological and behavioral diagnosis of the African wolf that clearly distinguished it from the sympatric golden jackal. However, the detection of C. l. lupaster mtDNA haplotypes in C. aureus from Senegal brings the delineation between the African wolf and the golden jackal into question. In terms of conservation, it appears urgent to further characterize the status of the African wolf with regard to the African golden jackal. PMID:22900047

Gaubert, Philippe; Bloch, Ccile; Benyacoub, Slim; Abdelhamid, Adnan; Pagani, Paolo; Djagoun, Chabi Adymi Marc Sylvestre; Couloux, Arnaud; Dufour, Sylvain

2012-01-01

336

A report on biocompounds from palm fossil of India.  

PubMed

The occurrence of a large number of fossil woods having resemblance in anatomical features with the modern palm genus, Phoenix L in Deccan Intertrappean fossil flora of Maastrichtian-Danian age (i. e. Late Cretaceous and Earliest Tertiary (65-67 my)) indicates the most primitive record of date palm. Present discovery of biocompounds from fossil wood of Phoenix collected from Deccan Intertrappean having affinity with the biocompounds known from modern plant further exemplify the earliest documentation of Phoenix in Indian peninsula. PMID:24966541

Sharma, Dinesh Chandra; Khan, Mohd Sajid; Khan, M Salman; Srivastava, Rashmi; Srivastava, Ashwini Kumar; Shukla, Ritu

2014-01-01

337

Schewel and Schipper 1 FOSSIL FREIGHT: HOW MUCH FOSSIL FUEL DOES IT TAKE TO MOVE FOSSIL1  

E-print Network

Schewel and Schipper 1 FOSSIL FREIGHT: HOW MUCH FOSSIL FUEL DOES IT TAKE TO MOVE FOSSIL1 FUEL?2 #12;Schewel and Schipper 2 Abstract1 This paper asks as the question: how much fossil fuel does it take to move fossil fuel inside the U.S.? An2 understanding of this "fossil freight", which takes up

Kammen, Daniel M.

338

Fossil diatoms and neogene paleolimnology  

USGS Publications Warehouse

Diatoms have played an important role in the development of Neogene continental biostratigraphy and paleolimnology since the mid-19th Century. The history of progress in Quaternary diatom biostratigraphy has developed as a result of improved coring techniques that enable sampling sediments beneath existing lakes coupled with improved chronological control (including radiometric dating and varve enumeration), improved statistical treatment of fossil diatom assemblages (from qualitative description to influx calculations of diatom numbers or volumes), and improved ecological information about analogous living diatom associations. The last factor, diatom ecology, is the most critical in many ways, but progresses slowly. Fortunately, statistical comparison of modern diatom assemblages and insightful studies of the nutrient requirements of some common freshwater species are enabling diatom paleolimnologists to make more detailed interpretations of the Quaternary record than had been possible earlier, and progress in the field of diatom biology and ecology will continue to refine paleolimnological studies. The greater age and geologic setting of Tertiary diatomaceous deposits has prompted their study in the contexts of geologic history, biochronology and evolution. The distribution of diatoms of marine affinities in continental deposits has given geologists insights about tectonism and sea-level change, and the distribution of distinctive (extinct?) diatoms has found utilization both in making stratigraphic correlations between outcrops of diatomaceous deposits and in various types of biochronological studies that involve dating deposits in different areas. A continental diatom biochronologic scheme will rely upon evolution, such as the appearance of new genera within a family, in combination with regional environmental changes that are responsible for the wide distribution of distinctive diatom species. The increased use of the scanning electron microscope for the detailed descriptions of fossil diatoms will provide the basis for making more accurate correlations and identifications, and the micromorphological detail for speculations about evolutionary relationships. ?? 1988.

Platt, Bradbury J.

1988-01-01

339

Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular surfaces that produce palisade and "shrub" fabrics, respectively. At finer scales, composite fabrics are seen to consist distinctive associations of microstructures formed by the encrustation of individual cells and filaments. Composite fabrics survive the diagenetic transitions from primary opaline silica to quartz and are known from subaerial thermal spring deposits as old as Lower Carboniferous. However, fossil microorganisms tend to be rare in older deposits, and are usually preserved only where cells or sheaths have been stained by iron oxides. In subaqueous mineralizing springs at lower temperatures, early infilling leads to a more rapid and complete reduction in porosity and permeability. This process, along with the slower rates of microbial degradation at lower temperatures, creates a more favorable situation for organic matter preservation. Application of this taphonomic model to the Rhynie Chert, previously interpreted as subaerial, suggest it was probably deposited in a subaqueous spring setting at lower temperatures.

Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

1995-01-01

340

AB IRTH RECORDS ANALYSIS OF THE MATERNAL INFANT HEALTH ADVOCATE SERVICE PROGRAM :AP ARAPROFESSIONAL INTERVENTION AIMED AT ADDRESSING INFANT MORTALITY IN AFRICAN AMERICANS  

Microsoft Academic Search

Recognizing that no single intervention was likely to eliminate racial disparities, the Genesee County REACH 2010 partnership, utilizing both ''bench'' science and ''trench'' knowledge, developed 13 broad-based, multi- faceted interventions to eliminate infant mor- tality. This article provides highlights from a re- cent birth records comparison analysis of the Maternal Infant Health Advocate Service (MI- HAS) intervention, and is solely

Haslyn E. R. Hunte; Tonya M. Turner; Harold A. Pollack; E. Yvonne Lewis

341

Managing the Challenges of Adopting Electronic Medical Records: An Exploratory Study of the Challenges Faced by African American Health Care Professionals  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The implementation of technology within the health care industry is viewed as a possible solution for lowering costs and improving health care delivery to patients. Electronic medical record system(s) (EMRS) are information technology tools viewed within the health care industry as a possible solution for aiding improvements in health care

Riddick, William P.

2013-01-01

342

Morphology, fossils, divergence timing, and the phylogenetic relationships of Gavialis.  

PubMed

Although morphological data have historically favored a basal position for the Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) within Crocodylia and a Mesozoic divergence between Gavialis and all other crocodylians, several recent molecular data sets have argued for a sister-group relationship between Gavialis and the Indonesian false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) and a divergence between them no earlier than the Late Tertiary. Fossils were added to a matrix of 164 discrete morphological characters and subjected to parsimony analysis. When morphology was analyzed alone, Gavialis was the sister taxon of all other extant crocodylians whether or not fossil ingroup taxa were included, and a sister-group relationship between Gavialis and Tomistoma was significantly less parsimonious. In combination with published sequence and restriction site fragment data, Gavialis was the sister taxon of all other living crocodylians, but the position of Tomistoma depended on the inclusion of fossil ingroup taxa; with or without fossils, preferred morphological and molecular topologies were not significantly different. Fossils closer to Gavialis than to Tomistoma can be recognized in the Late Cretaceous, and fossil relatives of Tomistoma are known from the basal Eocene, strongly indicating a divergence long before the Late Tertiary. Comparison of minimum divergence time from the fossil record with different measures of molecular distance indicates evolutionary rate heterogeneity within Crocodylia. Fossils strongly contradict a post-Oligocene divergence between Gavialis and any other living crocodylian, but the phylogenetic placement of Gavialis is best viewed as unresolved. PMID:11975331

Brochu, C A

1997-09-01

343

Arthropod colonization of land--linking molecules and fossils in oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida).  

PubMed

Terrestrial fossils that document the early colonization of land are scarce for >100 my after the Cambrian explosion. This raises the question whether life on land did not exist or just did not fossilize. With a molecular dating technique, we analyzed the origin of terrestrial chelicerate microarthropods (Acari, Oribatida) which have a fossil record since the Middle Devonian that is exceptional among soil animals. Our results suggest that oribatid mites originated in the Precambrian (571+/-37 mya) and that the radiation of basal groups coincides with the gap in the terrestrial fossil record between the Cambrian explosion and the earliest fossilized records of continental ecosystems. Further, they suggest that the colonization of land started via the interstitial, approximately 150 my earlier than the oldest fossils of terrestrial ecosystems. Overall, the results imply that omnivorous and detritivorous arthropods formed a major component in early terrestrial food webs, thereby facilitating the invasion of terrestrial habitats by later colonizers of higher trophic levels. PMID:20420932

Schaefer, Ina; Norton, Roy A; Scheu, Stefan; Maraun, Mark

2010-10-01

344

Determining the response of African biota to climate change: using the past to model the future  

PubMed Central

Prediction of biotic responses to future climate change in tropical Africa tends to be based on two modelling approaches: bioclimatic species envelope models and dynamic vegetation models. Another complementary but underused approach is to examine biotic responses to similar climatic changes in the past as evidenced in fossil and historical records. This paper reviews these records and highlights the information that they provide in terms of understanding the local- and regional-scale responses of African vegetation to future climate change. A key point that emerges is that a move to warmer and wetter conditions in the past resulted in a large increase in biomass and a range distribution of woody plants up to 400500 km north of its present location, the so-called greening of the Sahara. By contrast, a transition to warmer and drier conditions resulted in a reduction in woody vegetation in many regions and an increase in grass/savanna-dominated landscapes. The rapid rate of climate warming coming into the current interglacial resulted in a dramatic increase in community turnover, but there is little evidence for widespread extinctions. However, huge variation in biotic response in both space and time is apparent with, in some cases, totally different responses to the same climatic driver. This highlights the importance of local features such as soils, topography and also internal biotic factors in determining responses and resilience of the African biota to climate change, information that is difficult to obtain from modelling but is abundant in palaeoecological records. PMID:23878343

Willis, K. J.; Bennett, K. D.; Burrough, S. L.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Tovar, C.

2013-01-01

345

Fossilized Dinosaur Teeth Adaptations  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, learners use models of fossilized dinosaur teeth to understand how dinosaur teeth were used. Learners specifically research Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus dinosaurs and determine that Triceratops teeth work the way pliers and scissors operate, and T. rex teeth are like sharp knives. Learners match and sort dinosaurs by the type and use of their teeth. This activity is featured on pp.14-18 (part of a lesson that begins on p.7) of the "Dinosphere" unit of study for grades 3-5.

Crosslin, Rick; Fortney, Mary; Indianapolis, The C.

2004-01-01

346

Fossil Mammal Research Group  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This website presents the Fossil Mammal Research Group whose "members are palaeontologists and archaeologists as well as palaeoenvironmental specialists in the School of Biological & Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, UK." Subjects of study by the Research group include mammalian fauna development over the past 30 million years, Plio-Pleistocene and Holocene climate change, and more. The website links to subpages for a list of Publications from 1998-2004, Major Projects going on around the world, Conferences, and relevant links. The site also provides a page presenting group members along with their research interests and email addresses.

347

Improvisation in West African Musics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discussed is music of the sub-Sahara. Vocal, instrumental, and dance drumming from the Sudan Desert, the North Coast, East Horn, Central and West Africa, and contrapuntal yodeling of Pygmies is described. For African musicians, the ability to improvise, and creativity, are gifts from God. Includes selected readings and recordings. (KC)

Locke, David

1980-01-01

348

Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal  

PubMed Central

Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic conservation traps comparable to amber. PMID:23213234

Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.; Moestrup, jvind; Taylor, Edith L.

2012-01-01

349

Carbon cycling within an East African lake revealed by the carbon isotope composition of diatom silica: a 25-ka record from Lake Challa, Mt. Kilimanjaro  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The carbon cycle of a lake is a balance between supply from the atmosphere and catchment, and the net demand exerted by primary producers, minus losses back to the atmosphere and to sediment storage. Evaluating the sum of these processes and reconstructing them from sediment records of lake history requires a range of methods and a multi-proxy approach. One promising technique is to explore the carbon-isotope composition (?13Cdiatom) of organic matter incorporated within the silica frustules of diatom algae. Here we present a 25,000-year record of ?13Cdiatom from the sediments of crater Lake Challa on the eastern flank of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and along with other proxy data we make inferences about the three major phases in the history of the lake's carbon cycle. From 25ka to 15.8kayearsBP, ?13Cdiatom is positively correlated with the ?13C of bulk sediment organic matter (?13Cbulk), indicating that high diatom productivity, as recorded by high % biogenic silica at this time, was preferentially removing 12C and enriching the ?13C of lake-water dissolved inorganic carbon. From 15.8 to 5.5ka the correlation between ?13Cdiatom and ?13Cbulk breaks down, suggesting carbon supply to the lake satisfied or exceeded the demand from productivity. From 5.5kaBP the positive correlation resumes, indicating an increase in the internal demand for carbon relative to external supply. Diatom frustule-bound carbon isotopes offer an original tool in examining long-term fluctuations in a lake's carbon budget and how the balance between supply and demand has changed through time.

Barker, Philip A.; Hurrell, Elizabeth R.; Leng, Melanie J.; Plessen, Birgit; Wolff, Christian; Conley, Daniel J.; Keppens, Eddy; Milne, Isla; Cumming, Brian F.; Laird, Kathleen R.; Kendrick, Chris P.; Wynn, Peter M.; Verschuren, Dirk

2013-04-01

350

Unearthing Important Fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Over the past several weeks, a flurry of dinosaur and other fossil discoveries have reached the mainstream news. From the two 530-million-year-old fish-like creatures that could be the earliest known vertebrates found in China, to the bones of two dinosaurs in Madagascar that may be the oldest dinosaurs ever found, to the "60-ton giraffe-like creature" (3) found in Oklahoma (called Sauroposeidon proteles, or "thunder lizard"), paleontologists are immersed in discovery. The significance of the first discovery is triggering excitement among paleontologists, worldwide. In particular, the discovery of the two "fish-like" fossils in China (to be published in this week's journal Nature) indicates that fish (i.e., vertebrates) evolved much earlier than previously thought and that "the rates of evolution in the oceans during the Cambrian period must have been exceptionally fast" (1). This week's In The News discusses some of the recently unveiled discoveries and provides background information and resources on vertebrate paleontology.

Payne, Laura X.

351

Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Ancient Archean and Proterozoic rocks are the model objects for investigation of rocks comprising astromaterials. The first of Archean fossil microorganisms from Baltic shield have been reported at the last SPIE Conference in 2005. Since this confeence biomorphic structures have been revealed in Archean rocks of Karelia. It was determined that there are 3 types of such bion structures: 1. structures found in situ, in other words microorganisms even-aged with rock matrix, that is real Archean fossils biomorphic structures, that is to say forms inhabited early formed rocks, and 3. younger than Archean-Protherozoic minerali microorganisms, that is later contamination. We made attempt to differentiate these 3 types of findings and tried to understand of burial of microorganisms. The structures belongs (from our point of view) to the first type, or real Archean, forms were under examination. Practical investigation of ancient microorganisms from Green-Stone-Belt of Northern Karelia turns to be very perspective. It shows that even in such ancient time as Archean ancient diverse world existed. Moreover probably such relatively highly organized cyanobacteria and perhaps eukaryotic formes existed in Archean world.

Astafleva, Marina; Hoover, Richard; Rozanov, Alexei; Vrevskiy, A.

2006-01-01

352

Fossils 2: Uncovering the Facts  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In Fossils and Dinosaurs, the first lesson of this two lesson series, students learned the differences between facts and ideas that are extrapolated from fossil evidence. This lesson allows students to go through an 'interview' with the remains of a Protoceratops. In preparation for the interview, students first brainstorm the questions they would like answers to, and then narrow their questions to those that can be answered by studying the Protoceratops fossils.

Science Netlinks

2001-10-20

353

African Union  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

As visitors enter this site, they will be presented with a collage of African nations coming together to form the entire continent, accompanied by the words âAfrica must unite.â It is a visually stimulating image, and one that sets the tone quite nicely for the content within. The site is the homepage of the African Union (AU), which was created in 1999 as part of a declaration from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). While their mission is complex to say the least, their primary goal is to promote the ââ¦accelerated socio-economic integration of the continent, which will lead to greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples.â The site presents a cornucopia of material on their work, contained within sections titled âMember Statesâ, âConferences & Eventsâ, and âDocumentsâ. One of the best places to start is the âNews and Eventsâ area, which contains a sampling of information on their recent work on gender equity, sustainable development, higher education systems, and so on. As might be expected, visitors can also browse through many of these materials in Arabic, French, and Portuguese.

354

Fossil groups of galaxies: Are they groups? Are they fossils?  

Microsoft Academic Search

Fossil groups present a puzzle to current theories of structure formation. Despite the low number of bright galaxies, their high velocity dispersions and high TX indicate cluster-like potential wells. Measured concentration parameters seem very high indicating early formation epochs in contradiction with the observed lack of large and well defined cooling cores. There are very few fossil groups with good

Renato de Alencar Dupke; Eric Miller; Claudia Mendes de Oliveira; Laerte Sodre; Eli Rykoff; Raimundo Lopes de Oliveira; Rob Proctor

2010-01-01

355

Fossil turbulence and fossil turbulence waves can be dangerous  

E-print Network

Turbulence is defined as an eddy-like state of fluid motion where the inertial-vortex forces of the eddies are larger than any other forces that tend to damp the eddies out. By this definition, turbulence always cascades from small scales where vorticity is created to larger scales where turbulence fossilizes. Fossil turbulence is any perturbation in a hydrophysical field produced by turbulence that persists after the fluid is no longer turbulent at the scale of the perturbation. Fossil turbulence patterns and fossil turbulence waves preserve and propagate energy and information about previous turbulence. Ignorance of fossil turbulence properties can be dangerous. Examples include the Osama bin Laden helicopter crash and the Air France 447 Airbus crash, both unfairly blamed on the pilots. Observations support the proposed definitions, and suggest even direct numerical simulations of turbulence require caution.

Carl H Gibson

2012-11-25

356

African-American Biography.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Suggests sources of information for African American History Month for library media specialists who work with students in grades four through eight. Gale Research's "African-American Reference Library," which includes "African-America Biography,""African-American Chronology," and "African-American Almanac," is reviewed, and a reference activity

Martin, Ron

1995-01-01

357

The College: Arts & Sciences African & African-American Studies  

E-print Network

The College: Arts & Sciences African & African-American Studies Department: African & African-American for the course description. Department: African & African-American Studies Course: AAS 122 Title: History of Jazz Description: Please see MUR 122 for the course description. Department: African & African-American Studies

Mahon, Bradford Z.

358

22 CFR 1507.7 - Contents of records systems.  

Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

...of records systems. 1507... AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION...SAFEGUARDING PERSONAL INFORMATION 1507...of records systems. (a...retrievability, access controls, retention...the design, development, operation...maintenance of any system of records...individual on whom information is...

2010-04-01

359

From Suns to Life: A Chronological Approach to the History of Life on Earth 7. Ancient Fossil Record and Early Evolution (ca. 3.8 to 0.5 Ga)  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Once life appeared, it evolved and diversified. From primitive living entities, an evolutionary path of unknown duration, likely paralleled by the extinction of unsuccessful attempts, led to a last common ancestor that was endowed with the basic properties of all cells. From it, cellular organisms derived in a relative order, chronology and manner that are not yet completely settled. Early life evolution was accompanied by metabolic diversification, i.e. by the development of carbon and energy metabolic pathways that differed from the first, not yet clearly identified, metabolic strategies used. When did the different evolutionary transitions take place? The answer is difficult, since hot controversies have been raised in recent years concerning the reliability of the oldest life traces, regardless of their morphological, isotopic or organic nature, and there are also many competing hypotheses for the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. As a result, there is a need to delimit hypotheses from solid facts and to apply a critical analysis of contrasting data. Hopefully, methodological improvement and the increase of data, including fossil signatures and genomic information, will help reconstructing a better picture of life evolution in early times as well as to, perhaps, date some of the major evolutionary transitions. There are already some certitudes. Modern eukaryotes evolved after bacteria, since their mitochondria derived from ancient bacterial endosymbionts. Once prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes had colonized terrestrial ecosystems for millions of years, the first pluricellular animals appeared and radiated, thus inaugurating the Cambrian. The following sections constitute a collection of independent articles providing a general overview of these aspects.

Lpez-Garcia, Purificacn; Moreira, David; Douzery, Emmanuel; Forterre, Patrick; van Zuilen, Mark; Claeys, Philippe; Prieur, Daniel

2006-06-01

360

Life of a Vertebrate Fossil  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Unless you have a very large research grant, it can be difficult to find fossil bones. Fortunately, this very fine online learning module from the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum can help both young and old to learn about locating fossil bones, among other things. Through this multimedia feature created by the History Museum's department of paleobiology, visitors will learn what paleontologists do in each stage in the life of a vertebrate fossil. With the assistance of short video clips, interactive diagrams, and photographs, visitors will learn about how fossils are prepared for examination and how scientists unravel the stories of these paleontological finds. Finally, visitors will also learn how fossils are stored and preserved.

361

Stroke and African Americans  

MedlinePLUS

... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Stroke Stroke and African Americans African American adults are twice as likely to have a stroke than their White adult counterparts. Further, men are ...

362

Obesity and African Americans  

MedlinePLUS

... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6104.pdf [PDF | 3.5MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

363

Vertebrate fossils and trace fossils in Upper Jurassic-Lower cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region, Chile  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Pterosaur, dinosaur, and crocodile bones are recorded here for the first time in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous red beds in the Atacama region east of Copiap, Chile. Trace fossils produced by vertebrate animals include the footprints of theropod dinosaurs and the depressions of sandstone laminae interpreted as burrows and foot impressions. The fossils occur in the 1500-meter-thick Quebrada Monardes Formation, which consists predominantly of the aeolian and alluvial deposits of a semi-arid terrestrial environment. Vertebrate fossils are very rare in Chile. Dinosaur bones and footprints have previously been recorded at only seven locations, and pterosaur remains at only one location. The newly discovered dinosaur bones are the oldest to be described in Chile.

Bell, C. M.; Surez, M.

364

We're Going on a Fossil Hunt!  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Scientists understand that scientific ideas are subject to change and improvement. Fourth- through eighth- graders develop this understanding about the nature of science as they gather and examine fossil evidence from the Paleozoic era, record their findings, and read and write about science for authentic purposes as scientists do. Students

Powell, Deborah A.; Aram, Richard B.; Aram, Roberta J.; Chase, Terry L.

2007-01-01

365

Fossil evidence of water lilies (Nymphaeales) in the Early Cretaceous  

Microsoft Academic Search

Phylogenetic analyses have identified the water lilies (Nymphaeales: Cabombaceae and Nymphaeaceae), together with four other small groups of flowering plants (the `ANITA clades': Amborellaceae, Illiciales, Trimeniaceae, Austrobaileyaceae), as the first diverging lineages from the main branch of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, but evidence of these groups in the earliest phases of the angiosperm fossil record has remained elusive. Here we

Else Marie Friis; Kaj Raunsgaard Pedersen; Peter R. Crane

2001-01-01

366

Fossil fuel furnace reactor  

DOEpatents

A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

Parkinson, William J. (Los Alamos, NM)

1987-01-01

367

The "Sudden Explosion" of Animal Fossils about 600 Million Years Ago: Why?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses the "sudden explosion" of animal fossils during the Cambrian era, suggesting that the "explosion" is a result of organic evolution, leading to remarkably preservable calcareous skeletons. Suggests that earlier organisms were soft-bodied and consequently were poorly preserved in the fossil record. (JN)

Kaveski, Sharon; Margulis, Lynn

1983-01-01

368

FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation  

SciTech Connect

This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume III lists the model equations and a one line definition for equations, in a short, readable format.

None

1980-10-01

369

Ignoring Authentic African Literature Means Ignoring Africans  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Africa produces imaginative and authentic literature whose texture makes it impossible to think of Africans as statistics. African writers, however have to struggle to get recognized in America due to their culture and other racial and social differences, hence suggesting that efforts should be made to give authentic African literature its due.

Romano, Carlin

2005-01-01

370

The vertebral formula of the last common ancestor of African apes and humans.  

PubMed

The modal number of lumbar vertebrae in modern humans is five. It varies between three and four in extant African apes (mean=3.5). Because both chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) possess the same distributions of thoracic, lumbar, and sacral vertebrae, it has been assumed from parsimony that the last common ancestor (LCA) of African apes and humans possessed a similarly short lower back. This "short-backed LCA" scenario has recently been viewed favorably in an analysis of the intra- and interspecific variation in axial formulas observed among African apes and humans (Pilbeam, 2004. J Exp Zool 302B:241-267). However, the number of bonobo (Pan paniscus) specimens in that study was small (N=17). Here we reconsider vertebral type and number in the LCA in light of an expanded P. paniscus sample as well as evidence provided by the human fossil record. The precaudal (pre-coccygeal) axial column of bonobos differs from those of chimpanzees and gorillas in displaying one additional vertebra as well as significantly different combinations of sacral, lumbar, and thoracic vertebrae. These findings, along with the six-segmented lumbar column of early Australopithecus and early Homo, suggest that the LCA possessed a long axial column and long lumbar spine and that reduction in the lumbar column occurred independently in humans and in each ape clade, and continued after separation of the two species of Pan as well. Such an explanation is strongly congruent with additional details of lumbar column reduction and lower back stabilization in African apes. PMID:19688850

McCollum, Melanie A; Rosenman, Burt A; Suwa, Gen; Meindl, Richard S; Lovejoy, C Owen

2010-03-15

371

New Fossils From Ethiopia Open a Window on Africa's "Missing Years"  

NSF Publications Database

... average-sized modern man is shown for scale. Credit: Trent Schindler / National Science Foundation ... continues to reveal the extremely rich fossil record encased in East Africa's rocks," says Rich Lane ...

372

Fossil gaps inferred from phylogenies alter the apparent nature of diversification in dragonflies and their relatives  

PubMed Central

Background The fossil record has suggested that clade growth may differ in marine and terrestrial taxa, supporting equilibrial models in the former and expansionist models in the latter. However, incomplete sampling may bias findings based on fossil data alone. To attempt to correct for such bias, we assemble phylogenetic supertrees on one of the oldest clades of insects, the Odonatoidea (dragonflies, damselflies and their extinct relatives), using MRP and MRC. We use the trees to determine when, and in what clades, changes in taxonomic richness have occurred. We then test whether equilibrial or expansionist models are supported by fossil data alone, and whether findings differ when phylogenetic information is used to infer gaps in the fossil record. Results There is broad agreement in family-level relationships between both supertrees, though with some uncertainty along the backbone of the tree regarding dragonflies (Anisoptera). "Anisozygoptera" are shown to be paraphyletic when fossil information is taken into account. In both trees, decreases in net diversification are associated with species-poor extant families (Neopetaliidae, Hemiphlebiidae), and an upshift is associated with Calopterygidae + Polythoridae. When ghost ranges are inferred from the fossil record, many families are shown to have much earlier origination dates. In a phylogenetic context, the number of family-level lineages is shown to be up to twice as high as the fossil record alone suggests through the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and a logistic increase in richness is detected in contrast to an exponential increase indicated by fossils alone. Conclusions Our analysis supports the notion that taxa, which appear to have diversified exponentially using fossil data, may in fact have diversified more logistically. This in turn suggests that one of the major apparent differences between the marine and terrestrial fossil record may simply be an artifact of incomplete sampling. Our results also support previous notions that adult colouration plays an important role in odonate radiation, and that Anisozygoptera should be grouped in a single inclusive taxon with Anisoptera, separate from Zygoptera. PMID:21917167

2011-01-01

373

The legacy of fossil fuels.  

PubMed

Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30?Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production. PMID:21290608

Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo

2011-03-01

374

Details of North African tectonics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Global Positioning System (GPS) and ground-based measurements were used to study coastal shoreline movement after the 2003 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Algeria. The authors recorded ground deformation and report a maximum uplift of approximately 0.75 meters and an average of nearly 0.5 meters along the North African coast. Data indicate that the fault likely initiated along the sea bottom between 5-10 kilometers offshore.

Al., Meghraoui E.; Agu

375

A fossil coral perspective on western tropical Pacific climate ?350 ka  

Microsoft Academic Search

The nature of tropical climate variability ?350 ka is addressed using ?18O and Sr\\/Ca records from a modern and a fossil coral from Vanuatu (southwestern tropical Pacific Ocean). Modern El Nio events at Vanuatu produce positive coral ?18O and Sr\\/Ca anomalies; similar anomalies observed in the fossil coral records suggest that El Nio was operative 350 kyr ago. Seasonal variations

K. Halimeda Kilbourne; Terrence M. Quinn; Frederick W. Taylor

2004-01-01

376

A Fossil Coral Perspective on Western Tropical Pacific Climate Similar to 350 Ka  

Microsoft Academic Search

[1] The nature of tropical climate variability similar to 350 ka is addressed using delta(18)O and Sr\\/Ca records from a modern and a fossil coral from Vanuatu ( southwestern tropical Pacific Ocean). Modern El Nino events at Vanuatu produce positive coral delta(18)O and Sr\\/Ca anomalies; similar anomalies observed in the fossil coral records suggest that El Nino was operative 350

K. Halimeda Kilbourne; Terrence M. Quinn; Frederick W. Taylor

2004-01-01

377

How do we recognize and use fossils in outcrop?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Getting students to "put on paleontologists' hats" before their first fossil-hunting field trip allows for a more enriching field experience. Rather than handing out an instructor-prepared field guide (that few students read, anyway), the students essentially work up their own geologic/paleontologic interpretation of a site, using a custom toolkit they develop through classroom and homework exercises. The activity begins with a worksheet that can be completed in groups during class (recommended) or as homework. Students are asked to imagine scenarios of fossil preservation, suggest factors that influence the completeness of the fossil record, and think of ways that fossil assemblages can give clues to the stratigraphic position and paleoenvironment of a rock formation. The instructor is involved as a guide, introducing concepts and terminology as needed. Students will also discuss â with help from a textbook, specimens, or slide presentation - how the characteristics of major fossil groups might be used to identify a fossil in outcrop (for example, the coil of a gastropod, the pinnules of a crinoid). Next, each student is assigned to be an expert on one taxon or faunal group that they will encounter on the trip. This requires reading a fossil identification guide or instructor-prepared handout. They will make an "expert's notecard" to bring along on the field trip, and will be expected to find and present examples of their fossil(s) on the field trip. The taxonomic level or groups assigned will vary depending on the fossil assemblage and the class size. The activity culminates with the field experience, during which students keep a detailed field notebook (bringing along their in-class worksheets for reference). In the field, students will identify modes of preservation, assist one another as "experts" in fossil identification, and discuss the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental setting of the geologic section. After the field trip, the class compiles a faunal list for the site. Each student writes up an interpretation based on their individual observations and those made as a class. This set of activities can be streamlined if, for instance, the field trip is only a small unit of a general geology course. Rather than using open-ended discussion questions on the preliminary worksheet, the instructor can assign reading or give a lecture that covers modes of preservation and other concepts that students will use to complete the worksheet. The goal remains, however, for students to think about what they will observe at the outcrop BEFORE they are on the rocks.

Lackey, Hilary

378

Molecules and fossils reveal punctuated diversification in Caribbean faviid corals  

PubMed Central

Background Even with well-known sampling biases, the fossil record is key to understanding macro-evolutionary patterns. During the Miocene to Pleistocene in the Caribbean Sea, the fossil record of scleractinian corals shows a remarkable period of rapid diversification followed by massive extinction. Here we combine a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny based on three nuclear introns with an updated fossil stratigraphy to examine patterns of radiation and extinction in Caribbean corals within the traditional family Faviidae. Results Concatenated phylogenetic analysis showed most species of Caribbean faviids were monophyletic, with the exception of two Manicina species. The time-calibrated tree revealed the stem group originated around the closure of the Tethys Sea (17.0?Ma), while the genus Manicina diversified during the Late Miocene (8.20?Ma), when increased sedimentation and productivity may have favored free-living, heterotrophic species. Reef and shallow water specialists, represented by Diploria and Favia, originate at the beginning of the Pliocene (5 6?Ma) as the Isthmus of Panama shoaled and regional productivity declined. Conclusions Later origination of the stem group than predicted from the fossil record corroborates the hypothesis of morphological convergence in Diploria and Favia genera. Our data support the rapid evolution of morphological and life-history traits among faviid corals that can be linked to Mio-Pliocene environmental changes. PMID:22831179

2012-01-01

379

Fossil Leaves and Fossil Leaf n-Alkanes: Reconstructing the First Closed Canopied Rainforests  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Although the age and location is disputed, the rise of the first closed-canopy forest is likely linked with the expansion of angiosperms in the late Cretacous or early Cenozoic. The carbon isotope 'canopy effect' reflects the extent of canopy closure, and is well documented in ?13C values of the leaves and leaf lipids in modern forests. To test the extent of canopy closure among the oldest documented angiosperm tropical forests, we analyzed isotopic characteristics of leaf fossils and leaf waxes from the Guaduas and Cerrejn Formations. The Guaduas Fm. (Maastrichtian) contains some of the earliest angiosperm fossils in the Neotropics, and both leaf morphology and pollen records at this site suggest an open-canopy structure. The Cerrejn Fm. (Paleocene) contains what are believed to be the first recorded fossil leaves from a closed-canopy forest. We analyzed the bulk carbon isotope content (?13Cleaf) of 199 fossil leaves, as well as the n-alkane concentration and chain-length distribution, and ?13C of alkanes (?13Clipid) of 73 fossil leaves and adjacent sediment samples. Fossil leaves are dominated by eudicots and include ten modern plant families (Apocynaceae, Bombaceae, Euphorbaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Menispermaceae, Moraceae, Sapotaceae). We interpreted extent of canopy coverage based on the range of ?13Cleaf values. The narrow range of ?13C values in leaves from the Guaduas Fm (2.7) is consistent with an open canopy. A significantly wider range in values (6.3) suggests a closed-canopy signature for site 0315 of the Cerrejn Fm,. In contrast, at Site 0318, a lacustrine deposit, leaves had a narrow range (3.3) in ?13C values, and this is not consistent with a closed-canopy, but is consistent with leaf assemblages from a forest edge. Leaves that accumulate in lake sediments tend to be biased toward plants living at the lake edge, which do not experience closed-canopy conditions, and do not express the isotopic characteristics associated with canopy effect. A biomass flux-weighted model of alkane chain-length distribution and ?13Cleaf indicate n-alkanes extracted from bulk rock are consistent with inputs integrated over time from plants represented by fossil leaves. In a modern rainforest, we found leaf lipid amounts markedly higher in the shaded and moist understory, consistent with studies that show alkanes proffer fungal protection. Shade tolerance is associated with higher plant orders and, consistent with this, literature data for modern plants from 30 plant orders shows alkane production in asterids and rosids is 2 to 3 times greater than in basal angiosperms or gymnosperms. The lower clades tend to contain greater amounts of terpenoids and novel benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, rather than alkanes. For our three fossil floras, alkane abundance is strongly influenced by depositional setting, with preservation best in the lacustrine setting. Within each site, abundance patterns are potentially influenced by both taxonomic affiliation and by canopy structure as measured by ?13Cleaf values, and such relationships shed light on the combined influences of plant evolution, canopy structure and the function of biochemical resources on the geochemical record of the first rainforests.

Graham, H. V.; Freeman, K. H.

2013-12-01

380

BEETLE RECORDS Late Tertiary and Early Quaternary  

E-print Network

B BEETLE RECORDS Contents Overview Late Tertiary and Early Quaternary Middle Pleistocene of Europe of London, Surrey, UK ª 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. The study of fossil beetles (Coleoptera of the world, most recently to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Fossil beetle research has led to many

Sheldon, Nathan D.

381

Regional diversity patterns in African bovids, hyaenids, and felids during the past 3 million years: the role of taphonomic bias and implications for the evolution of Paranthropus  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Reconstructing patterns of Plio-Pleistocene mammalian faunal exchange between eastern and southern Africa may help us to better understand patterns of evolution within the hominin clade. However, differences in geological context, taphonomic history and collection methods, as well as a lack of a precise chronology in one of the regions, complicate attempts to compare the faunas of the two regions, but access to new comprehensive datasets encouraged us to re-examine this critical time period in the African paleontological record. In this study, we examine the biogeographic histories of three terrestrial African mammalian families whose fossil records span the past 3 million years to test hypotheses related to the evolutionary history of the hominin genus Paranthropus. We used presence/absence data for 117 species from 38 genera within the family Bovidae and 34 species from 15 genera within the families Hyaenidae and Felidae from 52 eastern African and 40 southern African fossil localities. These assemblages were placed into 500 ka time slices and compared at both the genus and species level using the Jaccard index of faunal similarity. Our findings indicate that sampling biases have more effect on the patterns of interchange between eastern and southern African Bovidae than they do the patterns of interchange seen in the Hyaenidae and Felidae. However, even when these biases are taken into account there are persistent differences in the degree of interchange within and between these families. These findings suggest that mammalian groups (including hominins) can have very different histories of exchange between eastern and southern Africa over the past 3 million years. There is no a priori reason why any of the three families we examined is a suitable proxy for the eastern and southern African hyper-megadont and megadont hominin taxa presently included in Paranthropus, but of the three we suggest that the Bovidae is likely to come closest to being an appropriate proxy. The results of this comparative study are consistent with relatively independent evolutionary trajectories in the two regions for the hominins that are presently included in the genus Paranthropus.

Patterson, David B.; Faith, J. Tyler; Bobe, Ren; Wood, Bernard

2014-07-01

382

Technology Treaties and Fossil-Fuels Extraction  

Microsoft Academic Search

We consider some unintended effects of a technology treaty to increase the (stochastic) possibility of developing an energy alternative to fossil fuels which, when available, makes fossil fuels redundant. One implication of such a treaty is to increase the incentives for fossil-fuels producers to extract fossil fuels existing in given quantity more rapidly, under competition when the equilibrium price path

Jon Strand

2007-01-01

383

Ancient EphemeropteraCollembola Symbiosis Fossilized in Amber Predicts Contemporary Phoretic Associations  

PubMed Central

X-ray computed tomography is used to identify a unique example of fossilized phoresy in 16 million-year-old Miocene Dominican amber involving a springtail being transported by a mayfly. It represents the first evidence (fossil or extant) of phoresy in adult Ephemeroptera and only the second record in Collembola (the first is also preserved in amber). This is the first record of Collembola using winged insects for dispersal. This fossil predicts the occurrence of similar behaviour in living springtails and helps explain the global distribution of Collembola today. PMID:23082186

Penney, David; McNeil, Andrew; Green, David I.; Bradley, Robert S.; Jepson, James E.; Withers, Philip J.; Preziosi, Richard F.

2012-01-01

384

Ancient Ephemeroptera-Collembola symbiosis fossilized in amber predicts contemporary phoretic associations.  

PubMed

X-ray computed tomography is used to identify a unique example of fossilized phoresy in 16 million-year-old Miocene Dominican amber involving a springtail being transported by a mayfly. It represents the first evidence (fossil or extant) of phoresy in adult Ephemeroptera and only the second record in Collembola (the first is also preserved in amber). This is the first record of Collembola using winged insects for dispersal. This fossil predicts the occurrence of similar behaviour in living springtails and helps explain the global distribution of Collembola today. PMID:23082186

Penney, David; McNeil, Andrew; Green, David I; Bradley, Robert S; Jepson, James E; Withers, Philip J; Preziosi, Richard F

2012-01-01

385

The Trilobite--An Early Inhabitant of Illinois Many strange creatures have inhabited Illinois in the past and have left their fossil remains entombed in the rocks  

E-print Network

in the past and have left their fossil remains entombed in the rocks that underlie our prairie lands. One preserved in the fossil record. The lower (ventral) surface bore a pair of antennae and numerous pairs, it is very likely that most trilobite fossils are the discarded shells. Although trilobite fragments

Cochran-Stafira, D. Liane

386

Gaps in fossil teeth: Saltations or sampling errors?  

PubMed

All evolutionists accept that there are gaps in the fossil record. To some, gaps are data: they mark sudden transitions, unlikely to be preserved, between one species and its descendants that have arisen by a brief genetic revolution within an otherwise stable lineage. However, recent studies of sediment gain and loss show that few fossil beds can be complete enough to give details of the process of speciation, so that most gaps are gaps, and nothing more. Differences in the perception of time and sampling completeness mean that paleontologists and geneticists see the rate and pattern of evolution in different ways. Just how misleading each view may be is seen by analysing the laws of life governing change in living populations using the limitations intrinsic to studies of past times; and by a new insight into the details of species formation now emerging from some remarkably complete primate fossil sequences. PMID:21227203

Jones, J S

1988-08-01

387

Exceptional preservation of fossils in an Upper Proterozoic shale.  

PubMed

Late Proterozoic organisms must have been diverse and widely distributed, but in general their fossil record is both taxonomically and environmentally limited. Exceptional preservation of Proterozoic fossils is not unknown, but it is usually associated with silicified carbonates from restricted peritidal or playa lake environments. We report here an exceptionally well preserved and distinctive assemblage of Late Proterozoic fossils from subtidal marine shales. In addition to the sphaeromorphic acritarchs and cyanobacterial sheaths routinely preserved in Proterozoic rocks, this assemblage includes multicellular algae ('seaweeds'), a diverse assortment of morphologically complex protistan vesicles, and probable heterotrophic bacteria. Thus, it provides one of the clearest and most taxonomically varied views of Proterozoic life yet reported. PMID:11542151

Butterfield, N J; Knoll, A H; Swett, K

1988-08-01

388

Travels with the Fossil Hunters  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Whether dodging bullets in West Africa, or rabid dogs in Pakistan, surviving yak-butter tea in Tibet, or eating raw fish in China, the life of a globe-trotting fossil hunter is often hazardous and always filled with surprises. Travels with the Fossil Hunters lets readers share the wonder, joys of discovery, and excitement of these intrepid scientists. Packed with more than 100 beautiful, full-color photographs, the volume takes readers on twelve expeditions to remote parts of the world in search of diverse fossil remains, from those of dinosaurs to human ancestors. Each expedition by paleontologists from London's Natural History Museum reveals the problems and challenges of working in extreme conditions, from the deserts of the Sahara and Yemen to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from the mountains of India to the forests of Latvia. Along the way they also describe the paleontology and geology of the countries they visit and the scientific reasons for their expeditions. With a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and an introduction from Richard Fortey, this fascinating book will appeal to amateur and professional fossil hunters alike and to readers interested in accounts of exotic locales. Peter Whybrow is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests include Arabian Miocene vertebrates, paleoclimates, paleogeography, and biotic diversity. He is senior editor with A. Hill of Fossil Vertebrates of Arabia (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

Whybrow, Peter J.

2000-04-01

389

African Dust over the Northern Tropical Atlantic: 19552008 AMATO T. EVAN  

E-print Network

African Dust over the Northern Tropical Atlantic: 1955­2008 AMATO T. EVAN Department, in final form 17 June 2010) ABSTRACT African dust outbreaks are the result of complex interactions between to understand the controls on--and impacts of--African dust. At the same time, long-term records of dust

Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy

390

A Galactic Fossil  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

How old are the oldest stars? Using ESO's VLT, astronomers recently measured the age of a star located in our Galaxy. The star, a real fossil, is found to be 13.2 billion years old, not very far from the 13.7 billion years age of the Universe. The star, HE 1523-0901, was clearly born at the dawn of time. "Surprisingly, it is very hard to pin down the age of a star", the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Anna Frebel, explains. "This requires measuring very precisely the abundance of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium, a feat only the largest telescopes such as ESO's VLT can achieve." ESO PR Photo 23a/07 ESO PR Photo 23a/07 The 'Cosmic Clock' This technique is analogous to the carbon-14 dating method that has been so successful in archaeology over time spans of up to a few tens of thousands of years. In astronomy, however, this technique must obviously be applied to vastly longer timescales. For the method to work well, the right choice of radioactive isotope is critical. Unlike other, stable elements that formed at the same time, the abundance of a radioactive (unstable) isotope decreases all the time. The faster the decay, the less there will be left of the radioactive isotope after a certain time, so the greater will be the abundance difference when compared to a stable isotope, and the more accurate is the resulting age. Yet, for the clock to remain useful, the radioactive element must not decay too fast - there must still be enough left of it to allow an accurate measurement, even after several billion years. "Actual age measurements are restricted to the very rare objects that display huge amounts of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium," says Norbert Christlieb, co-author of the report. ESO PR Photo 23b/07 ESO PR Photo 23b/07 Uranium Line in the Spectrum of an Old Star Large amounts of these elements have been found in the star HE 1523-0901, an old, relatively bright star that was discovered within the Hamburg/ESO survey [1]. The star was then observed with UVES on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) for a total of 7.5 hours. A high quality spectrum was obtained that could never have been achieved without the combination of the large collecting power Kueyen, one of the individual 8.2-m Unit Telescopes of the VLT, and the extremely good sensitivity of UVES in the ultraviolet spectral region, where the lines from the elements are observed. For the first time, the age dating involved both radioactive elements in combination with the three other neutron-capture elements europium, osmium, and iridium. "Until now, it has not been possible to measure more than a single cosmic clock for a star. Now, however, we have managed to make six measurements in this one star", says Frebel. Ever since the star was born, these "clocks" have ticked away over the eons, unaffected by the turbulent history of the Milky Way. They now read 13.2 billion years. The Universe being 13.7 billion years old, this star clearly formed very early in the life of our own Galaxy, which must also formed very soon after the Big Bang. More Information This research is reported in a paper published in the 10 May issue of the Astrophysical Journal ("Discovery of HE 1523-0901, a Strongly r-Process Enhanced Metal-Poor Star with Detected Uranium", by A. Frebel et al.). The team includes Anna Frebel (McDonald Observatory, Texas) and John E. Norris (The Australian National University), Norbert Christlieb (Uppsala University, Sweden, and Hamburg Observatory, Germany), Christopher Thom (University of Chicago, USA, and Swinburne University of Technlogy, Australia), Timothy C. Beers (Michigan State University, USA), Jaehyon Rhee (Center for Space Astrophysics, Yonsei University, Korea, and Caltech, USA).

2007-05-01

391

Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.  

PubMed

Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. PMID:25236413

Prothero, Donald R

2014-08-01

392

Fossil Groups as Cosmological Labs  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Optical and X-ray measurements of fossil groups (FGs) suggest that they are old and relaxed systems. If FGs are assembled at higher redshift, there is enough time for intermediate-luminosity galaxies to merge, resulting in the formation of the brightest group galaxy (BGG). We carry out the first, systematic study of a large sample of FGs, the "FOssil Group Origins'' (FOGO) based on an International Time Project at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. For ten FOGO FGs we have been awarded time at SUZAKU Telescope to measure the temperature of the hot intragroup gas (IGM). For these systems we plan to evaluate and correlate their X-ray luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lx-Tx, optical luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lopt-Tx, and group velocity dispersion with their X-ray temperature, sigma V-Tx, as compared to the non fossil systems. By combining these observations with state-of-art cosmological hydrodynamical simulations we will open a new window into the study of the IGM and the nature of fossil systems. Our proposed work will be of direct relevance for the understanding and interpretation of data from several NASA science missions. Specifically, the scaling relations obtained from these data combined with our predictions obtained using state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulation numerical adopting a new hydrodynamical scheme will motivate new proposal on CHANDRA X-ray telescope for fossil groups and clusters. We will additionally create a public Online Planetarium Show. This will be an educational site, containing an interactive program called: "A Voyage to our Universe''. In the show we will provide observed images of fossil groups and similar images and movies obtained from the numerical simulations showing their evolution. The online planetarium show will be a useful reference and an interactive educational tool for both students and the public.

D'Onghia, Elena

393

Mandibular fossa morphology in the Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossil hominids.  

PubMed

There has been debate in recent years concerning the significance of the mandibular fossa morphology in the Ngandong and Sambungmacan hominids. These fossils lack a postglenoid process and their squamotympanic fissure runs along the apex of the fossa for its entire length. This configuration differs from that seen in other fossil and modern humans, which have a prominent postglenoid process and a squamotympanic fissure that takes a more posterior course that does not lie in the apex of the fossa. Some recent studies have suggested that the Ngandong and Sambungmacan hominids are not unique in their expression of these characteristics, and that they can also be found in other fossil crania from Africa and Indonesia. The present study reexamines these morphologies in an effort to better understand their distribution in the hominid fossil record. The results confirm that the lack of a prominent postglenoid process in combination with a squamotympanic fissure that lies wholly in the apex of the mandibular fossa along its entire length is indeed autapomorphic for the Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossils. This finding, in conjunction with work on other nonmetric features in these hominids, suggests that at least two hominid morphs, possibly representing separate species, were present on Java during the Pleistocene. In addition, if this apparent autapomorphy is confirmed, then it is also unlikely that the Ngandong hominids contributed to the gene pool of modern humans. PMID:18521904

Durband, Arthur C

2008-10-01

394

Fossils: Observing, Making and Learning  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this activity, learners explore how casts of fossilized bones are created and used to learn about dinosaurs. Learners make observations, draw diagrams and share their findings. Learners also make clay molds to create plaster copies of real fossils. Then, learners consider how animals' and dinosaurs' body parts were used for protection, hunting, eating, etc. This activity is featured on pp.11-13 (part of a lesson that begins on p.7) of the "Dinosphere" unit of study for grades 3-5.

Rick Crosslin

2004-01-01

395

Observe how fossils can form  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This Earth science animation demonstrates the formation of a cast and mold fossil to middle and high school students. The introduction provides a brief description of the process. The animation shows how a shelled animal becomes buried in mud that eventually turns into stone. The shell dissolves and is replaced by minerals and, when the layers of rock are split, a cast and mold fossil is revealed. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, or step through the animation, which can give students more time to analyze the images. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse

TERC. Center for Earth and Space Science Education

2003-01-01

396

FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation  

SciTech Connect

This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

None

1980-10-01

397

Analysis of gaseous inclusions in fossil resin from a late cretaceous stratigraphic sequence  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

It is the purpose of this work to analyze the fluids included in the Fossil Forest fossil resin. The fossil resin samples used in this study were collected from the Fruitland Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian; 76-72 Ma), a sequence of interbedded coals, drab-colored mudstones and claystones, poorly fissile carbonaceous shales, siltstones and sandstone in the Fossil Forest study area located in the west-central San Juan Basin of New Mexico. The resin is found in association with and included in fossilized taxodiaceous wood. The fluids trapped in Late Cretaceous fossil resin have a higher oxygen content that is found in younger samples. The analytical data are presented in a framework devised to differentiate between trapped paleoatmospheres and gases dissolved in the amber matrix. The data suggest that the Late Cretaceous atmosphere had an O 2 content of at least 24%. The gases trapped in fossil resin most likely are not pristine paleoatmosphere. However, fossil resin can record the composition of the atmosphere over the past 120 m.y., the length of the resin record.

Bellis, Diane; Wolberg, Donald L.

1991-12-01

398

FAST FOSSIL ROTATION OF NEUTRON STAR CORES  

SciTech Connect

It is argued that the superfluid core of a neutron star super-rotates relative to the crust, because stratification prevents the core from responding to the electromagnetic braking torque, until the relevant dissipative (viscous or Eddington-Sweet) timescale, which can exceed {approx}10{sup 3} yr and is much longer than the Ekman timescale, has elapsed. Hence, in some young pulsars, the rotation of the core today is a fossil record of its rotation at birth, provided that magnetic crust-core coupling is inhibited, e.g., by buoyancy, field-line topology, or the presence of uncondensed neutral components in the superfluid. Persistent core super-rotation alters our picture of neutron stars in several ways, allowing for magnetic field generation by ongoing dynamo action and enhanced gravitational wave emission from hydrodynamic instabilities.

Melatos, A., E-mail: amelatos@unimelb.edu.au [School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010 (Australia)

2012-12-10

399

African trypanosomiasis.  

PubMed

Trypanosomiasis remains one of the most serious constraints to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa and, as a consequence, related research has been subject to strong social and political as well as scientific influences. The epidemics of sleeping sickness that occurred at the turn of the 20th Century focussed research efforts on what became known as 'the colonial disease'. This focus is thought to have produced 'vertical' health services aimed at this one disease, while neglecting other important health issues. Given the scale of these epidemics, and the fact that the disease is fatal if left untreated, it is unsurprising that sleeping sickness dominated colonial medicine. Indeed, recent evidence indicates that, if anything, the colonial authorities greatly under-estimated the mortality attributable to sleeping sickness. Differences in approach to disease control between Francophone and Anglophone Africa, which in the past have been considered ideological, on examination prove to be logical, reflecting the underlying epidemiological divergence of East and West Africa. These epidemiological differences are ancient in origin, pre-dating the colonial period, and continue to the present day. Recent research has produced control solutions, for the African trypanosomiases of humans and livestock, that are effective, affordable and sustainable by small-holder farmers. Whether these simple solutions are allowed to fulfil their promise and become fully integrated into agricultural practice remains to be seen. After more than 100 years of effort, trypanosomiasis control remains a controversial topic, subject to the tides of fashion and politics. PMID:17227648

Maudlin, I

2006-12-01

400

First report of fossil "keratose" demosponges in Phanerozoic carbonates: preservation and 3-D reconstruction  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Fossil record of Phanerozoic non-spicular sponges, beside of being important with respect to the lineage evolution per se, could provide valuable references for the investigation of Precambrian ancestral animal fossils. However, although modern phylogenomic studies resolve non-spicular demosponges as the sister group of the remaining spiculate demosponges, the fossil record of the former is extremely sparse or unexplored compared to that of the latter; the Middle Cambrian Vauxiidae Walcott 1920, is the only confirmed fossil taxon of non-spicular demosponges. Here, we describe carbonate materials from Devonian (Upper Givetian to Lower Frasnian) bioherms of northern France and Triassic (Anisian) microbialites of Poland that most likely represent fossil remnants of keratose demosponges. These putative fossils of keratose demosponges are preserved as automicritic clumps. They are morphologically distinguishable from microbial fabrics but similar to other spiculate sponge fossils, except that the skeletal elements consist of fibrous networks instead of assembled spicules. Consistent with the immunological behavior of sponges, these fibrous skeletons often form a rim at the edge of the automicritic aggregate, separating the inner part of the aggregate from foreign objects. To confirm the architecture of these fibrous networks, two fossil specimens and a modern thorectid sponge for comparison were processed for three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction using serial grinding tomography. The resulting fossil reconstructions are three-dimensionally anastomosing, like modern keratose demosponges, but their irregular and nonhierarchical meshes indicate a likely verongid affinity, although a precise taxonomic conclusion cannot be made based on the skeletal architecture alone. This study is a preliminary effort, but an important start to identify fossil non-spicular demosponges in carbonates and to re-evaluate their fossilization potential.

Luo, Cui; Reitner, Joachim

2014-06-01

401

Geology Fieldnotes: Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Fossil Butte National Monument preserves a 50-million year old bed of Eocene limestone that contains one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Site features include park geology information, photographs of fossils, related links, visitor information, multimedia resources, and resources for teaching geology with National Park examples. The park geology section discusses the Monument's geologic history and fossil beds, focusing on the conditions that created the fossil-rich region and on the history of fossil collection in the area. A map of the Monument is also included.

402

Fossil/modern mole phylogeny  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This study is introduced at the beginning of class, and runs throughout the quarter. Students are first given a paper describing a morphological phylogeny of modern moles. The first few weeks' labs teach the students basic phylogenetic methods and the aspects of skeletal morphology needed to understand the character descriptions. Students in groups of 2 or 3 are assigned a set of characters from a particular region of the skeleton (i.e. humerus, lower teeth, skull, etc.). Those groups are responsible for learning to distinguish those characters on a representative group of modern specimens (for which the character codings are already available in the paper they have) and then coding those characters for a number of fossil taxa. The fossils are either described in papers posted on the course website or are represented by specimens held in the instructor's research lab. Students are responsible for finding time to come in and work with the specimens. The next to last lab of the quarter is concerned with analyzing data within each group, for the class as a whole, for fossil taxa alone, and for fossil and modern taxa. Students then write up the results of their analyses for their term project due at the end of the quarter.

403

Synthetic soup ground trace fossils  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This is a lab exercise where students make synthetic trace fossils (using fishing lures) that was presented as a scientific study: BIOGENIC SEDIMENTARY STRUCTURES PRODUCED BY WORMS IN SOUPY, SOFT MUDS: OBSERVATIONS FROM THE CHATTANOOGA SHALE (UPPER DEVONIAN) AND EXPERIMENTS, by VADEC LOBZA AND JURGEN SCHIEBER, JOURNAL OF SEDIMENTARY RESEARCH, VOL. 69, NO. 5, SEPTEMBER, 1999, P. 10411049

Clint Cowan

404

Plant Fossils in the Laboratory  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This exercise can be used to familiarize students and give them hands-on experience with plant fossils as well as sharpen their powers of observation. It may also be used to bring together interdisciplinary topics relating past events to present day issues.

Kisten P. Giebel (Virginia Commonwealth University;)

1981-06-07

405

Progress of fossil fuel science  

SciTech Connect

Coal is the most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel. More than 45% of the world's electricity is generated from coal, and it is the major fuel for generating electricity worldwide. The known coal reserves in the world are enough for more than 215 years of consumption, while the known oil reserves are only about 39 times of the world's consumption and the known natural gas reserves are about 63 times of the world's consumption level in 1998. In recent years, there have been effective scientific investigations on Turkish fossil fuels, which are considerable focused on coal resources. Coal is a major fossil fuel source for Turkey. Turkish coal consumption has been stable over the past decade and currently accounts for about 24% of the country's total energy consumption. Lignite coal has had the biggest share in total fossil fuel production, at 43%, in Turkey. Turkish researchers may investigate ten broad pathways of coal species upgrading, such as desulfurization and oxydesulfurization, pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroliquefaction, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction, gasification, oxidation, briquetting, flotation, and structure identification.

Demirbas, M.F.

2007-07-01

406

Fossil Identification and Classification Lab  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students pick, sort, box, and identify fossils (mostly mollusks but also bryozoa, arthropods, cnidaria, and annelids) from richly fossiliferous, clastic marine sediment, compile a faunal list,compare the fauna with modern taxa, and make evaluate a paleogeographic model for the taxa found.

Ralph Willoughby

407

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This National Park Service website offers descriptions of: the animal fossils found at this park, including the extinct Hagerman horse; the geology of the park which is mostly floodplain sediments of primarily silty clays; and the geological, hydrological, and hydrostratigraphical aspects of a landslide model. There are photos of park landslides, prehistoric projectile points, and the historical Oregon Trail.

408

Theory of fossil magnetic field  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Theory of fossil magnetic field is based on the observations, analytical estimations and numerical simulations of magnetic flux evolution during star formation in the magnetized cores of molecular clouds. Basic goals, main features of the theory and manifestations of MHD effects in young stellar objects are discussed.

Dudorov, Alexander E.; Khaibrakhmanov, Sergey A.

2015-02-01

409

The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This web page gives an overview of the Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors, including the history of the area where the reactor is located, the science behind the nuclear reactions, and reasons for studying this nuclear reactor. This page also includes graphics describing the Physics behind the reactors, maps, and pictures of the reactor.

Loss, Robert

2012-06-15

410

Asthma and African Americans  

MedlinePLUS

... Hispanic Blacks reported that they currently have asthma. African Americans were 20% more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites, in 2011. In 2009, African Americans were three times more likely to die from ...

411

Cancer and African Americans  

MedlinePLUS

... a glance Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2006-2010) Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 Men ... a glance Top Cancer Sites for African Americans (2006-2010) Cancer Incidence Rates per 100,000 Women ...

412

African Americans and Smoking  

MedlinePLUS

... Facts About Smoking Among African Americans Use of menthol cigarettes is disproportionately high among African Americans. Almost ... software. 4. Ibid. 5. Hebert, JR. Invited Commentary: Menthol Cigarettes and Risk of Lung Cancer. American Journal ...

413

Studying Function and Behavior in the Fossil Record  

Microsoft Academic Search

It is easy to dismiss reconstructed organisms and behaviors from the past as mere speculation, but empirical evidence, comparison with modern analogs, and biomechanical modeling can provide remarkable insights.

Michael J. Benton

2010-01-01

414

The Fossil Record of Star Formation from Galaxy Spectra  

E-print Network

In this thesis I present work using the MOPED algorithm to extract in a non-parametric fashion star formation histories and galaxy masses from the spectra of galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The recovered ...

Panter, Ben

415

Cell symbiosis theory - Status and implications for the fossil record  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

Smith (1981) has presented three alternative models of the origin of eukaryotes. In the present investigation, alternative theories are discussed along with the status of serial endosymbiotic theory. It is pointed out that the usefulness of the serial endosymbiotic theory is attested by the great flourishing of productive scientific studies it has generated. Attention is given to the origin of mitochondria and plastids from free-living bacteria, the polyphyly of mitochondria, the origin of the nuclear membrane, the origin of undulipodia (cilia and other 9 + 2 organelles), the sequence of acquisition of organelles, large ribosomes, genome organization, animals and plants, and systematics and axonomy of the microorganisms.

Margulis, L.; Stolz, J. F.

1984-01-01

416

The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction  

NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

The two principle efforts include: (1) a compilation of a synoptic, mesoscale data base on times of origination and extinction of animal genera in the oceans over the last 600 million years of geologic time; and (2) an analysis of statistical patterns in these data that relate to the diversification of complex life and to the occurrence of mass extinctions, especially those that might be associated with extraterrestrial phenomena. The data base is unique in its taxonomic scope and detail and in its temporal resolution. It is a valuable resource for investigating evolutionary expansions and extinctions of complex life.

Sepkoski, J. John, Jr.

1990-01-01

417

Climatic influences on species: Evidence from the fossil record  

USGS Publications Warehouse

The detailed Neogene and Quaternary paleoclimatic reconstructions now available provide a means to test how species respond to environmental change. Paleontologic studies of marine organisms show that climatic change causes evolution (via cladogenesis and anagenesis), ecophenotypic variation, migration, morphologic stasis and extinction. Evolution during climatic change is a rare event relative to the number of climatic cycles that have occurred, but climate-related environmental barriers, usually temperature, may play an important role in the isolation of populations during allopatric speciation.

Cronin, T. M.; Schneider, C.E.

1990-01-01

418

The Evolution of Tetrapod Ears and the Fossil Record  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the earliest tetrapods, the fenestra vestibuli was a large hole in the braincase wall bounded by bones of different embryological origins: the otic capsule and occipital arch components, and also, in all except the Devonian Acanthostega, the dermal parasphenoid. This means that the hole lay along the line of the embryonic metotic fissure. Early tetrapod braincases were poorly ossified

J. A. Clack

1997-01-01

419

The evolution of tetrapod ears and the fossil record.  

PubMed

In the earliest tetrapods, the fenestra vestibuli was a large hole in the braincase wall bounded by bones of different embryological origins: the otic capsule and occipital arch components, and also, in all except the Devonian Acanthostega, the dermal parasphenoid. This means that the hole lay along the line of the embryonic metotic fissure. Early tetrapod braincases were poorly ossified internally, and no specialized opening for a perilymphatic duct is evident. It is arguable that the earliest tetrapods had neither a perilympllatic duct crossing the otic capsule nor a specialized auditory receptor in a separate lagenar pouch. The primitive tetrapod condition is found in the earliest amniotes, and the separate development of (1) a fenestra vestibuli confined to the limits of the otic capsule, (2) a specialized pressure relief window also derived from components on the line of the metolic fissure, (3) a nonstructural, vibratory stapes and (4) increased internal ossification of the internal walls of the otic capsule, can be traced separately in synapsids, lepidosauromorph diapsids, archosauromorph diapsids, probably turtles, and amphibians. This suggests separate development of true tympanic ears in each of these groups. Developments indicating the existence of a true tympanic ear in amniotes are first found in animals from the Triassic period, and a correlation with the evolution of insect sound production is suggested. PMID:9310195

Clack, J A

1997-01-01

420

Replaying evolutionary transitions from the dental fossil record.  

PubMed

The evolutionary relationships of extinct species are ascertained primarily through the analysis of morphological characters. Character inter-dependencies can have a substantial effect on evolutionary interpretations, but the developmental underpinnings of character inter-dependence remain obscure because experiments frequently do not provide detailed resolution of morphological characters. Here we show experimentally and computationally how gradual modification of development differentially affects characters in the mouse dentition. We found that intermediate phenotypes could be produced by gradually adding ectodysplasin A (EDA) protein in culture to tooth explants carrying a null mutation in the tooth-patterning gene Eda. By identifying development-based character inter-dependencies, we show how to predict morphological patterns of teeth among mammalian species. Finally, in vivo inhibition of sonic hedgehog signalling in Eda null teeth enabled us to reproduce characters deep in the rodent ancestry. Taken together, evolutionarily informative transitions can be experimentally reproduced, thereby providing development-based expectations for character-state transitions used in evolutionary studies. PMID:25079326

Harjunmaa, Enni; Seidel, Kerstin; Hkkinen, Teemu; Renvois, Elodie; Corfe, Ian J; Kallonen, Aki; Zhang, Zhao-Qun; Evans, Alistair R; Mikkola, Marja L; Salazar-Ciudad, Isaac; Klein, Ophir D; Jernvall, Jukka

2014-08-01

421

Molecular and Fossil Evidence on the Origin of Angiosperms  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Molecular data on relationships within angiosperms confirm the view that their increasing morphological diversity through the Cretaceous reflected their evolutionary radiation. Despite the early appearance of aquatics and groups with simple flowers, the record is consistent with inferences from molecular trees that the first angiosperms were woody plants with pinnately veined leaves, multiparted flowers, uniovulate ascidiate carpels, and columellar monosulcate pollen. Molecular data appear to refute the hypothesis based on morphology that angiosperms and Gnetales are closest living relatives. Morphological analyses of living and fossil seed plants that assume molecular relationships identify glossopterids, Bennettitales, and Caytonia as angiosperm relatives; these results are consistent with proposed homologies between the cupule of glossopterids and Caytonia and the angiosperm bitegmic ovule. Jurassic molecular dates for the angiosperms may be reconciled with the fossil record if the first angiosperms were restricted to wet forest understory habitats and did not radiate until the Cretaceous.

Doyle, James A.

2012-05-01

422

Fossil Energy: Drivers and Challenges.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Concerns about rapid economic growth, energy security, and global climate change have created a new landscape for fossil energy exploration, production, and utilization. Since 85% of primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and 85% of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel consumption, new and difficult technical and political challenges confront commercial, governmental, and public stakeholders. As such, concerns over climate change are explicitly weighed against security of international and domestic energy supplies, with economic premiums paid for either or both. Efficiency improvements, fuel conservation, and deployment of nuclear and renewable supplies will help both concerns, but are unlikely to offset growth in the coming decades. As such, new technologies and undertakings must both provide high quality fossil energy with minimal environmental impacts. The largest and most difficult of these undertakings is carbon management, wherein CO2 emissions are sequestered indefinitely at substantial incremental cost. Geological formations provide both high confidence and high capacity for CO2 storage, but present scientific and technical challenges. Oil and gas supply can be partially sustained and replaced through exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar-sands, methane hydrates, coal-to-liquids, and oil shales. These fuels provide enormous reserves that can be exploited at current costs, but generally require substantial energy to process. In most cases, the energy return on investment (EROI) is dropping, and unconventional fuels are generally more carbon intensive than conventional, presenting additional carbon management challenges. Ultimately, a large and sustained science and technology program akin to the Apollo project will be needed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, real funding in energy research has dropped dramatically (75%) in the past three decades, and novel designs in fission and fusion are not likely to provide any substantial offset in the next 30 years when they are most needed internationally.

Friedmann, Julio

2007-04-01

423

The African Connection  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind

Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

2012-01-01

424

African American Suicide  

MedlinePLUS

... per 100,000. In 2010, there were 389 African American female suicides. The ratio of African American male to ... 4.9 to 1. The suicide rate among African American females was the lowest of all racial/gender groups. ...

425

Explosive growth in African combustion emissions from 2005 to 2030  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Emissions of gases and particles from the combustion of fossil fuels and biofuels in Africa are expected to increase significantly in the near future due to the rapid growth of African cities and megacities. There is currently no regional emissions inventory that provides estimates of anthropogenic combustion for the African continent. This work provides a quantification of the evolution of African combustion emissions from 2005 to 2030, using a bottom-up method. This inventory predicts very large increases in black carbon, organic carbon, CO, NOx, SO2 and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions if no emission regulations are implemented. This paper discusses the effectiveness of scenarios involving certain fuels, specific to Africa in each activity sector and each region (western, eastern, northern and southern Africa), to reduce the emissions. The estimated trends in African emissions are consistent with emissions provided by global inventories, but they display a larger range of values. African combustion emissions contributed significantly to global emissions in 2005. This contribution will increase more significantly by 2030: organic carbon emissions will for example make up 50% of the global emissions in 2030. Furthermore, we show that the magnitude of African anthropogenic emissions could be similar to African biomass burning emissions around 2030.

Liousse, C.; Assamoi, E.; Criqui, P.; Granier, C.; Rosset, R.

2014-03-01

426

Celebrating African-American Librarians and Librarianship.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Celebrates the achievements of African-American librarians and their contributions to librarianship. Identifies and reviews records of scholarship that can serve as starting points for students and scholars. Chronicles achievements of numerous individuals and provides additional resources for further investigation. Suggests areas of further

Dawson, Alma

2000-01-01

427

ConcepTest: Best Index Fossil  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Four outcrops of rock are examined in different locations of a state. The rock types and the fossils they contain are illustrated in the adjacent diagram. Which fossil would be the best choice to use as an index ...

428

A Biological Time Capsule. Fossil Fish.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Described is an activity where students prepare high-quality fossil specimens to demonstrate the theory of evolution. The technique needed for fossil removal, the geologic and paleoclimatic setting, and the fish morphology are discussed. (KR)

Dolph, Gary E.; Dolph, Laura L.

1990-01-01

429

Identifying Fossils: Exploring the Mississippi River Bluffs  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This activity is a geology lab where students learn about fossils found in sedimentary rocks and show their understanding by writing a literary nonfiction paper from the perspective of one of those fossils.

430

Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution.  

PubMed

Testing models of macroevolution, and especially the sufficiency of microevolutionary processes, requires good collaboration between molecular biologists and paleontologists. We report such a test for events around the Late Cretaceous by describing the earliest penguin fossils, analyzing complete mitochondrial genomes from an albatross, a petrel, and a loon, and describe the gradual decline of pterosaurs at the same time modern birds radiate. The penguin fossils comprise four naturally associated skeletons from the New Zealand Waipara Greensand, a Paleocene (early Tertiary) formation just above a well-known Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary site. The fossils, in a new genus (Waimanu), provide a lower estimate of 61-62 Ma for the divergence between penguins and other birds and thus establish a reliable calibration point for avian evolution. Combining fossil calibration points, DNA sequences, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis, the penguin calibrations imply a radiation of modern (crown group) birds in the Late Cretaceous. This includes a conservative estimate that modern sea and shorebird lineages diverged at least by the Late Cretaceous about 74 +/- 3 Ma (Campanian). It is clear that modern birds from at least the latest Cretaceous lived at the same time as archaic birds including Hesperornis, Ichthyornis, and the diverse Enantiornithiformes. Pterosaurs, which also coexisted with early crown birds, show notable changes through the Late Cretaceous. There was a decrease in taxonomic diversity, and small- to medium-sized species disappeared well before the end of the Cretaceous. A simple reading of the fossil record might suggest competitive interactions with birds, but much more needs to be understood about pterosaur life histories. Additional fossils and molecular data are still required to help understand the role of biotic interactions in the evolution of Late Cretaceous birds and thus to test that the mechanisms of microevolution are sufficient to explain macroevolution. PMID:16533822

Slack, Kerryn E; Jones, Craig M; Ando, Tatsuro; Harrison, G L Abby; Fordyce, R Ewan; Arnason, Ulfur; Penny, David

2006-06-01

431

Morphometric analysis of chameleon fossil fragments from the Early Pliocene of South Africa: a new piece of the chamaeleonid history  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The evolutionary history of chameleons has been predominantly studied through phylogenetic approaches as the fossil register of chameleons is limited and fragmented. The poor state of preservation of these fossils has moreover led to the origin of numerous nomen dubia, and the identification of many chameleon fossils remains uncertain. We here examine chameleon fossil fragments from the Early Pliocene Varswater formation, exposed at the locality of Langebaanweg "E" Quarry along the southwestern coast of South Africa. Our aim was to explore whether these fossil fragments could be assigned to extant genera. To do so, we used geometric morphometric approaches based on microtomographic imaging of extant chameleons as well as the fossil fragments themselves. Our study suggests that the fossils from this deposit most likely represent at least two different forms that may belong to different genera. Most fragments are phenotypically dissimilar from the South African endemic genus Bradypodion and are more similar to other chameleon genera such as Trioceros or Kinyongia. However, close phenetic similarities between some of the fragments and the Seychelles endemic Archaius or the Madagascan genus Furcifer suggest that some of these fragments may not contain enough genus-specific information to allow correct identification. Other fragments such as the parietal fragments appear to contain more genus-specific information, however. Although our data suggest that the fossil diversity of chameleons in South Africa was potentially greater than it is today, this remains to be verified based on other and more complete fragments.

Dollion, Alexis Y.; Cornette, Raphal; Tolley, Krystal A.; Boistel, Renaud; Euriat, Adelade; Boller, Elodie; Fernandez, Vincent; Stynder, Deano; Herrel, Anthony

2015-02-01

432

Morphometric analysis of chameleon fossil fragments from the Early Pliocene of South Africa: a new piece of the chamaeleonid history.  

PubMed

The evolutionary history of chameleons has been predominantly studied through phylogenetic approaches as the fossil register of chameleons is limited and fragmented. The poor state of preservation of these fossils has moreover led to the origin of numerous nomen dubia, and the identification of many chameleon fossils remains uncertain. We here examine chameleon fossil fragments from the Early Pliocene Varswater formation, exposed at the locality of Langebaanweg "E" Quarry along the southwestern coast of South Africa. Our aim was to explore whether these fossil fragments could be assigned to extant genera. To do so, we used geometric morphometric approaches based on microtomographic imaging of extant chameleons as well as the fossil fragments themselves. Our study suggests that the fossils from this deposit most likely represent at least two different forms that may belong to different genera. Most fragments are phenotypically dissimilar from the South African endemic genus Bradypodion and are more similar to other chameleon genera such as Trioceros or Kinyongia. However, close phenetic similarities between some of the fragments and the Seychelles endemic Archaius or the Madagascan genus Furcifer suggest that some of these fragments may not contain enough genus-specific information to allow correct identification. Other fragments such as the parietal fragments appear to contain more genus-specific information, however. Although our data suggest that the fossil diversity of chameleons in South Africa was potentially greater than it is today, this remains to be verified based on other and more complete fragments. PMID:25604737

Dollion, Alexis Y; Cornette, Raphal; Tolley, Krystal A; Boistel, Renaud; Euriat, Adelade; Boller, Elodie; Fernandez, Vincent; Stynder, Deano; Herrel, Anthony

2015-02-01

433

Cretaceous Fossils: Plants Quick Identification Gallery  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This site forms a component of the CretaceousFossils.com page providing detailed information and high resolution photos of Cretaceous plants. The site supplies a practical, visual resource designed to facilitate identification of plant fossils from the Cretaceous Period. Educators and students alike may find this site and its links useful for viewing, identifying and downloading photos of exceptionally preserved fossil plant specimens.

Keith, Minor; Cretaceousfossils.com

434

Fossils in Antarctica: British Antarctic Survey  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Although marching penguins add to Antarctica's allure, The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has found fossil evidence that dinosaurs, marsupials, and forests inhabited the area long before penguins charmed the world with their trademark waddle. Since 1940, when the fossil collection of the BAS was started, it has grown to 40,000 specimens. The "Fossils" section of the BAS website can be found on the left side of the homepage in the "About Antarctica" area, and is divided into two explanatory sections: "Fossils from the Antarctic" and "Fossil Locations in Antarctica". There are also links in each section, near the top right hand corner of the page, to "Type and Figured Fossil Collection" and "Fossils Picture Gallery". In the "Fossils from the Antarctic" section, the types of fossils found are explained and include: molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms and plants. The "Fossil Locations in Antarctica" section has a map of the three islands where a large amount of fossils have been found, along with descriptions of each island and what general types of fossils have been found on them.

435

Looking at Fossils in New Ways  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Existing fossils could be studied from a different prospective with the use of new methods of analysis for gathering more information. The new techniques of studying fossils binds the new and the old techniques and information and provides another way to look at fossils.

Flannery, Maura C.

2005-01-01

436

Constraining fossil calibrations for molecular clocks  

E-print Network

Constraining fossil calibrations for molecular clocks Sir, In a recent paper, Mu¨ller and Reisz(1) proposed how fossil calibrations should be selected for application in molecular clock studies. The topic molecules. Nonetheless, we believe that these authors have erred both in their proposal of fossil

Kumar, Sudhir

437

Fossil: A Robust Relational Learner Johannes Furnkranz  

E-print Network

Fossil: A Robust Relational Learner Johannes F¨urnkranz