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Sample records for antarctic fossil record

  1. Biomarkers and Microbial Fossils In Antarctic Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wierzchos, J.; Ascaso, C.

    Lithobiontic microbial communities living within Antarctic rocks are an example of survival in an extremely cold and dry environment. Any unfavourable change in ex- ternal conditions can result in the death and disappearance of microscopic organisms, and this may be followed by the appearance of trace biomarkers and microbial fossils. The extinction of these microorganisms in some zones of the Ross Desert, probably provoked by the hostile environment, might be considered a good terrestrial analogue of the first stage of the disappearance of possible life on early Mars. Granite samples from maritime Antarctica (Granite Harbour) and sandstone rocks from the continental Ross Desert were collected with the aim of searching for biomarkers and microbial fossils at the microscopic level of observation. To this end, a novel in situ applica- tion of scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imaging was com- bined with the simultaneous use of X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy techniques. Our findings confirm the existence of inorganic biomarkers in the form of physico- chemically bioweathered minerals within the granitic rocks. The presence of Fe-rich diagenetic minerals, such as iron hydroxide nanocrystals and biogenic clays around chasmoendolithic hyphae and bacterial cells was also observed. Others biomarkers, including inorganic deposits such as calcium oxalates and silica accumulations, are clear signs of endolithic microorganism activity. The interior of the sandstone rocks (Ross Desert, Mt. Fleming) reveal the presence of microbial fossils of algae and other endolithic microorganisms. These microbial fossils, detected for the first time within Antarctic rocks, contain well preserved and morphologically distinguishable relics of ultrastructural cytoplasm elements, such as cell walls, chloroplast membranes, and oc- casionally, pyrenoids and traces of organic matter. These structures are similar to those observed in live cells also found in Antarctic

  2. Cosmogenic records in Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goswami, J. N.; Nishiizumi, K.

    1983-01-01

    Aliquot samples of 29 Antarctic L and H chondrites are analyzed for their nuclear track records and Mn-53 activities. The track density in the analyzed samples ranges from 10 to the 4th to approximately 6 x 10 to the 6th per sq cm. A significant finding is the observation of track-rich grains in a set of four L3 chondrites (ALHA 77215, 77216, 77217, and 77252), suspected of belonging to the same fall based on petrographic observations. An additional sample, ALHA 78105, an L6 chondrite, also has track-rich grains. Mn-53 activity is at near saturation level in approximately 65 percent of the analyzed samples, suggesting exposure ages of greater than 10 m.y. in these cases. Very few H chondrites from the 7-m.y. exposure age peak are apparently sampled among the ones investigated in this study. Approximately 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of the Antarctic H and L chondrites analyzed thus far for their cosmogenic records have precompaction irradiation features. A combined analysis of Mn-53 and nuclear track data makes it possible to confirm or rule out the proposed pairing of several sets of Antarctic meteorites and to estimate the preatmospheric sizes of some of these meteorites. The results suggest that most of the small Antarctic meteorites (less than 1 kg) have suffered high (greater than 95 percent) ablation mass-loss.

  3. Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. Imre; Weed, Rebecca

    1987-01-01

    In the Antarctic cold desert (Ross Desert), the survival of the cryptoendolithic microorganisms that colonize the near-surface layer of porous sandstone rocks depends on a precarious equilibrium of biological and geological factors. An unfavorable shift of this equilibrium results in death, and this may be followed by formation of trace fossils that preserve the characteristic iron-leaching pattern caused by microbial activity. Similar microbial trace fossils may exist in the geological record. If life ever arose on early Mars, similar processes may have occurred there and left recognizable traces.

  4. Extinction and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

    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.

  5. Organic molecules as chemical fossils - The molecular fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eglinton, G.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  6. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    PubMed

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (< 9%) have a fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. PMID:26932459

  7. Fossil proxies of near-shore sea surface temperatures and seasonality from the late Neogene Antarctic shelf.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicola A; Williams, Mark; Hill, Daniel J; Quilty, Patrick G; Smellie, John L; Zalasiewicz, Jan; Leng, Melanie J; Ellis, Michael A

    2013-08-01

    We evaluate the available palaeontological and geochemical proxy data from bivalves, bryozoans, silicoflagellates, diatoms and cetaceans for sea surface temperature (SST) regimes around the nearshore Antarctic coast during the late Neogene. These fossils can be found in a number of shallow marine sedimentary settings from three regions of the Antarctic continent, the northern Antarctic Peninsula, the Prydz Bay region and the western Ross Sea. Many of the proxies suggest maximum spring-summer SSTs that are warmer than present by up to 5 °C, which would result in reduced seasonal sea ice. The evidence suggests that the summers on the Antarctic shelf during the late Neogene experienced most of the warming, while winter SSTs were little changed from present. Feedbacks from changes in summer sea ice cover may have driven much of the late Neogene ocean warming seen in stratigraphic records. Synthesized late Neogene and earliest Quaternary Antarctic shelf proxy data are compared to the multi-model SST estimates of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) Experiment 2. Despite the fragmentary geographical and temporal context for the SST data, comparisons between the SST warming in each of the three regions represented in the marine palaeontological record of the Antarctic shelf and the PlioMIP climate simulations show a good concordance. PMID:23828612

  8. Fossil proxies of near-shore sea surface temperatures and seasonality from the late Neogene Antarctic shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Nicola A.; Williams, Mark; Hill, Daniel J.; Quilty, Patrick G.; Smellie, John L.; Zalasiewicz, Jan; Leng, Melanie J.; Ellis, Michael A.

    2013-08-01

    We evaluate the available palaeontological and geochemical proxy data from bivalves, bryozoans, silicoflagellates, diatoms and cetaceans for sea surface temperature (SST) regimes around the nearshore Antarctic coast during the late Neogene. These fossils can be found in a number of shallow marine sedimentary settings from three regions of the Antarctic continent, the northern Antarctic Peninsula, the Prydz Bay region and the western Ross Sea. Many of the proxies suggest maximum spring-summer SSTs that are warmer than present by up to 5 °C, which would result in reduced seasonal sea ice. The evidence suggests that the summers on the Antarctic shelf during the late Neogene experienced most of the warming, while winter SSTs were little changed from present. Feedbacks from changes in summer sea ice cover may have driven much of the late Neogene ocean warming seen in stratigraphic records. Synthesized late Neogene and earliest Quaternary Antarctic shelf proxy data are compared to the multi-model SST estimates of the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project (PlioMIP) Experiment 2. Despite the fragmentary geographical and temporal context for the SST data, comparisons between the SST warming in each of the three regions represented in the marine palaeontological record of the Antarctic shelf and the PlioMIP climate simulations show a good concordance.

  9. Antarctic glacial geologic record and GCM modeling: A test

    SciTech Connect

    Elliot, D.H.; Bromwich, D.H.; Harwood, D.M.; Webb, P.

    1992-03-01

    A recent GCM (General Circulation Model) study of Antarctic glaciation by Oglesby concluded that (1) oceanic heat transport is relatively unimportant in the development and maintenance of Antarctic glaciation; (2) height and polar position, not the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, have led to thermal isolation; and (3) surface elevation may be crucial for glaciation. Model results are here evaluated against the Pliocene geologic record for Antarctica. The Sirius Group, widely distributed in the Transantarctic Mountains, contains diatom floras suggesting open marine conditions in interior East Antarctica as recently as about 3 m.y. ago. The Sirius deposits also contain a sparse fossil flora including Nothofagus wood, demonstrating snow-free conditions and elevated summer temperatures within 500 km of the South Pole. Based on fission track data and marine sediments, uplift rates for the Transantarctic Mountains are estimated to average 50-100 m m.y.-1 for the last 10 m.y., although rates may have been higher during the last 3 m.y. The continental interior is also most unlikely to have changed elevation by more than a few hundred meters in the last 3 m.y. If the dating of the Sirius is correct and uplift rates have not been an order of magnitude higher, then polar location and elevation cannot be primary controls on the formation and subsequent fluctuations of the ice sheet.

  10. Reconciling molecular phylogenies with the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; Parsons, Todd L; Plotkin, Joshua B

    2011-09-27

    Historical patterns of species diversity inferred from phylogenies typically contradict the direct evidence found in the fossil record. According to the fossil record, species frequently go extinct, and many clades experience periods of dramatic diversity loss. However, most analyses of molecular phylogenies fail to identify any periods of declining diversity, and they typically infer low levels of extinction. This striking inconsistency between phylogenies and fossils limits our understanding of macroevolution, and it undermines our confidence in phylogenetic inference. Here, we show that realistic extinction rates and diversity trajectories can be inferred from molecular phylogenies. To make this inference, we derive an analytic expression for the likelihood of a phylogeny that accommodates scenarios of declining diversity, time-variable rates, and incomplete sampling; we show that this likelihood expression reliably detects periods of diversity loss using simulation. We then study the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), a group for which standard phylogenetic inferences are strikingly inconsistent with fossil data. When the cetacean phylogeny is considered as a whole, recently radiating clades, such as the Balaneopteridae, Delphinidae, Phocoenidae, and Ziphiidae, mask the signal of extinctions. However, when isolating these groups, we infer diversity dynamics that are consistent with the fossil record. These results reconcile molecular phylogenies with fossil data, and they suggest that most extant cetaceans arose from four recent radiations, with a few additional species arising from clades that have been in decline over the last ~10 Myr. PMID:21930899

  11. Reconciling molecular phylogenies with the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Morlon, Hélène; Parsons, Todd L.; Plotkin, Joshua B.

    2011-01-01

    Historical patterns of species diversity inferred from phylogenies typically contradict the direct evidence found in the fossil record. According to the fossil record, species frequently go extinct, and many clades experience periods of dramatic diversity loss. However, most analyses of molecular phylogenies fail to identify any periods of declining diversity, and they typically infer low levels of extinction. This striking inconsistency between phylogenies and fossils limits our understanding of macroevolution, and it undermines our confidence in phylogenetic inference. Here, we show that realistic extinction rates and diversity trajectories can be inferred from molecular phylogenies. To make this inference, we derive an analytic expression for the likelihood of a phylogeny that accommodates scenarios of declining diversity, time-variable rates, and incomplete sampling; we show that this likelihood expression reliably detects periods of diversity loss using simulation. We then study the cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), a group for which standard phylogenetic inferences are strikingly inconsistent with fossil data. When the cetacean phylogeny is considered as a whole, recently radiating clades, such as the Balaneopteridae, Delphinidae, Phocoenidae, and Ziphiidae, mask the signal of extinctions. However, when isolating these groups, we infer diversity dynamics that are consistent with the fossil record. These results reconcile molecular phylogenies with fossil data, and they suggest that most extant cetaceans arose from four recent radiations, with a few additional species arising from clades that have been in decline over the last ∼10 Myr. PMID:21930899

  12. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    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.

  13. The circum-Antarctic sedimentary record; a dowsing rod for Antarctic ice in the Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scher, H.

    2012-12-01

    Arguments for short-lived Antarctic glacial events during the Eocene (55-34 Ma) are compelling, however the paleoceanographic proxy records upon which these arguments are based (e.g., benthic δ18O, eustatic sea level, deep sea carbonate deposition) are global signals in which the role of Antarctic ice volume variability is ambiguous. That is to say, the proxy response to ice volume may be masked other processes. As a result broad correlations between proxies for ice volume are lacking during suspected Eocene glacial events. I will present a more direct approach for detecting Antarctic ice sheets in the Eocene; utilizing provenance information derived from the radiogenic isotopic composition of the terrigenous component of marine sediments near Antarctica. The method relies on knowledge that marine sediments represent a mixture derived from different basement terrains with different isotopic fingerprints. A key issue when using sedimentary deposits to characterize continental sediment sources is to deconvolve different sources from the mixed signal of the bulk sample. The pioneering work of Roy et al. (2007) and van de Flierdt et al. (2007) represents a major advance in Antarctic provenance studies. It is now known that the isotopic composition of neodymium (Nd) and hafnium (Hf) in modern circum-Antarctic sediments are distributed in a pattern that mimics the basement age of sediment sources around Antarctica. For this study I selected two Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) sites on southern Kerguelen Plateau (ODP Sites 738 and 748) because of their proximity to Prydz Bay, where Precambrian sediment sources contribute to extremely nonradiogenic isotopic signatures in modern sediments in the Prydz Bay region. New detrital Nd isotope records from these sediment cores reveal an Nd isotope excursion at the Bartonian/Priabonian boundary (ca. 37 Ma) that coincides with a 0.5 ‰ increase in benthic foram δ18O values. Detrital sediment ɛNd values are around -12 in intervals

  14. Expected anomalies in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Mareike; Steel, Mike

    2008-01-01

    The problem of intermediates in the fossil record has been frequently discussed ever since Darwin. The extent of 'gaps' (missing transitional stages) has been used to argue against gradual evolution from a common ancestor. Traditionally, gaps have often been explained by the improbability of fossilization and the discontinuous selection of found fossils. Here we take an analytical approach and demonstrate why, under certain sampling conditions, we may not expect intermediates to be found. Using a simple null model, we show mathematically that the question of whether a taxon sampled from some time in the past is likely to be morphologically intermediate to other samples (dated earlier and later) depends on the shape and dimensions of the underlying phylogenetic tree that connects the taxa, and the times from which the fossils are sampled. PMID:19204808

  15. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

  16. Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-09-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources. PMID:26601273

  17. Combustion of available fossil-fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkelmann, R.; Levermann, A.; Ridgwell, A.; Caldeira, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 meters in global sea-level rise. Here we show in simulations with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil-fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil-fuel emissions of 10 000 GtC, Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 meters per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West- and East Antarctica results in a threshold-increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources.

  18. Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet

    PubMed Central

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Levermann, Anders; Ridgwell, Andy; Caldeira, Ken

    2015-01-01

    The Antarctic Ice Sheet stores water equivalent to 58 m in global sea-level rise. We show in simulations using the Parallel Ice Sheet Model that burning the currently attainable fossil fuel resources is sufficient to eliminate the ice sheet. With cumulative fossil fuel emissions of 10,000 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC), Antarctica is projected to become almost ice-free with an average contribution to sea-level rise exceeding 3 m per century during the first millennium. Consistent with recent observations and simulations, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet becomes unstable with 600 to 800 GtC of additional carbon emissions. Beyond this additional carbon release, the destabilization of ice basins in both West and East Antarctica results in a threshold increase in global sea level. Unabated carbon emissions thus threaten the Antarctic Ice Sheet in its entirety with associated sea-level rise that far exceeds that of all other possible sources. PMID:26601273

  19. Sei whale sounds recorded in the Antarctic.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Mark A; Hildebrand, John A; Wiggins, Sean M; Thiele, Deborah; Glasgow, Deb; Moore, Sue E

    2005-12-01

    Sei whales are the least well known acoustically of all the rorquals, with only two brief descriptions of their calls previously reported. Recordings of low-frequency tonal and frequency swept calls were made near a group of four or five sei whales in waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula on 19 February 2003. These whales also produced broadband sounds which can be described as growls or whooshes. Many of the tonal and frequency swept calls (30 out of 68) consist of multiple parts with a frequency step between the two parts, this being the most unique characteristic of the calls, allowing them to be distinguished from the calls of other whale species. The average duration of the tonal calls is 0.45 +/- 0.3 s and the average frequency is 433 +/- 192 Hz. Using a calibrated seafloor recorder to determine the absolute calibration of a sonobuoy system, the maximum source level of the tonal calls was 156 +/- 3.6 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. Each call had different character and there was no temporal pattern in the calling. PMID:16419837

  20. Sei whale sounds recorded in the Antarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Mark A.; Hildebrand, John A.; Wiggins, Sean M.; Thiele, Deborah; Glasgow, Deb; Moore, Sue E.

    2005-12-01

    Sei whales are the least well known acoustically of all the rorquals, with only two brief descriptions of their calls previously reported. Recordings of low-frequency tonal and frequency swept calls were made near a group of four or five sei whales in waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula on 19 February 2003. These whales also produced broadband sounds which can be described as growls or whooshes. Many of the tonal and frequency swept calls (30 out of 68) consist of multiple parts with a frequency step between the two parts, this being the most unique characteristic of the calls, allowing them to be distinguished from the calls of other whale species. The average duration of the tonal calls is 0.45+/-0.3 s and the average frequency is 433+/-192 Hz. Using a calibrated seafloor recorder to determine the absolute calibration of a sonobuoy system, the maximum source level of the tonal calls was 156+/-3.6 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m. Each call had different character and there was no temporal pattern in the calling.

  1. Towards a Circum-Antarctic Holocene Paleointensity Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachfeld, S.; Kissel, C.; Laj, C.; Willmott, V.

    2005-12-01

    New Holocene geomagnetic paleointensity records have been constructed from the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), Eastern Antarctic Peninsula (EAP), and from the East Antarctic Margin (EAM). The goal of this work is to develop Antarctic paleointensity reference curves for correlation and dating of Antarctic continental shelf sediments. Sediment sequences deposited in fjords and inner shelf basins contain Holocene sections of 3-meters to more than 20-meters, recording the last deglaciation, the paleohistory of ice shelves, and shifting paleoceanographic conditions. However, these records suffer from a lack biogenic calcite for radiocarbon dating. Diatomaceous mud contains sufficient acid insoluble organic matter (aiom) for radiocarbon dating and hence an independent chronology. However, laminated oozes yield shallow inclinations, hence the remanence vector is suspect. Bioturbated diatomaceous mud and diatom-poor muds yield excellent directional records and satisfy the criteria for magnetic uniformity, however the organic content is low and aiom dates can be problematic. Our paleointensity records show the broad pattern of higher intensity during the late Holocene, and lower intensity during the early to middle Holocene, similar to the sinusoidal intensity pattern seen in global absolute and relative paleointensity stacks. Several of the records contain 3 to 4 late Holocene peaks with 1000-year wavelengths that are similar in amplitude and duration to features seen in northern hemisphere lacustrine and marine records. Here we evaluate the local versus regional character of the Antarctic paleointensity records, and the consistency of aiom-dated versus paleointensity-tuned chronologies.

  2. Organo-mineral imprints in fossil cyanobacterial mats of an Antarctic lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javaux, E.; Lepot, K.; Deremiens, L.; Namsaraev, Z.; Compere, P.; Gerard, E.; Verleyen, E.; Tavernier, I.; Hodgson, D.; Vyverman, W.; Wilmotte, A.

    2010-12-01

    Lacustrine microbial mats in Antarctic ice-free oases are considered to be modern analogues of early microbial ecosystems because they are dominated by cyanobacteria that need to cope with elevated UV radiation during summer by producing protective compounds such as UV-screening pigments. These microbial consortia offer a unique opportunity to (i) identify biogeochemical signatures to study the fossil record of microorganisms, and (ii) better understand their imprint mineral record. We studied sediment cores from a meromictic brackish-water lake, Kobachi Ike, Skarvsnes Peninsula, Lützow Holm Bay, East Antarctica, where primary production is dominated by photosynthetic benthic communities. The faintly to finely laminated (stromatolitic) sediments include variable amounts of organic-rich laminae, micritic carbonate, clays and silicate sand. We studied the microstructure and chemistry of organo-mineral associations in a suite of sediments ranging in age from several tens to ca. 3500 years. We examined Os- and U- stained polished resin-embedded sediments in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). We imaged photosynthetic pigments of microorganisms in fluorescence by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). We analyzed organic matter chemistry in demineralized sediments and cultured cyanobacteria using Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectromicroscopy. Molecular analyses of fossil cyanobacterial DNA were performed using Denaturating Gradient Gel Electrophoresis of partial 16S rRNA genes and sequencing. SEM revealed an intimate association between nanostructured Ca-carbonate peloids, fossil cell clusters resembling colonies of unicellular coccoid cyanobacteria, and cell-like imprints preserved in nanocarbonates. Diffuse organic matter (kerogen or EPS) is associated with nanoclays to form a laminae-building network around the carbonates. These organo-mineral microstructures strongly resemble those of the 2.7 Gyrs old Tumbiana stromatolites. CLSM imaging and fossil DNA

  3. The eukaryotic fossil record in deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butterfield, N.

    2011-12-01

    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

  4. Rates of speciation in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

    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.

  5. Meteoritic event recorded in Antarctic ice

    SciTech Connect

    Harvey, R.P.; Dunbar, N.W.; McIntosh, W.C.; Esser, R.P.; Nishiizumi, Kuni; Taylor, S.; Caffee, M.W.

    1998-07-01

    During systematic sampling of volcanic ash (tephra) layers at a well-known Antarctic meteorite collection site (the Allan Hills main ice field), a band of unusually dark and rounded (many spheroidal) particles was discovered. This debris layer (BIT-58) extends parallel to the stratigraphy of the ice established from the tephra bands, apparently marking a single depositional event. The shapes, internal texture, major element composition, and levels of cosmogenic nuclides of particles from within BIT-58 all strongly suggest that this material represents ablation debris from the passage of a large H-group ordinary chondrite. Preliminary cosmogenic isotope dating suggests an age of 2.8 Ma, implying that the East Antarctic ice sheet has been stable since that time. The relationship of the Bit-58 layer to known impact events is not clear.

  6. The Quaternary fossil-pollen record and global change

    SciTech Connect

    Grimm, E.C. . Research and Collections Center)

    1993-03-01

    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.

  7. Special Creation and the Fossil Record: The Central Fallacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kenneth R.

    1982-01-01

    Fossil records are used to point out two major flaws in the scientific creationist theory: (1) factual evidence does not support the theory, and (2) the creationists' own characterization of the fossil record contradicts their theory. Claims that creationists avoid discussing specifics about their model because of weaknesses. (DC)

  8. Reconstructions of Late Holocene Climate Using Ice-entombed Mosses and Sub-fossil Peat on the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zicheng; Loisel, Julie; Beilman, David; Cleary, Kate

    2015-04-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is one of three regions on Earth that have experienced the greatest warming over recent decades. Here we used paleo records from fossil mosses and peats on the WAP to explore a new paleoclimate archive that links climate, cryosphere and ecosystem dynamics for reconstructing climate change in recent millennia. Continuing retreat of ice and permanent snow has recently exposed numerous entombed mosses and intact peatbank ecosystems along the WAP around 65°S latitude that have been buried under ice and snow during the cold "Little Ice Age" (LIA). Radiocarbon dating indicates ages of 850-600 cal yr BP from re-exposed moss samples from retreating ice and of 100 cal yr BP from near shrinking snow. This age difference suggests that initial climate cooling and subsequent ice advance overran peatbanks immediately below the ice margin at the onset of the LIA, followed by permanent snow expansion often from low elevation upslope at the end of the LIA. Furthermore, detailed macrofossil and pollen analysis of a peat core from a moss peatbank on nearby mainland Antarctic Peninsula show dramatic shifts from a waterlogged peatland dominated by pure stands of Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica) before the LIA at 2400-600 cal yr BP to an aerobic peatbank dominated by erect mosses Polytrichum strictum and Chorisodontium aciphyllum in the last 50 years. At present the nearest known occurrence of Deschampsia "bog peats" is in South Georgia, about 1900 km north at 54°S, a location having a mean annual temperature 6°C higher than the study region on the WAP. If we use this modern spatial relationship as an analogue, then this suggests that the climate a few centuries ago was much warmer (up to 6°C) than today and supported very different ecosystems on the WAP. Our results show that these re-exposed sub-fossil mosses and peats are potentially very useful for the reconstructions of coastal low-elevation terrestrial climates. These records

  9. Fossil DNA as a Recorder of Ancient Microbial Communities and Palaeoenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coolen, M. J.; Boere, A.; Abbas, B.; Muyzer, G.; Overmann, J.; Wakeham, S. G.; Volkman, J. K.; Sinninghe Damste, J. S.

    2005-12-01

    Fossilized organic components provide an archive of ancient aquatic microbial communities and, hence, can be used to reconstruct climate-induced environmental changes and their impacts on biodiversity. However, the interpretation of these data is complicated by the limited source specificity of some traditional biomarkers, such as lipids and pigments. The ultimate biomarkers are genes encoding for ribosomal RNA (rDNA), which sequences provide information at the species level by phylogenetic comparison but until recently was only applied to identify extant species within environmental samples. With the exception of excellent preservation conditions prevailing in permafrost sediments (3), it was generally believed that DNA becomes rapidly degraded within fossil records. However, we have recently shown that especially in the presence of hydrogen sulfide, DNA can survive in the Holocene fossil record (1, 2). In this presentation we will show how, and to what extent, fossil DNA extracted from Holocene sediments of stratified lakes (the Canadian Mahoney Lake and the Antarctic Ace Lake) and the deep-sea (Black Sea) can be used as a novel proxy to reconstruct the ancient palaeodepositional environments and evolution of past microbial communities. In addition, we will discuss the fate of fossil DNA; quantitative stratigraphic analysis of lipid biomarkers and rDNA from the same biological precursors revealed information on the survival of fossil DNA in comparison to lipid biomarkers. It was shown that most of the DNA was degraded before dead cells reach the bottom but the remaining part was found to be well protected and even less prone to diagenetic alteration compared to certain lipid biomarkers. Base-pair compositions did not change during the Holocene, however, the fossil DNA became fragmented after several thousands of years of deposition but without significantly biasing the qualitative and quantitative molecular biological analysis of at least 10-ka-old fossil DNA

  10. Antarctic Cenozoic climate history from sedimentary records: ANDRILL and beyond.

    PubMed

    McKay, R M; Barrett, P J; Levy, R S; Naish, T R; Golledge, N R; Pyne, A

    2016-01-28

    Mounting evidence from models and geological data implies that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may behave in an unstable manner and retreat rapidly in response to a warming climate, which is a key factor motivating efforts to improve estimates of Antarctic ice volume contributions to future sea-level rise. Here, we review Antarctic cooling history since peak temperatures of the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (approx. 50 Ma) to provide a framework for future initiatives to recover sediment cores from subglacial lakes and sedimentary basins in Antarctica's continental interior. While the existing inventory of cores has yielded important insights into the biotic and climatic evolution of Antarctica, strata have numerous and often lengthy time breaks, providing a framework of 'snapshots' through time. Further cores, and more work on existing cores, are needed to reconcile Antarctic records with the more continuous 'far-field' records documenting the evolution of global ice volume and deep-sea temperature. To achieve this, we argue for an integrated portfolio of drilling and coring missions that encompasses existing methodologies using ship- and sea-ice-/ice-shelf-based drilling platforms as well as recently developed seafloor-based drilling and subglacial access systems. We conclude by reviewing key technological issues that will need to be overcome. PMID:26667911

  11. The diatom record from beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the global proxy perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scherer, Reed P.

    1993-01-01

    Recent glaciological evaluation and modeling of the marine-based West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) support the possibility that the WAIS disintegrated during one or more Pleistocene interglacial period(s). The magnitude of sea level and oxygen isotope variation during certain late-Pleistocene interglacial periods is also consistent with the possibility of major retreat of the WAIS. Although oxygen isotopes from deep-sea sediments provide the best available proxy record for global ice volume (despite the ambiguities in the record), the source of ice volume changes must be hypothesized. Based on the intensity of interglacial isotopic shifts recorded in Southern Ocean marine sedimentary records, stage 11 (400,000 years ago) is the strongest candidate for WAIS collapse, but the records for stages 9, 7, and 5.5 are all consistent with the possibility of multiple late-Pleistocene collapses. Seismic reflection studies through the WAIS have revealed thick successions of strata with seismic characteristics comparable to upper Tertiary marine sediments. Small samples of glacial diamictons from beneath the ice sheet have been collected via hot-water drilled access holes. These sediments include mixed diatom assemblages of varying ages. Late-Miocene diatoms dominate many samples, probably reflecting marine deposition in West Antarctic basins prior to development of a dominantly glacial phase in West Antarctica. In addition to late-Miocene diatoms, samples from Upstream B (1988/89) contain rare post-Miocene diatoms, many of which imply deposition in the West Antarctic interior during one or more Pleistocene deglaciation periods. Age-diagnostic fossils in glacial sediments beneath ice sheets provide relatively coarse chronostratigraphic control, but they do contain direct evidence of regional deglaciation. Thus, sub-glacial till samples provide the evidence regarding the source of ice sheet variability seen in well-dated proxy records. Combined, these independent data sets can

  12. Early East Antarctic Ice Sheet growth recorded in the landscape of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Kathryn C.; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Jamieson, Stewart S. R.; Bell, Robin E.; Corr, Hugh; Creyts, Timothy T.; Braaten, David; Jordan, Tom A.; Fretwell, Peter T.; Damaske, Detlef

    2013-08-01

    The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are regarded as a key nucleation site for the Antarctic Ice Sheet and they retain a unique long-term record of pre-glacial and early glacial landscape evolution. Here, we use a range of morphometric analyses to constrain the nature of early glaciation and subsequent ice sheet evolution in the interior of East Antarctica, using a new digital elevation model of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains, derived from an extensive airborne radar survey. We find that an inherited fluvial landscape confirms the existence of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains prior to the onset of glaciation at the Eocene-Oligocene climate boundary (ca. 34 Ma). Features characteristic of glaciation, at a range of scales, are evident across the mountains. High elevation alpine valley heads, akin to cirques, identified throughout the mountains, are interpreted as evidence for early phases of glaciation in East Antarctica. The equilibrium line altitudes associated with these features, combined with information from fossil plant assemblages, suggest that they formed at, or prior to, 34 Ma. It cannot be ruled out that they may have been eroded by ephemeral ice between the Late Cretaceous and the Eocene (100-34 Ma). Hanging valleys, overdeepenings, truncated spurs and steep-sided, linear valley networks are indicative of a more widespread alpine glaciation in this region. These features represent ice growth at, or before, 33.7 Ma and provide a minimum estimate for the scale of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet between ca. 34 and 14 Ma, when dynamic fluctuations in ice extent are recorded at the coast of Antarctica. The implications are that the early East Antarctic Ice Sheet grew rapidly and developed a cold-based core that preserved the alpine landscape. The patterns of landscape evolution identified provide the earliest evidence for the development of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and can be used to test coupled ice-climate evolution models.

  13. Antarctic Tephrochronology: A Maturing Record of Visible Layers and Cryptotephra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2012-12-01

    Visible tephra layers, which represent important time-stratigraphic markers in ice-bound climate records, have been found in majority of the deep Antarctic ice cores. Ice core tephra layers range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (<10 micron) glass particles. Identification of tephra layers traditionally relied on visual identification or acidity spikes association with sulfate aerosols, but is now also aided by fluorescence and downhole optical logging techniques. Improved analytical techniques for glass characterization, and more complete information on source eruptions has allowed development of a regional record of Antarctic volcanic eruptions. Two deep West Antarctic ice cores (Siple Dome SDMA and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide core WDC06A) contain rich tephra records, with the former containing 37 tephra layers and the latter containing several hundred distinct, visible "dusty" layers, many of which are likely to be tephra. Based on analyses of all identified tephra layers in the Siple Dome A and B ice cores and of a subset of those in WDC06A, most layers appear to be derived from two large West Antarctic stratovolcanoes Mt. Berlin and Mt. Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). However, a well-defined ash layer recognized at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WDC06A core and several other ice cores, which contains 20 μm ash shards, was chemically characterized as being derived from the East Antarctic Pleiades volcanic center. Several tephra layers, including one that correlates between the SDMA and WDC06A cores, are thought to be related to South American volcanism. In terms of the West Antarctic regional tephra framework, a very distinct "visible brown layer", with glass shards up to 20 μm in diameter, found at a depth of 1586.363 m in WDC06A (8.279 ka B.P. preliminary age), chemically correlates to a major 40Ar/39Ar

  14. Antarctic ozone hole hits record depth

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-18

    A bad year for the ozone over Antarctica looked like a good bet this year. For the past 2 years, stratospheric ozone destruction has equaled the record set in 1987. Now things look even worse, with a record-setting ozone hole. In 1987, 1989, and 1990, the minimum amount of ozone over Antarctica early each October was 120 to 125 Dobson units compared to the typical level of 220 that prevailed before manmade Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) began eating into the ozone layer. The depletion allowed as much as twice the usual amount of biologically damaging ultraviolet light to reach the earth's surface. But researchers took some comfort in the fact that the hole seemed to have hit a barrier to further losses. Now that barrier may have been breached. On 6 October, the satellite-borne Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer detected an ozone minimum of 110 Dobson units. The region of the lower stratosphere where icy cloud particles and the chlorine of CFCs combine to destroy ozone - between 14 and 24 kilometers - looks much the same as it did in 1987.

  15. Macrofossil records of West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat during the Holocene

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkman, Paul Arthur

    1993-01-01

    Marine macrofossils in emerged beaches around Antarctica represent a geochemical framework for interpreting meltwater signatures associated with variations in the adjacent ice sheet margins during the last 10,000 years. In particular, mollusc species provide ideal experimental templates for assessing hydrochemical variations in Antarctic coastal marine environments because of their excellent preservation, high abundances, circumpolar distributions, and carbonate shells, which incorporate trace elements and stable isotopes. Modern samples of the bivalve Adamussium colbecki, which were collected across a depth gradient in the vicinity of a glacial meltwater stream in West McMurdo Sound, revealed shell trace element concentrations that were significantly higher above 10 meters because of their exposure to meltwater runoff. This meltwater signature also was reflected by the shell oxygen isotopic composition, which was in equilibrium with the ambient seawater, as demonstrated by the overlap between the predicted and actual O-(delta-18)sub w values. These modern samples provide analogs for interpreting the geochemical records in their fossils, which were based solely on molluscan fossils, complement the above geochemical data by suggesting that the rate of beach emergence fluctuated around Antarctica during the mid-Holocene. Paleoenvironmental analysis of macrofossils from emerged beaches represents a new direction in Antarctic research that can be used to assess changes in the margins of the ice sheets since the Last Glacial Maximum. The resolution of these analyses will be enhanced by collaborations that are developing with scientists who are conducting comparable studies in other coastal regions around the continent.

  16. Prograde Metamorphism recorded in Antarctic Granulite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, H.; Pauly, J.; Chatterjee, N.; Monteleone, B.; Meyer, H. P.

    2015-12-01

    High-grade metamorphic rocks provide an archive of tectonic processes and record conditions in the deep roots of orogenic belts. Granulites typically preserve chemical and mineralogical evidence of the peak temperature to which crustal rocks may be subjected, and they commonly preserve a multitude of textural and chemical features that allow a rather detailed reconstruction of their cooling and exhumation. More rarely, however, is it possible to reconstruct parts of the prograde path, which would allow a reconstruction of the loading and heating of the rocks. Access to the prograde P-T path and the rates and durations involved in granulite formation would provide important constraints on the convergence part of orogenic processes. Here we investigated a sample of felsic granulite from the H.U. Sverdrupfjella, which is part of the high-grade Maud Belt (East Antarctica). Peak-metamorphic conditions of approximately 925 °C and 1.45 GPa persisted for a maximum of circa 14 million years and were attained shortly after 570 Ma. In addition to the short-lived temperature peak, zircon preserved evidence for protracted granulite facies conditions with temperatures above 800 °C persisting for approximately 40 million years. Constraints on prograde metamorphism are recorded by garnet that preserved pre-peak metamorphic growth zones, by Ti zonation in zircon and by rutile inclusions in garnet. Zr-in-rutile thermometry using rutile included in different generations of garnet is used to reconstruct the prograde P-T path documenting burial followed by heating to ultra-high temperatures at peak pressures. Complementary, Ti zonation in prograde cores of zircon grains document and date heating, whereas younger zircon rims show again lower Ti-in-zircon temperatures and date the retrograde stages of metamorphism. The highest T is recorded in rutile, but not in zircon, consistent with the dissolution rather than growth of zircon at ultra-high temperatures. The clockwise loading

  17. Organic and mineral imprints in fossil photosynthetic mats of an East Antarctic lake.

    PubMed

    Lepot, K; Compère, P; Gérard, E; Namsaraev, Z; Verleyen, E; Tavernier, I; Hodgson, D A; Vyverman, W; Gilbert, B; Wilmotte, A; Javaux, E J

    2014-09-01

    Lacustrine microbial mats in Antarctic ice-free oases are considered modern analogues of early microbial ecosystems as their primary production is generally dominated by cyanobacteria, the heterotrophic food chain typically truncated due to extreme environmental conditions, and they are geographically isolated. To better understand early fossilization and mineralization processes in this context, we studied the microstructure and chemistry of organo-mineral associations in a suite of sediments 50-4530 cal. years old from a lake in Skarvsnes, Lützow Holm Bay, East Antarctica. First, we report an exceptional preservation of fossil autotrophs and their biomolecules on millennial timescales. The pigment scytonemin is preserved inside cyanobacterial sheaths. As non-pigmented sheaths are also preserved, scytonemin likely played little role in the preservation of sheath polysaccharides, which have been cross-linked by ether bonds. Coccoids preserved thylakoids and autofluorescence of pigments such as carotenoids. This exceptional preservation of autotrophs in the fossil mats argues for limited biodegradation during and after deposition. Moreover, cell-shaped aggregates preserved sulfur-rich nanoglobules, supporting fossilization of instable intracellular byproducts of chemotrophic or phototrophic S-oxidizers. Second, we report a diversity of micro- to nanostructured CaCO3 precipitates intimately associated with extracellular polymeric substances, cyanobacteria, and/or other prokaryotes. Micro-peloids Type 1 display features that distinguish them from known carbonates crystallized in inorganic conditions: (i) Type 1A are often filled with globular nanocarbonates and/or surrounded by a fibrous fringe, (ii) Type 1B are empty and display ovoid to wrinkled fringes of nanocrystallites that can be radially oriented (fibrous or triangular) or multilayered, and (iii) all show small-size variations. Type 2 rounded carbonates 1-2 μm in diameter occurring inside autofluorescent

  18. Antarctic climate signature in the Greenland ice core record

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Stephen; Knorr, Gregor

    2007-01-01

    A numerical algorithm is applied to the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) dust record from Greenland to remove the abrupt changes in dust flux associated with the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) oscillations of the last glacial period. The procedure is based on the assumption that the rapid changes in dust are associated with large-scale changes in atmospheric transport and implies that D–O oscillations (in terms of their atmospheric imprint) are more symmetric in form than can be inferred from Greenland temperature records. After removal of the abrupt shifts the residual, dejumped dust record is found to match Antarctic climate variability with a temporal lag of several hundred years. It is argued that such variability may reflect changes in the source region of Greenland dust (thought to be the deserts of eastern Asia). Other records from this region and more globally also reveal Antarctic-style variability and suggest that this signal is globally pervasive. This provides the potential basis for suggesting a more important role for gradual changes in triggering more abrupt transitions in the climate system. PMID:17954910

  19. Estimating times of extinction in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Wang, Steve C; Marshall, Charles R

    2016-04-01

    Because the fossil record is incomplete, the last fossil of a taxon is a biased estimate of its true time of extinction. Numerous methods have been developed in the palaeontology literature for estimating the true time of extinction using ages of fossil specimens. These methods, which typically give a confidence interval for estimating the true time of extinction, differ in the assumptions they make and the nature and amount of data they require. We review the literature on such methods and make some recommendations for future directions. PMID:27122005

  20. A Record of Antarctic Climate and Ice Sheet History Recovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naish, Tim; Powell, Ross; Levy, Richard; Florindo, Fabio; Harwood, David; Kuhn, Gerhard; Niessen, Frank; Talarico, Franco; Wilson, Gary

    2007-12-01

    Antarctica's late Cenozoic (the past ~15 million years) climate history is poorly known from direct evidence, owing to its remoteness, an extensive sea ice apron, and an ice sheet cover over the region for the past 34 million years. Consequently, knowledge about the role of Antarctica's ice sheets in global sea level and climate has relied heavily upon interpretations of oxygen isotope records from deep-sea cores. Whereas these isotopic records have revolutionized our understanding of climate-ice-ocean interactions, questions still remain about the specific role of Antarctic ice sheets in global climate. Such questions can be addressed from geological records at the marine margin of the ice sheets, recovered by drilling from floating ice platforms [e.g., Davey et al., 2001; Harwood et al., 2006; Barrett, 2007].

  1. A fossil record of galaxy encounters.

    PubMed

    Elbaz, David; Cesarsky, Catherine J

    2003-04-11

    The cosmic infrared background (CIRB) is a record of a large fraction of the emission of light by stars and galaxies over time. The bulk of this emission has been resolved by the Infrared Space Observatory camera. The dominant contributors are bright starburst galaxies with redshift z approximately 0.8; that is, in the same redshift range as the active galactic nuclei responsible for the bulk of the x-ray background. At the longest wavelengths, sources of redshift z >/= 2 tend to dominate the CIRB. It appears that the majority of present-day stars have been formed in dusty starbursts triggered by galaxy-galaxy interactions and the buildup of large-scale structures. PMID:12690183

  2. The 2014 high record of Antarctic sea ice extent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massonnet, Francois; Guemas, Virginie; Fuckar, Neven; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    In September 2014, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded the symbolic level of 20 million km²for the first time since 1978, when reliable satellite measurements became available. After the successive records of 2012 and 2013, sea ice extent in 2014 once again reinforced the positive trend observed since the late 1970s. We conduct here a dedicated study to elucidate the origins of a major, and perhaps the most intriguing, event that happened at our Poles recently. Observations, reanalyses and model results all point towards the important role of winds in modifying near-surface heat advection patterns around Antarctica. The role of pre-conditioning (summer conditions) is found to be of lesser importance. Finally, we find no evidence that anomalous freshwater forcing (from atmospheric or continental origin) could have explained the record extent of 2014.

  3. Absolute measures of the completeness of the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

    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.

  4. Evidence for Evolution from the Vertebrate Fossil Record.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gingerich, Philip D.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses three examples of evolutionary transition in the vertebrate fossil record, considering evolutionary transitions at the species level. Uses archaic squirrel-like Paleocine primates, the earliest primates of modern aspect, as examples. Also reviews new evidence on the origin of whales and their transition from land to sea. (JN)

  5. Giving the early fossil record of sponges a squeeze.

    PubMed

    Antcliffe, Jonathan B; Callow, Richard H T; Brasier, Martin D

    2014-11-01

    Twenty candidate fossils with claim to be the oldest representative of the Phylum Porifera have been re-analysed. Three criteria are used to assess each candidate: (i) the diagnostic criteria needed to categorize sponges in the fossil record; (ii) the presence, or absence, of such diagnostic features in the putative poriferan fossils; and (iii) the age constraints for the candidate fossils. All three criteria are critical to the correct interpretation of any fossil and its placement within an evolutionary context. Our analysis shows that no Precambrian fossil candidate yet satisfies all three of these criteria to be a reliable sponge fossil. The oldest widely accepted candidate, Mongolian silica hexacts from c. 545 million years ago (Ma), are here shown to be cruciform arsenopyrite crystals. The oldest reliable sponge remains are siliceous spicules from the basal Cambrian (Protohertzina anabarica Zone) Soltanieh Formation, Iran, which are described and analysed here in detail for the first time. Extensive archaeocyathan sponge reefs emerge and radiate as late as the middle of the Fortunian Stage of the Cambrian and demonstrate a gradual assembly of their skeletal structure through this time coincident with the evolution of other metazoan groups. Since the Porifera are basal in the Metazoa, their presence within the late Proterozoic has been widely anticipated. Molecular clock calibration for the earliest Porifera and Metazoa should now be based on the Iranian hexactinellid material dated to c. 535 Ma. The earliest convincing fossil sponge remains appeared at around the time of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, associated with the great radiation events of that interval. PMID:24779547

  6. A Maturing Tephra Record in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunbar, N. W.; Kurbatov, A.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    Tephra layers found in many Antarctic ice cores range from sub-centimeter thick, visible layers to cryptotephra consisting of sparse, fine-grained (<10 micron) glass particles. Location of tephra particles has improved with advances in methods of detecting cryptotephra in ice cores. Identification of tephra layers traditionally relied on visible detection or association with sulfate aerosols, but is now supplemented by downhole optical logging (Bay et al., 2001). Improved analytical techniques for glass characterization, such as high quality quantitative electron microprobe analysis, and more complete information on source eruptions has facilitated identification of tephra horizons in ice cores. Two deep ice cores drilled in West Antarctica (Siple Dome and WAIS Divide) contain rich tephra records, with the former containing 37 tephra layers and the latter containing several hundred distinct, visible layers, many of which are likely to be tephra. Most of the tephra layers with strong correlations to sources are derived from Antarctic volcanoes, many from two large West Antarctic stratovolcanoes Mt. Berlin and Mt. Takahe, tephra from which have also been recognized in the marine record (Hillenbrand et al., 1988). A well-defined ash layer is found at a depth of between 190.37-190.39 m depth in the WAIS Divide core, containing 20 um ash shards that are chemically correlated to the the Pleaides volcanoes, in northern Victoria Land. This tephra layer correlates to one found in a Siple Dome (B) ice core (97.2 to 97.7 m depth) and in the Taylor Dome ice core (79.2 m depth). Deeper parts of the WAIS Divide ice core correspond to a time interval of abundant regional volcanism, represented by the large number of visible dust bands and cloudy layers in the core (A. Orsi, pers. comm., 2010). A distinct "visible brown layer" at a depth of 1586.363 m. (8.279 Ky BP preliminary age) is very likely to be from a major eruption of the West Antarctic volcano Mt. Takahe (8.2±5

  7. Testing New Proxies for Photosymbiosis in the Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tornabene, C.; Martindale, R. C.; Schaller, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    Photosymbiosis is a mutualistic relationship that many corals have developed with dinoflagellates called zooxanthellae. The dinoflagellates, of the genus Symbiodinium, photosynthesize and provide corals with most of their energy, while in turn coral hosts live in waters where zooxanthellae have optimal exposure to sunlight. Thanks to this relationship, symbiotic corals calcify faster than non-symbiotic corals. Photosymbiosis is therefore considered the evolutionary innovation that allowed corals to become major reef-builders through geological time.This relationship is extremely difficult to study. Zooxanthellae, which are housed in the coral tissue, are not preserved in fossil coral skeletons, thus determining whether corals had symbionts requires a robust proxy. In order to address this critical question, the goal of this research is to test new proxies for ancient photosymbiosis. Currently the project is focused on assessing the nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes of corals' organic matrices, sensu Muscatine et al. (2005), as well as carbon and oxygen (δ13C, δ18O) isotopes of fossil coral skeletons. Samples from Modern, Pleistocene, Oligocene and Triassic coral skeletons were analyzed to test the validity of these proxies. Coral samples comprise both (interpreted) symbiotic and non-symbiotic fossil corals from the Oligocene and Triassic as well as symbiotic fossil corals from the Modern and Pleistocene to corroborate our findings with the results of Muscatine et al. (2005). Samples were tested for diagenesis through petrographic and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses to avoid contamination. Additionally, a novel technique that has not yet been applied to the fossil record was tested. The technique aims to recognize dinosterol, a dinoflagellate biomarker, in both modern and fossil coral samples. The premise of this proxy is that symbiotic corals should contain the dinoflagellate biomarker, whereas those lacking symbionts should lack dinosterol. Results from this

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  9. Diversity dynamics: molecular phylogenies need the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Quental, Tiago B; Marshall, Charles R

    2010-08-01

    Over the last two decades, new tools in the analysis of molecular phylogenies have enabled study of the diversification dynamics of living clades in the absence of information about extinct lineages. However, computer simulations and the fossil record show that the inability to access extinct lineages severely limits the inferences that can be drawn from molecular phylogenies. It appears that molecular phylogenies can tell us only when there have been changes in diversification rates, but are blind to the true diversity trajectories and rates of origination and extinction that have led to the species that are alive today. We need to embrace the fossil record if we want to fully understand the diversity dynamics of the living biota. PMID:20646780

  10. First record of Podocarpoid fossil wood in South China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Long; Jin, Jian-Hua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A.

    2016-01-01

    A new species of fossil conifer wood, Podocarpoxylon donghuaiense sp. nov., is described from the late Eocene of Nadu Formation in Baise Basin of the Guangxi Province, South China. This fossil wood is characterized by distinct growth rings, circular to oval tracheids in cross section, 1–2-seriate opposite pits on radial tracheid walls, uniseriate (rarely biseriate) rays, smooth end walls of ray parenchyma cells, and the absence of resin ducts, suggesting its affinity to Podocarpaceae. The new species is distinctive from other Cenozoic woods ascribed to this family by the combination of distinctive growth rings, the absence of axial parenchyma, the occurrence of bordered pits on tangential tracheid walls, and the occurrence of 3–4 cuppressoid or taxodioid pits on cross-fields. This represents the first record of podocarpoid fossil wood in South China and provides fossil evidence for the early dispersal and diversification of Podocarpaceae in eastern Asia as well as for mild temperate seasonal climate in this region during the late Eocene. PMID:27571780

  11. Exopaleontology and the search for a fossil record on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Desmarais, D. J.

    1994-01-01

    Although present Martian surface conditions appear unfavorable for life as we know it, there is compelling geological evidence that the climate of early Mars was much more Earth-like, with a denser atmosphere and abundant surface water. The fact that life developed on the Earth within the first billion years of its history makes it quite plausible that life may have also developed on Mars. If life did develop on Mars, it is likely to have left behind a fossil record. This has led to the development of a new subdiscipline of paleontology, herein termed 'exopaleontology', which deals with the exploration for fossils on other planets. The most important factor enhancing microbial fossilization is the rapid entombment of microorganisms by fine-grained, stable mineral phases, such as silica, phosphate, or carbonate. The oldest body fossils on Earth are preserved in this way, occurring as permineralized cells in fine-grained siliceous sediments (cherts) associated with ancient volcanic terranes in Australia and South Africa. Modern terrestrial environments where minerals may precipitate in the presence of microorganisms include subaerial thermal springs and shallow hydrothermal systems, sub-lacustrine springs and evaporitic alkaline lakes, zones of mineralization within soils where 'hardpans' (e.g. calcretes, silcretes) form, and high latitude frozen soils or ground ice.

  12. First record of Podocarpoid fossil wood in South China.

    PubMed

    Li, Long; Jin, Jian-Hua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A

    2016-01-01

    A new species of fossil conifer wood, Podocarpoxylon donghuaiense sp. nov., is described from the late Eocene of Nadu Formation in Baise Basin of the Guangxi Province, South China. This fossil wood is characterized by distinct growth rings, circular to oval tracheids in cross section, 1-2-seriate opposite pits on radial tracheid walls, uniseriate (rarely biseriate) rays, smooth end walls of ray parenchyma cells, and the absence of resin ducts, suggesting its affinity to Podocarpaceae. The new species is distinctive from other Cenozoic woods ascribed to this family by the combination of distinctive growth rings, the absence of axial parenchyma, the occurrence of bordered pits on tangential tracheid walls, and the occurrence of 3-4 cuppressoid or taxodioid pits on cross-fields. This represents the first record of podocarpoid fossil wood in South China and provides fossil evidence for the early dispersal and diversification of Podocarpaceae in eastern Asia as well as for mild temperate seasonal climate in this region during the late Eocene. PMID:27571780

  13. An overview of the dinosaur fossil record from Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

    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.

  14. The fossil record and macroevolutionary history of the beetles

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Dena M.; Marcot, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Coleoptera (beetles) is the most species-rich metazoan order, with approximately 380 000 species. To understand how they came to be such a diverse group, we compile a database of global fossil beetle occurrences to study their macroevolutionary history. Our database includes 5553 beetle occurrences from 221 fossil localities. Amber and lacustrine deposits preserve most of the beetle diversity and abundance. All four extant suborders are found in the fossil record, with 69% of all beetle families and 63% of extant beetle families preserved. Considerable focus has been placed on beetle diversification overall, however, for much of their evolutionary history it is the clade Polyphaga that is most responsible for their taxonomic richness. Polyphaga had an increase in diversification rate in the Early Cretaceous, but instead of being due to the radiation of the angiosperms, this was probably due to the first occurrences of beetle-bearing amber deposits in the record. Perhaps, most significant is that polyphagan beetles had a family-level extinction rate of zero for most of their evolutionary history, including across the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary. Therefore, focusing on the factors that have inhibited beetle extinction, as opposed to solely studying mechanisms that may promote speciation, should be examined as important determinants of their great diversity today. PMID:25788597

  15. The fossil record and macroevolutionary history of the beetles.

    PubMed

    Smith, Dena M; Marcot, Jonathan D

    2015-04-22

    Coleoptera (beetles) is the most species-rich metazoan order, with approximately 380 000 species. To understand how they came to be such a diverse group, we compile a database of global fossil beetle occurrences to study their macroevolutionary history. Our database includes 5553 beetle occurrences from 221 fossil localities. Amber and lacustrine deposits preserve most of the beetle diversity and abundance. All four extant suborders are found in the fossil record, with 69% of all beetle families and 63% of extant beetle families preserved. Considerable focus has been placed on beetle diversification overall, however, for much of their evolutionary history it is the clade Polyphaga that is most responsible for their taxonomic richness. Polyphaga had an increase in diversification rate in the Early Cretaceous, but instead of being due to the radiation of the angiosperms, this was probably due to the first occurrences of beetle-bearing amber deposits in the record. Perhaps, most significant is that polyphagan beetles had a family-level extinction rate of zero for most of their evolutionary history, including across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. Therefore, focusing on the factors that have inhibited beetle extinction, as opposed to solely studying mechanisms that may promote speciation, should be examined as important determinants of their great diversity today. PMID:25788597

  16. The hominin fossil record: taxa, grades and clades

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Bernard; Lonergan, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    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

  17. Maturation experiments reveal bias in the fossil record of feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNamara, Maria; Field, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    The evolutionary history of birds and feathers is a major focus in palaeobiology and evolutionary biology. Diverse exceptionally preserved birds and feathered dinosaurs from Jurassic and Cretaceous biotas in China have provided pivotal evidence of early feathers and feather-like integumentary features, but the true nature of many of these fossil soft tissues is still debated. Interpretations of feathers at intermediate developmental stages (i.e. Stages II, III and IV) and of simple quill-like (Stage I) feathers are particularly controversial. This reflects key uncertainties relating to the preservation potential of feathers at different evolutionary-developmental stages, and to the relative preservation potential of diagnostic features of Stage I feathers and hair. To resolve these issues, we used high pressure-high temperature autoclave experiments to simulate the effects of burial on modern feathers from the Black Coucal (Centropus grilii) and Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), and on human hair. Our results reveal profound differences in the recalcitrance of feathers of different types during maturation: Stage I and Stage V feathers retain diagnostic morphological and ultrastructural details following maturation, whereas other feather types do not. Further, the morphology and arrangement of certain ultrastructural features diagnostic of Stages III and IV, e.g. barbules, are preferentially lost during maturation. These results indicate a pervasive bias in the fossil record of feathers, whereby preservation of feathers at Stages I and V is favored. Critical stages in the evolution of feathers, i.e. Stages II, III and IV, are less likely to be preserved and more likely to be misinterpreted as feathers at earlier developmental stages. Our discovery has major implications for our understanding of the fidelity of the fossil record of feathers and provides a framework for testing the significance of putative examples of fossil feathers at different developmental

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Budd, Graham E

    2013-09-01

    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

  20. At the Origin of Animals: The Revolutionary Cambrian Fossil Record

    PubMed Central

    Budd, Graham E

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Aragonite and the fossil record: are we overlooking something?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balthasar, Uwe

    2016-04-01

    Aragonite and calcite are the two most common minerals from which marine organisms secrete their skeletons, yet their potential to preserve in the fossil record is very different. While calcite is generally very stable, aragonite dissolves relatively easily either during diagenesis or even pre-burial. While the complete loss of aragonitic shells is generally acknowledged, the original contribution of aragonite to commonly preserved calcareous fossils is generally overlooked, particularly in groups with no recent representatives. Palaeozoic brachiopods and stromatoporoid sponges, for example, are traditionally considered to have been made of calcite. However, EBSD work on stromatoporoids shows a complex early diagenesis during which the skeletal walls recrystallised first and served as the nucleation surface for the cements infilling the open galleries between the walls. This suggests that the original mineral composition of the skeletal walls had a high diagenetic potential which makes a stable low-magnesium calcite composition unlikely. Equally, the biggest subphylum of brachiopods, Rhynchonelliformea, is traditionally considered to have shells that are exclusively made of low-magnesium calcite. However, a survey of the shell thickness of 176 Ordovician-Silurian brachiopod valves reveals that the calcitic remains of some of the larger shells (particularly of pentamerids) are far too thin with several specimens exhibiting the irregular internal margins typical of dissolution, thus suggesting a bimineralic composition with an outer calcite and an inner aragonite layer. These examples indicate that existing estimates of Phanerozoic aragonite and calcite skeletal mineralogy are not only biased by the complete dissolution of shells, but we probably overestimate the abundance of original calcite composition in the fossil record.

  2. Delayed biological recovery from extinctions throughout the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kirchner, J W; Weil, A

    2000-03-01

    How quickly does biodiversity rebound after extinctions? Palaeobiologists have examined the temporal, taxonomic and geographic patterns of recovery following individual mass extinctions in detail, but have not analysed recoveries from extinctions throughout the fossil record as a whole. Here, we measure how fast biodiversity rebounds after extinctions in general, rather than after individual mass extinctions, by calculating the cross-correlation between extinction and origination rates across the entire Phanerozoic marine fossil record. Our results show that extinction rates are not significantly correlated with contemporaneous origination rates, but instead are correlated with origination rates roughly 10 million years later. This lagged correlation persists when we remove the 'Big Five' major mass extinctions, indicating that recovery times following mass extinctions and background extinctions are similar. Our results suggest that there are intrinsic limits to how quickly global biodiversity can recover after extinction events, regardless of their magnitude. They also imply that today's anthropogenic extinctions will diminish biodiversity for millions of years to come. PMID:10724168

  3. Patterns of generic extinction in the fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

    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.

  4. The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    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

  5. Extinction, diversity and survivorship of taxa in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Newman, M. E. J.; Sibani, P.

    1999-01-01

    Using data drawn from large-scale databases, a number of interesting trends in the fossil record have been observed in recent years. These include the average decline in extinction rates throughout the Phanerozoic, the average increase in standing diversity, correlations between rates of origination and extinction, and simple laws governing the form of survivorship curves and the distribution of the lifetimes of taxa. In this paper we derive a number of mathematical relationships between these quantities and show how these different trends are interrelated. We also derive a variety of constraints on the possible forms of these trends, such as limits on the rate at which extinction may decline and limits on the allowed difference between extinction and origination rates at any given time.

  6. Cyclicity in the fossil record mirrors rock outcrop area

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Andrew B; McGowan, Alistair J

    2005-01-01

    In a recent article, Rohde & Muller (Rohde & Muller 2005 Nature 434, 208–210) identified a strong 62 Myr cyclicity in the history of marine diversity through the Phanerozoic. The data they presented were highly convincing, yet they were unable to explain what process might have generated this pattern. A significant correlation between observed genus-level diversity (after removal of long-term trends) and the amount of marine sedimentary rock measured at a surface outcrop in Western Europe is demonstrated. This suggests that cyclicity originates from long-term changes in sedimentary depositional and erosional regimes, and raises the strong possibility that the cyclicity apparent in the record of marine fossils is not a biological signal but a sampling signal. PMID:17148228

  7. Evolutionary speed limits inferred from the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kirchner, James W

    2002-01-01

    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

  8. The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  9. Antarctic Crabs: Invasion or Endurance?

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Huw J.; Whittle, Rowan J.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Belchier, Mark; Linse, Katrin

    2013-01-01

    Recent scientific interest following the “discovery” of lithodid crabs around Antarctica has centred on a hypothesis that these crabs might be poised to invade the Antarctic shelf if the recent warming trend continues, potentially decimating its native fauna. This “invasion hypothesis” suggests that decapod crabs were driven out of Antarctica 40–15 million years ago and are only now returning as “warm” enough habitats become available. The hypothesis is based on a geographically and spatially poor fossil record of a different group of crabs (Brachyura), and examination of relatively few Recent lithodid samples from the Antarctic slope. In this paper, we examine the existing lithodid fossil record and present the distribution and biogeographic patterns derived from over 16,000 records of Recent Southern Hemisphere crabs and lobsters. Globally, the lithodid fossil record consists of only two known specimens, neither of which comes from the Antarctic. Recent records show that 22 species of crabs and lobsters have been reported from the Southern Ocean, with 12 species found south of 60°S. All are restricted to waters warmer than 0°C, with their Antarctic distribution limited to the areas of seafloor dominated by Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). Currently, CDW extends further and shallower onto the West Antarctic shelf than the known distribution ranges of most lithodid species examined. Geological evidence suggests that West Antarctic shelf could have been available for colonisation during the last 9,000 years. Distribution patterns, species richness, and levels of endemism all suggest that, rather than becoming extinct and recently re-invading from outside Antarctica, the lithodid crabs have likely persisted, and even radiated, on or near to Antarctic slope. We conclude there is no evidence for a modern-day “crab invasion”. We recommend a repeated targeted lithodid sampling program along the West Antarctic shelf to fully test the validity of the

  10. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the Little Ice Age: The Antarctic ice-core record

    SciTech Connect

    Mosley-Thompson, E.; Thompson, L.G.

    1992-03-01

    Recently, ice core records from both hemispheres, in conjunction with other proxy records (e.g., tree rings, speleothems and corals), have shown that the Little Ice Age (LIA) was spatially extensive, extending to the Antarctic. This paper examines the temporal and spatial characteristics of the dust and delta 18O information from Antarctic ice cores. Substantial differences exist in the records. For example, a 550-year record of delta 18O and dust concentrations from Siple Station, Antarctica suggests that, less dusty conditions prevailed from A.D. 1600 to 1830. Alternately, dust and delta 18O data from South Pole Station indicate that opposite conditions (e.g., cooler and more dusty) were prevalent during the LIA. Three additional Antarctic delta 18O records are integrated with the Siple and South Pole histories for a more comprehensive picture of LIA conditions. The records provide additional support for the LIA temperature opposition between the Antarctic Peninsula region and East Antarctica. In addition, periods of strongest LIA cooling are not temporally synchronous over East Antarctica. These strong regional differences demonstrate that a suite of spatially distributed, high resolution ice core records will be necessary to characterize the LIA in Antarctica.

  11. First record of Babesia sp. in Antarctic penguins.

    PubMed

    Montero, Estrella; González, Luis Miguel; Chaparro, Alberto; Benzal, Jesús; Bertellotti, Marcelo; Masero, José A; Colominas-Ciuró, Roger; Vidal, Virginia; Barbosa, Andrés

    2016-04-01

    This is the first reported case of Babesia sp. in Antarctic penguins, specifically a population of Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) in the Vapour Col penguin rookery in Deception Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica. We collected peripheral blood from 50 adult and 30 chick Chinstrap penguins. Examination of the samples by microscopy showed intraerythrocytic forms morphologically similar to other avian Babesia species in 12 Chinstrap penguin adults and seven chicks. The estimated parasitaemias ranged from 0.25×10(-2)% to 0.75×10(-2)%. Despite the low number of parasites found in blood smears, semi-nested PCR assays yielded a 274 bp fragment in 12 of the 19 positive blood samples found by microscopy. Sequencing revealed that the fragment was 97% similar to Babesia sp. 18S rRNA from Australian Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) confirming presence of the parasite. Parasite prevalence estimated by microscopy in adults and chicks was higher (24% vs. 23.3%, respectively) than found by semi-nested PCR (16% vs. 13.3% respectively). Although sampled penguins were apparently healthy, the effect of Babesia infection in these penguins is unknown. The identification of Babesia sp. in Antarctic penguins is an important finding. Ixodes uriae, as the only tick species present in the Antarctic Peninsula, is the key to understanding the natural history of this parasite. Future work should address the transmission dynamics and pathogenicity of Babesia sp. in Chinstrap penguin as well as in other penguin species, such as Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) and Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), present within the tick distribution range in the Antarctic Peninsula. PMID:26874670

  12. Dynamics of origination and extinction in the marine fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2008-01-01

    The discipline-wide effort to database the fossil record at the occurrence level has made it possible to estimate marine invertebrate extinction and origination rates with much greater accuracy. The new data show that two biotic mechanisms have hastened recoveries from mass extinctions and confined diversity to a relatively narrow range over the past 500 million years (Myr). First, a drop in diversity of any size correlates with low extinction rates immediately afterward, so much so that extinction would almost come to a halt if diversity dropped by 90%. Second, very high extinction rates are followed by equally high origination rates. The two relationships predict that the rebound from the current mass extinction will take at least 10 Myr, and perhaps 40 Myr if it rivals the Permo-Triassic catastrophe. Regardless, any large event will result in a dramatic ecological and taxonomic restructuring of the biosphere. The data also confirm that extinction and origination rates both declined through the Phanerozoic and that several extinctions in addition to the Permo-Triassic event were particularly severe. However, the trend may be driven by taxonomic biases and the rates vary in accord with a simple log normal distribution, so there is no sharp distinction between background and mass extinctions. Furthermore, the lack of any significant autocorrelation in the data is inconsistent with macroevolutionary theories of periodicity or self-organized criticality. PMID:18695240

  13. NGST: Exploring the Fossil Record of Galaxy Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rich, R. Michael

    1998-01-01

    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".

  14. Contributions of Sediment Provenance and Sediment Diagenesis to Western Antarctic Peninsula Magnetic Proxy Records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachfeld, S.; Manley, P.; Gorring, M.; Ryan, P.

    2007-05-01

    We examine the role of sediment provenance, iron-sulfur diagenesis, and iron-silica diagenesis in shaping environmental magnetic proxy records in Antarctic biosiliceous sediments. A 20-m sediment core from the Gerlache Drift, western Antarctic Peninsula, contains an ultra-high resolution record of environmental change spanning the last 4000 years. Magnetic susceptibility and several remanence parameters appear to record regularly repeating patterns in biogenic and terrigenous sedimentation, with a major shift at the Middle Holocene to Late Holocene transition. This shift is manifested as an abrupt downcore decrease in magnetic susceptibility, concomitant with an increase in biogenic silica. However, this record does not show the typical pattern associated with iron-sulfur diagenesis, i.e., selective dissolution of fine particles and coarsening of the residual assemblage. We observe multidomain magnetite above the transition, and PSD-magnetite plus hematite below the transition, which suggests a change in sediment provenance. However, we observe a change in clay mineralogy downcore that is consistent with predictions for iron-silica diagenesis. In order to investigate the role of changing sediment sources vs. post-depositional diagenesis, we have examined bulk sediment geochemistry, total organic carbon and total sulfur content to identify possible diagenetic fronts, and bulk mineralogic assemblages and lithic clast composition to examine sediment sources. In addition, we have examined the lithologic and geochemical characteristics of surface sediment samples and diamict samples from a North- South suite of western AP fjords and inner shelf basins, which we use to fingerprint potential sediment source regions. These tools may be able to distinguish between sediment supplied from local Antarctic Peninsula geologic terranes, Bransfield Basin volcanics entrained in the nearshore countercurrent, or West Antarctic sediment supplied by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowan, Alistair

    2014-05-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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 Fossillagerstätte 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 Fossillagerstätte 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

  17. Sea level pressure variability in the Amundsen Sea region inferred from a West Antarctic glaciochemical record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreutz, K. J.; Mayewski, P. A.; Pittalwala, I. I.; Meeker, L. D.; Twickler, M. S.; Whitlow, S. I.

    2000-02-01

    Using European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) numerical operational analyses, sea ice extent records, and station pressure data, we investigate the influence of sea level pressure variability in the Amundsen Sea region on a West Antarctic (Siple Dome) glaciochemical record. Empirical orthogonal function analysis of the high-resolution Siple Dome multivariate ice core chemical time series record (SDEOF1) documents lower tropospheric transport of sea-salt aerosols to the site. During 1985-1994 the SDEOF1 record of high (low) aerosol transport corresponds to anomalously low (high) sea level pressure (SLP) in the Amundsen Sea region. Spatial correlation patterns between ECMWF monthly SLP fields and the annual SDEOF1 record suggest that a majority of sea-salt aerosol is transported to Siple Dome during spring (September, October, and November). Analysis of zonal and meridional wind fields supports the SLP/SDEOF1 correlation and suggests the SDEOF1 record is sensitive to changes in regional circulation strength. No relationship is found between sea ice extent and the SDEOF1 record for the period 1973-1994. To investigate the SDEOF1 record prior to ECMWF coverage, a spring transpolar index (STPI) is created, using normalized SLP records from the New Zealand and South America/Antarctic Peninsula sectors, and is significantly correlated (at least 95% c.l.) with the SDEOF1 record on an annual (r = 0.32, p < 0.001) and interannual (3 years; r = 0.51, p < 0.001) basis. Dominant periodicities (3.3 and 7.1 years) in the annual SDEOF1 record (1890-1994 A.D.) suggest that a portion of the recorded interannual variability may be related tropical/extratropical ENSO teleconnections. Changes in the periodic structure of the full (850-1994 A.D.) Siple Dome record suggests a shift in SLP forcing during the Little Ice Age (˜1400-1900 A.D.) interval.

  18. Evidence for an early Holocene climate optimum in the Antarctic deep ice-core record

    SciTech Connect

    Ciais, P.; Lipenkov, V.; Nicolaiev, V.

    1992-01-01

    In the interpretation of the Antarctic deep ice-core data, little attention has been given to the Holocene part of the records. As far as translation of the stable isotope content in terms of temperature is concerned, this can be understood because expected temperature changes may be obscured by isotopic noise of various origins and because no {sup 14}C dating has yet been available for this type of sequence. In this article, we focus on the Dome C and Vostok cores and on a new 850-m long ice core drilled out at Komsomolskaia by the Soviet Antarctic Expeditions. These three sites are located in East Antarctica, on the Antarctic plateau, in a region essentially undisturbed by ice-flow conditions, so that their detailed intercomparison may allow us to identify the climatically significant isotopic signal. Our results compare well with the proximal records of Southern Hemisphere high latitudes and support the existence of a warmer {open_quotes}climatic optimum{close_quotes} between 10 and 6 ka y BP. Maximum temperatures are reached just at the end of the last deglaciation, which confirms previous observations at high latitudes, in contrast with later dates for the Atlantic and hypsithermal optima in Europe and North America. 60 refs., 6 figs.

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

    PubMed Central

    Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Gaps in the Rock and Fossil Records and Implications for the Rate and Mode of Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Grant Sackett

    1988-01-01

    Examines three types of gaps in the fossil record: real gaps, imaginary gaps, and temporary gaps. Reviews some recent evidence concerning evolution from the paleontological record of microfossils, invertebrates, and vertebrates in order to make some general conclusions regarding the manner in which life evolved on earth. (CW)

  1. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations. PMID:26154335

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Assessing the fidelity of the fossil record by using marine bivalves

    PubMed Central

    Valentine, James W.; Jablonski, David; Kidwell, Susan; Roy, Kaustuv

    2006-01-01

    Taxa that fail to become incorporated into the fossil record can reveal much about the biases of this record and provide the information needed to correct such biases in empirical analyses of the history of life. Yet little is known about the characteristics of taxa missing from the fossil record. For the marine Bivalvia, which have become a model system for macroevolutionary and macroecological analysis in the fossil record, 308 of the 1,292 living genera and subgenera (herein termed “taxa”) are not recorded as fossils. These missing taxa are not a random sample of the clade, but instead tend to have small body size, reactive shell structures, commensal or parasitic habit, deep-sea distribution, narrow geographic range, restriction to regions exposing few Neogene marine sediments, or recent date of formal taxonomic description in the neontological literature. Most missing taxa show two or more of these features and tend to be concentrated in particular families. When we exclude the smallest taxa (<1 cm) and deep-sea endemics, date of published description and geographic range become the strongest predictors of the missing taxa; other factors are statistically insignificant or have relatively small effects. These biases might influence a variety of analyses including the use of fossil data in support of phylogenetic analyses, molecular clock calibrations, and analyses of spatial and temporal dynamics of clades and biotas. Clade inventories such as these can be used to develop protocols that minimize the biases imposed by sampling and preservation. PMID:16617108

  4. The fossil record of ecdysis, and trends in the moulting behaviour of trilobites.

    PubMed

    Daley, Allison C; Drage, Harriet B

    2016-03-01

    Ecdysis, the process of moulting an exoskeleton, is one of the key characters uniting arthropods, nematodes and a number of smaller phyla into Ecdysozoa. The arthropod fossil record, particularly trilobites, eurypterids and decapod crustaceans, yields information on moulting, although the current focus is predominantly descriptive and lacks a broader evolutionary perspective. We here review literature on the fossil record of ecdysis, synthesising research on the behaviour, evolutionary trends, and phylogenetic significance of moulting throughout the Phanerozoic. Approaches vary widely between taxonomic groups, but an overall theme uniting these works suggests that identifying moults in the palaeontological record must take into account the morphology, taphonomy and depositional environment of fossils. We also quantitatively analyse trends in trilobite ecdysis based on a newly generated database of published incidences of moulting behaviour. This preliminary work reveals significant taxonomic and temporal signal in the trilobite moulting fossil record, with free cheek moulting being prevalent across all Orders and throughout the Phanerozoic, and peaks of cephalic moulting in Phacopida during the Ordovician and rostral plate moulting in Redlichiida during the Cambrian. This study and a review of the literature suggest that it is feasible to extract large-scale evolutionary information from the fossil record of moulting. PMID:26431634

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

    PubMed

    Clarke, Julia A; Boyd, Clint A

    2015-01-01

    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

  6. Antarctic snow record of cadmium, copper, and zinc content during the twentieth century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Eric W.; Suttie, Edward D.; Peel, David A.

    A snowpit in Coats Land, Antarctica, has been sampled in order to obtain a record of Cd, Cu and Zn covering the period 1923-1986. The snowpit record gives an indication of southern hemisphere (SH) pollution reaching Antarctica. For Zn, concentrations (averaging 1.5 ng kg -1) can be explained as arising from natural crustal dust (based on Zn/Al ratios). No increase is observed over the period of the record here, despite a large increase in emissions from smelting operations. The main emitters are near the equator, and this may explain the lack of response in the Antarctic record. For Cd, concentrations (averaging 0.1 ng kg -1) cannot easily be explained in terms of natural emissions, unless the volcanic input is dominant. No significant increase is seen in the snow for this metal also. For Cu, the natural input can explain only a small part of the concentration (averaging 3.5 ng kg -1) measured, and increased concentrations (factor 2) are seen in the 1970s and 1980s compared to earlier decades. This is consistent with increased emissions from Cu smelting activities, particularly in Chile, where emissions are relatively far south compared to the main part of SH landmasses. Cu thus joins Pb as a metal whose natural cycle has been significantly perturbed even in the Antarctic atmosphere.

  7. 30-Year Satellite Record Reveals Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Decadal Sea Ice Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Parkinson, C. L.; Vinnikov, K. Y.

    2003-01-01

    A 30-year satellite record of sea ice extents derived mostly from satellite microwave radiometer observations reveals that the Arctic sea ice extent decreased by 0.30+0.03 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10 yr from 1972 through 2002, but by 0.36 plus or minus 0.05 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10yr from 1979 through 2002, indicating an acceleration of 20% in the rate of decrease. In contrast, the Antarctic sea ice extent decreased dramatically over the period 1973-1977, then gradually increased. Over the full 30-year period, the Antarctic ice extent decreased by 0.15 plus or minus 0.08 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10 yr. The trend reversal is attributed to a large positive anomaly in Antarctic sea ice extent in the early 1970's, an anomaly that apparently began in the late 1960's, as observed in early visible and infrared satellite images.

  8. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial-interglacial periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spolaor, A.; Vallelonga, P.; Plane, J. M. C.; Kehrwald, N.; Gabrieli, J.; Varin, C.; Turetta, C.; Cozzi, G.; Boutron, C.; Barbante, C.

    2013-02-01

    Sea ice is an integral part of the Earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea surface salinity, and the atmosphere-ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organo-iodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO) and iodine oxide (IO) decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S, 2315 m a.s.l.) spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br-) is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na). Based on the Br-/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I-) and iodate (IO3-), peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3- is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial-interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  9. Halogen species record Antarctic sea ice extent over glacial-interglacial periods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spolaor, A.; Vallelonga, P.; Plane, J. M. C.; Kehrwald, N.; Gabrieli, J.; Varin, C.; Turetta, C.; Cozzi, G.; Kumar, R.; Boutron, C.; Barbante, C.

    2013-07-01

    Sea ice is an integral part of the earth's climate system because it affects planetary albedo, sea-surface salinity, and the atmosphere-ocean exchange of reactive gases and aerosols. Bromine and iodine chemistry is active at polar sea ice margins with the occurrence of bromine explosions and the biological production of organoiodine from sea ice algae. Satellite measurements demonstrate that concentrations of bromine oxide (BrO) and iodine oxide (IO) decrease over sea ice toward the Antarctic interior. Here we present speciation measurements of bromine and iodine in the TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) ice core (159°11' E, 72°49' S; 2315 m a.s.l.) spanning the last 215 ky. The Talos Dome ice core is located 250 km inland and is sensitive to marine air masses intruding onto the Antarctic Plateau. Talos Dome bromide (Br-) is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with sodium (Na). Based on the Br-/Na seawater ratio, bromide is depleted in the ice during glacial periods and enriched during interglacial periods. Total iodine, consisting of iodide (I-) and iodate (IO3-), peaks during glacials with lower values during interglacial periods. Although IO3- is considered the most stable iodine species in the atmosphere it was only observed in the TALDICE record during glacial maxima. Sea ice dynamics are arguably the primary driver of halogen fluxes over glacial-interglacial timescales, by altering the distance between the sea ice edge and the Antarctic plateau and by altering the surface area of sea ice available to algal colonization. Based on our results we propose the use of both halogens for examining Antarctic variability of past sea ice extent.

  10. The fossil record of evolution: Analysis of extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

    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.

  12. Experimental analysis of decay biases in the fossil record of lobopodians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdock, Duncan; Gabbott, Sarah; Purnell, Mark

    2016-04-01

    If fossils are to realize their full potential in reconstructing the tree of life we must understand how our view of ancient organisms is obscured by taphonomic filters of decay and preservation. In most cases, processes of decay will leave behind either nothing or only the most decay resistant body parts, and even in those rare instances where soft tissues are fossilized we cannot assume that the resulting fossil, however exquisite, represents a faithful anatomical representation of the animal as it was in life.Recent experiments have shown that the biases introduced by decay can be far from random; in chordates, for example, the most phylogenetically informative characters are also the most decay-prone, resulting in 'stemward slippage'. But how widespread is this phenomenon, and are there other non-random biases linked to decay? Intuitively, we make assumptions about the likelihood of different kinds of characters to survive and be preserved, with knock-on effects for anatomical and phylogenetic interpretations. To what extent are these assumptions valid? We combine our understanding of the fossil record of lobopodians with insights from decay experiments of modern onychophorans (velvet worms) to test these assumptions. Our analysis demonstrates that taphonomically informed tests of character interpretations have the potential to improve phylogenetic resolution. This approach is widely applicable to the fossil record - allowing us to ground-truth some of the assumptions involved in describing exceptionally preserved fossil material.

  13. Phanerozoic marine biodiversity dynamics in light of the incompleteness of the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Peter J.; Yogo, Motohiro; Marshall, Charles R.

    2006-01-01

    Long-term evolutionary dynamics have been approached through quantitative analysis of the fossil record, but without explicitly taking its incompleteness into account. Here we explore the temporal covariance structure of per-genus origination and extinction rates for global marine fossil genera throughout the Phanerozoic, both before and after corrections for the incompleteness of the fossil record. Using uncorrected data based on Sepkoski’s compendium, we find significant autocovariance within origination and extinction rates, as well as covariance between extinction and origination, not one, but two, intervals later, corroborating evidence for the unexplained temporal gap found by past studies. However, these effects vanish when the data are corrected for the incompleteness of the fossil record. Instead, we observe significant covariance only between extinction and origination in the immediately following intervals. The gap in the response of the biosphere to extinction in the uncorrected fossil record thus appears to be an artifact of the incompleteness of the fossil record, specifically due to episodic variation in the probability that taxa will be preserved, on time scales comparable to the temporal resolution of Sepkoski’s data. Our results also indicate that at that temporal resolution (the stage/substage of duration ≈5 million years), changes in origination and extinction do not persist for longer than one interval, except that elevated origination rates immediately after extinction may last for more than a single interval. Thus, although certain individual cases may deviate from the overall pattern, we find that in general the biosphere’s response to perturbation is immediate geologically and usually short-lived. PMID:16477008

  14. Phanerozoic marine biodiversity dynamics in light of the incompleteness of the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Lu, Peter J; Yogo, Motohiro; Marshall, Charles R

    2006-02-21

    Long-term evolutionary dynamics have been approached through quantitative analysis of the fossil record, but without explicitly taking its incompleteness into account. Here we explore the temporal covariance structure of per-genus origination and extinction rates for global marine fossil genera throughout the Phanerozoic, both before and after corrections for the incompleteness of the fossil record. Using uncorrected data based on Sepkoski's compendium, we find significant autocovariance within origination and extinction rates, as well as covariance between extinction and origination, not one, but two, intervals later, corroborating evidence for the unexplained temporal gap found by past studies. However, these effects vanish when the data are corrected for the incompleteness of the fossil record. Instead, we observe significant covariance only between extinction and origination in the immediately following intervals. The gap in the response of the biosphere to extinction in the uncorrected fossil record thus appears to be an artifact of the incompleteness of the fossil record, specifically due to episodic variation in the probability that taxa will be preserved, on time scales comparable to the temporal resolution of Sepkoski's data. Our results also indicate that at that temporal resolution (the stage/substage of duration approximately = 5 million years), changes in origination and extinction do not persist for longer than one interval, except that elevated origination rates immediately after extinction may last for more than a single interval. Thus, although certain individual cases may deviate from the overall pattern, we find that in general the biosphere's response to perturbation is immediate geologically and usually short-lived. PMID:16477008

  15. Impact Theory of Mass Extinctions and the Invertebrate Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez, Walter; Kauffman, Erle G.; Surlyk, Finn; Alvarez, Luis W.; Asaro, Frank; Michel, Helen V.

    1984-03-01

    There is much evidence that the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary was marked by a massive meteorite impact. Theoretical consideration of the consequences of such an impact predicts sharp extinctions in many groups of animals precisely at the boundary. Paleontological data clearly show gradual declines in diversity over the last 1 to 10 million years in various invertebrate groups. Reexamination of data from careful studies of the best sections shows that, in addition to undergoing the decline, four groups (ammonites, cheilostomate bryozoans, brachiopods, and bivalves) were affected by sudden truncations precisely at the iridium anomaly that marks the boundary. The paleontological record thus bears witness to terminal-Cretaceous extinctions on two time scales: a slow decline unrelated to the impact and a sharp truncation synchronous with and probably caused by the impact.

  16. Impact theory of mass extinctions and the invertebrate fossil record

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez, W.; Kauffman, E.G.; Surlyk, F.; Alvarez, L.W.; Asaro, F.; Michel, H.V.

    1984-03-16

    There is much evidence that the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary was marked by a massive meteorite impact. Theoretical consideration of the consequences of such an impact predicts sharp extinctions in many groups of animals precisely at the boundary. Paleontological data clearly show gradual declines in diversity over the last 1 to 10 million years in various invertebrate groups. Reexamination of data from careful studies of the best sections shows that, in addition to undergoing the decline, four groups (ammonites, cheilostomate bryozoans, brachiopods, and bivalves) were affected by sudden truncations precisely at the iridium anomaly that marks the boundary. The paleontological record thus bears witness to terminal-Cretaceous extinctions on two time scales: a slow decline unrelated to the impact and a sharp truncation synchronous with and probably caused by the impact. 50 references, 4 figures.

  17. Extant-only comparative methods fail to recover the disparity preserved in the bird fossil record.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Jonathan S

    2015-09-01

    Most extant species are in clades with poor fossil records, and recent studies of comparative methods show they have low power to infer even highly simplified models of trait evolution without fossil data. Birds are a well-studied radiation, yet their early evolutionary patterns are still contentious. The fossil record suggests that birds underwent a rapid ecological radiation after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and several smaller, subsequent radiations. This hypothesized series of repeated radiations from fossil data is difficult to test using extant data alone. By uniting morphological and phylogenetic data on 604 extant genera of birds with morphological data on 58 species of extinct birds from 50 million years ago, the "halfway point" of avian evolution, I have been able to test how well extant-only methods predict the diversity of fossil forms. All extant-only methods underestimate the disparity, although the ratio of within- to between-clade disparity does suggest high early rates. The failure of standard models to predict high early disparity suggests that recent radiations are obscuring deep time patterns in the evolution of birds. Metrics from different models can be used in conjunction to provide more valuable insights than simply finding the model with the highest relative fit. PMID:26257156

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 Coniacian–Santonian, 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. Lagerstätten 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

  20. Forced sea-level change in a forearc basin related to subduction of a spreading ridge: the Fossil Bluff Group (Jurassic-Cretaceous), Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macdonald, David

    2015-04-01

    During the Mesozoic, the Antarctic Peninsula was the site of an active volcanic arc related to the eastwards subduction of proto-Pacific oceanic crust. Alexander Island is the largest of the many islands that lie on the western (fore-arc) side of the Antarctic Peninsula; it forms one of the best-exposed ancient fore-arcs in the world. The pre-Tertiary rocks can be divided into two main units. The LeMay Group (Jurassic-Tertiary) forms the structural basement to Alexander Island and comprises greenschist-facies metasedimentary rocks. It is interpreted as a Mesozoic accretionary prism. The Fossil Bluff Group unconformably overlies and is faulted against the LeMay Group; it represents the sedimentary fill of a coeval fore-arc basin. Subduction ceased due to a series of Cenozoic ridge-trench collisions which began off Alexander Island at 50 Ma and got progressively younger to the north. However, the approach of the ridge can be inferred from the Mesozoic deposits of the Fossil Bluff Group (Jurassic-Cretaceous) in Alexander Island. In this paper, I will show that the ocean floor being subducted became progressively shallower through Jurassic and Cretaceous time (by at least 1,000 m). The result in the forearc basin was a sudden shallowing in water depths from at least 1,000 m at 125 Ma, to emergent at 100 Ma. This forced shallowing ended sedimentation in the basin and resulted in considerable topography on Alexander Island that persists to the present day.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

    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.

  2. Diversity-dependence brings molecular phylogenies closer to agreement with the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Etienne, Rampal S; Haegeman, Bart; Stadler, Tanja; Aze, Tracy; Pearson, Paul N; Purvis, Andy; Phillimore, Albert B

    2012-04-01

    The branching times of molecular phylogenies allow us to infer speciation and extinction dynamics even when fossils are absent. Troublingly, phylogenetic approaches usually return estimates of zero extinction, conflicting with fossil evidence. Phylogenies and fossils do agree, however, that there are often limits to diversity. Here, we present a general approach to evaluate the likelihood of a phylogeny under a model that accommodates diversity-dependence and extinction. We find, by likelihood maximization, that extinction is estimated most precisely if the rate of increase in the number of lineages in the phylogeny saturates towards the present or first decreases and then increases. We demonstrate the utility and limits of our approach by applying it to the phylogenies for two cases where a fossil record exists (Cetacea and Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera) and to three radiations lacking fossil evidence (Dendroica, Plethodon and Heliconius). We propose that the diversity-dependence model with extinction be used as the standard model for macro-evolutionary dynamics because of its biological realism and flexibility. PMID:21993508

  3. Unlocking the early fossil record of the arthropod central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Ma, Xiaoya; Strausfeld, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Extant panarthropods (euarthropods, onychophorans and tardigrades) are hallmarked by stunning morphological and taxonomic diversity, but their central nervous systems (CNS) are relatively conserved. The timing of divergences of the ground pattern CNS organization of the major panarthropod clades has been poorly constrained because of a scarcity of data from their early fossil record. Although the CNS has been documented in three-dimensional detail in insects from Cenozoic ambers, it is widely assumed that these tissues are too prone to decay to withstand other styles of fossilization or geologically older preservation. However, Cambrian Burgess Shale-type compressions have emerged as sources of fossilized brains and nerve cords. CNS in these Cambrian fossils are preserved as carbon films or as iron oxides/hydroxides after pyrite in association with carbon. Experiments with carcasses compacted in fine-grained sediment depict preservation of neural tissue for a more prolonged temporal window than anticipated by decay experiments in other media. CNS and compound eye characters in exceptionally preserved Cambrian fossils predict divergences of the mandibulate and chelicerate ground patterns by Cambrian Stage 3 (ca 518 Ma), a dating that is compatible with molecular estimates for these splits. PMID:26554038

  4. Unlocking the early fossil record of the arthropod central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Edgecombe, Gregory D; Ma, Xiaoya; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2015-12-19

    Extant panarthropods (euarthropods, onychophorans and tardigrades) are hallmarked by stunning morphological and taxonomic diversity, but their central nervous systems (CNS) are relatively conserved. The timing of divergences of the ground pattern CNS organization of the major panarthropod clades has been poorly constrained because of a scarcity of data from their early fossil record. Although the CNS has been documented in three-dimensional detail in insects from Cenozoic ambers, it is widely assumed that these tissues are too prone to decay to withstand other styles of fossilization or geologically older preservation. However, Cambrian Burgess Shale-type compressions have emerged as sources of fossilized brains and nerve cords. CNS in these Cambrian fossils are preserved as carbon films or as iron oxides/hydroxides after pyrite in association with carbon. Experiments with carcasses compacted in fine-grained sediment depict preservation of neural tissue for a more prolonged temporal window than anticipated by decay experiments in other media. CNS and compound eye characters in exceptionally preserved Cambrian fossils predict divergences of the mandibulate and chelicerate ground patterns by Cambrian Stage 3 (ca 518 Ma), a dating that is compatible with molecular estimates for these splits. PMID:26554038

  5. The Antarctic record of Pliocene warmth and its expression in the AND-1B drillcore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Diane; Sjunneskog, Charlotte

    2010-05-01

    The potential for comparison of the now well-accepted Pliocene warmth to the current effects of modern climate change has made the topic of the extent and global expression of this warmth one of great interest. This time period is uniquely recorded in the ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project AND-1B drillcore by a stratigraphic interval representing extended depositional conditions characterized by a highly-productive open-marine environment. Nearly 100-m of diatomite and diatom-rich sediments preserve three distinct time intervals, which chronostratigraphic controls suggest represent deposition during 3.33-3.6 Ma, 4.3-4.5 Ma and ~4.6 Ma. This record is extraordinary both in its extent as well as its proximity to the Antarctic continent. The diatom assemblages preserving these time intervals record a marine environment quite different than occurs today in the Ross Sea. Species such as Shionodiscus tetraoestrupii, Stellarima stellaris and Thalassionema nitzschioides are common throughout this 100m interval while they currently are observed only in waters closer to and north of the modern Polar Frontal Zone. Sea surface temperature estimates from these species suggest conditions 3-5°C warmer than present in southern McMurdo Sound. Additionally, often low numbers of clasts within the diatomite and diatom-rich sediments corroborate a decrease in glacial and seasonal ice at the AND-1B site during this interval. Other drillcore records containing sediments from this time exist in locations both proximal to and on the Antarctic continent as well as within the Southern Ocean. Several sites in close proximity to AND-1B within McMurdo Sound (DVDP-10, DVDP-11 and CIROS-2) contain diatom-rich sediments correlative to these three intervals. The assemblages within samples from these three cores record a fjordal setting indicative of increased sea level associated with warmer marine conditions at these sites. The middle diatomite interval in AND-1B, 4.3-4.5 Ma, contains abundant

  6. Fossil invertebrates records in cave sediments and paleoenvironmental assessments: a study of four cave sites from Romanian Carpathians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moldovan, O. T.; Constantin, S.; Panaiotu, C.; Roban, R. D.; Frenzel, P.; Miko, L.

    2015-06-01

    Fossil invertebrates from cave sediments have been recently described as a potential new proxy for paleoenvironment and used in cross-correlations with alternate proxy records from cave deposits. Here we present the results of a fossil invertebrates study in four caves from two climatically different regions of the Romanian Carpathians, to complement paleoenvironmental data previously reported. Oribatid mites and ostracods are the most common invertebrates in the studied cave sediments. Some of the identified taxa are new for science, and most of them are indicative for either warm/cold stages or dry/wetter oscillations. In two caves the fossil invertebrates records indicate rapid climate oscillations during times known for a relatively stable climate. By corroborating the fossil invertebrates' record with the information given by magnetic properties and sediment structures, complementary data on past vegetation, temperatures, and hydraulic regimes could be gathered. This paper analyses the potential of fossil invertebrate records as a paleoenvironmental proxy, potential problems and pitfalls.

  7. Mass extinctions in the fossil record of late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic tetrapods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benton, Michael J.

    The fossil record of tetrapods is very patchy because of the problems of preservation in terrestrial sediments, and because vertebrates are rarely very abundant. However, the fossil record of tetrapods has the advantages that it is easier to establish a phylogenetic taxonomy than for many invertebrate groups (many characters; fast evolution), and there is the potential for more detailed ecological analyses (greater knowledge of modern tetrapod ecology). The diversity of tetrapods increased during the Devonian, the Carboniferous, and the Permian, but it remained generally constant during the Triassic, the Jurassic, and the Early Cretaceous. Overall diversity then began to increase in the Late Cretaceous, and continued to do so during the Tertiary. The rapid radiation of modern tetrapod groups — frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, birds and mammals — was hardly affected by the celebrated end-Cretaceous extinction event.

  8. Antarctic climate variability from ice core records over the last two millennia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braida, Martina; Stenni, Barbara; Masson-Delmotte, Valerie; Dreossi, Giuliano; Oerter, Hans; Selmo, Enricomaria; Severi, Mirko; Goosse, Hugues; Mezgec, Karin

    2013-04-01

    The climate of the past can be successfully investigated through the study of polar ice sheets. Paleotemperature reconstructions from Antarctic ice cores are based on water isotope profiles, thanks to the existing relationship between δ18O (or δD) and the temperature at the site. Here we present the climate record of the past 2000 years resulting from the stable isotope analysis of the ice core drilled at Talos Dome in East Antarctica from 2003 to 2007 in the framework of the European TALDICE (TALos Dome Ice CorE) project. Talos Dome (72°49'S, 159°11'E; 2315 m; -41°C) is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau. The snow accumulation rate of the site (80 kg m-2 yr-1) allows extracting high-resolution data for the past millennia. The main moisture sources of snow precipitation at this near-coastal site are located in the Indian Ocean and the Ross Sea. Isotopic analyses of TALDICE detailed (10 cm) samples have been performed in the framework of the ESF-HOLOCLIP project, whose main objective is to integrate the ice core, the marine core and the modeling data to investigate the climate variability of the high latitude southern hemisphere over the Holocene. The isotopic record obtained from the TALDICE ice core is here compared with a shallow firn core (89 m long) previously drilled at Talos Dome, at a 5 km distance, and covering the past 800 years. The two isotopic records are stacked to reduce the stratigraphic noise and compared with other available isotopic records from Antarctica to highlight common trends and regional variability in the climatic signal over the past two millennia. We compare the data with a simulation performed with a three-dimensional earth system model of intermediate complexity (LOVECLIM) with and without data assimilation. Considering the δ18O profile from the TALDICE ice core and comparing it with the ones from the other available records we can observe common negative isotopic anomalies in the period from about 1450 to

  9. An Analytical Approach for Estimating Fossil Record and Diversification Events in Sharks, Skates and Rays

    PubMed Central

    Guinot, Guillaume; Adnet, Sylvain; Cappetta, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Background Modern selachians and their supposed sister group (hybodont sharks) have a long and successful evolutionary history. Yet, although selachian remains are considered relatively common in the fossil record in comparison with other marine vertebrates, little is known about the quality of their fossil record. Similarly, only a few works based on specific time intervals have attempted to identify major events that marked the evolutionary history of this group. Methodology/Principal Findings Phylogenetic hypotheses concerning modern selachians’ interrelationships are numerous but differ significantly and no consensus has been found. The aim of the present study is to take advantage of the range of recent phylogenetic hypotheses in order to assess the fit of the selachian fossil record to phylogenies, according to two different branching methods. Compilation of these data allowed the inference of an estimated range of diversity through time and evolutionary events that marked this group over the past 300 Ma are identified. Results indicate that with the exception of high taxonomic ranks (orders), the selachian fossil record is by far imperfect, particularly for generic and post-Triassic data. Timing and amplitude of the various identified events that marked the selachian evolutionary history are discussed. Conclusion/Significance Some identified diversity events were mentioned in previous works using alternative methods (Early Jurassic, mid-Cretaceous, K/T boundary and late Paleogene diversity drops), thus reinforcing the efficiency of the methodology presented here in inferring evolutionary events. Other events (Permian/Triassic, Early and Late Cretaceous diversifications; Triassic/Jurassic extinction) are newly identified. Relationships between these events and paleoenvironmental characteristics and other groups’ evolutionary history are proposed. PMID:22957091

  10. Seismic stratigraphy of the Antarctic Peninsula pacific margin: A record of Pliocene-Pleistocene ice volume and paleoclimate

    SciTech Connect

    Larter, R.D.; Barker, P.F. )

    1989-08-01

    Multichannel seismic profiles across the Pacific margin of the Antarctic Peninsula show a series of oblique progradational sequences. These sequences exhibit a variety of unusual characteristics that suggest they were produced by the action of ice sheets grounded out to the shelf edge at times of glacial maximum. Reflection events from deeper stratigraphic levels, followed down the continental slope and onto the rise, overlie ocean crust of known age, showing that at least eight such glacial sequences have been deposited within the past 6 m.y. Similar groundings have probably occurred on most Antarctic margins, but the depositional record is particularly well preserved at this margin because of Pliocene-Pleistocene thermal subsidence. Neogene global sea-level fluctuations have been attributed to changes in volume of continental ice sheets. The depositional sequences on the Pacific margin of the Antarctic Peninsula are thought to record West Antarctic ice-sheet fluctuations directly. Further investigation of these sequences would assess the relation between fluctuations in ice volume and the low-latitude record of global sea-level change.

  11. Camellia nanningensis sp. nov.: the earliest fossil wood record of the genus Camellia (Theaceae) from East Asia.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lu-Liang; Jin, Jian-Hua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A

    2016-09-01

    A new species Camellia nanningensis was described on the basis of well-preserved mummified wood from the upper Oligocene Yongning Formation of Nanning Basin in Guangxi Province, South China. This represents the most ancient fossil wood assigned to Camellia, and the earliest fossil record of the family Theaceae in China. This fossil material shows that Camellia occurred in China as early as the late Oligocene, suggesting more ancient radiation of this genus than estimated by molecular dating. PMID:27379410

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

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kobluk, D.R. ); Mapes, R.H. )

    1989-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2010-04-22

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

    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 Cerrejón 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 Cerrejón fossil leaves, representing primary consumers, is abundant, but also of low diversity, and overwhelmingly made by generalist feeders rather than specialized herbivores. Cerrejón 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

  16. Large-scale heterogeneity of the fossil record: implications for Phanerozoic biodiversity studies.

    PubMed

    Smith, A B

    2001-03-29

    Patterns of origination, extinction and standing diversity through time have been inferred from tallies of taxa preserved in the fossil record. This approach assumes that sampling of the fossil record is effectively uniform over time. Although recent evidence suggests that our sampling of the available rock record has indeed been very thorough and effective, there is also overwhelming evidence that the rock record available for sampling is itself distorted by major systematic biases. Data on rock outcrop area compiled for post-Palaeozoic sediments from Western Europe at stage level are presented. These show a strongly cyclical pattern corresponding to first- and second-order sequence stratigraphical depositional cycles. Standing diversity increases over time and, at the coarsest scale, is decoupled from surface outcrop area. This increasing trend can therefore be considered a real pattern. Changes in standing diversity and origination rates over time-scales measured in tens of millions of years, however, are strongly correlated with surface outcrop area. Extinction peaks conform to a random-walk model, but larger peaks occur at just two positions with respect to second-order stratigraphical sequences, towards the culmination of stacked transgressive system tracts and close to system bases, precisely the positions where taxonomic last occurrences are predicted to cluster under a random distribution model. Many of the taxonomic patterns that have been described from the fossil record conform to a species-area effect. Whether this arises primarily from sampling bias, or from changing surface area of marine shelf seas through time and its effect on biodiversity, remains problematic. PMID:11316484

  17. The Marine Record of Holocene Deglaciation and Paleoclimate Change, Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minzoni, R. L.; Anderson, J. B.; Kirshner, A. E.; Wellner, J. S.; Fernandez-Vasquez, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula Ice Cap (APIC) has undergone significant retreat since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Several recent studies, including those of Lallemand Fjord (Shevenell, et al., 1996), Palmer Deep (Domack, et al., 2001), Bransfield Basin (Heroy, et al., 2008), Firth of Tay (Michalchuck, et al., 2009), Maxwell Bay (Milliken, et al., 2009), and Neny Fjord (Allen, et al., 2010), have applied multiple proxies to reconstruct glacial history from sediment cores. The regional trend of post-LGM retreat from marine and onshore records (e.g. Hjort et al., 1997; Ingolfsson et al., 1998) is characterized by deglaciation of the outer and mid-shelf areas mainly before 12 ka, with significant landward steps at ~14 and 11 ka that were most likely caused by rapid sea-level rise (Heroy and Anderson, 2007). This was followed by highly diachronous retreat from the rugged inner-shelf and inland areas after ~10 ka. This marks the demise of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet. Subsequently, the glacial systems became more isolated, and factors such as latitudinal climate variability, orographic effects, oceanographic effects, the size and altitude of glacial drainage basins, as well as bathymetry of individual bays and fjords, became more influential on glacial dynamics. For example, Firth of Tay, the northern-most fjord on the eastern side of Antarctic Peninsula (AP), became ice-free ~9 ka, but Herbert Sound, just to the south, was not ice-free until ~7.4 ka. On the western side of AP, however, Maxwell Bay, located in the South Shetland Islands just north of the APIC, was free of grounded ice ~14 ka, whereas Marguerite Bay, on the southwestern-most edge of the APIC, experienced rapid grounding line and ice shelf retreat ~9 ka. These records suggest a north to south component in the timing of retreat. The lag in retreat from west to east APIC indicates that a strong orographic effect insulated the eastern AP, but also implies that other influencing factors such as oceanographic

  18. Canterbury Drifts, SW Pacific Ocean: Record of Antarctic Intermediate Water Flow Since 24 Ma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, R. M.

    2005-12-01

    The Canterbury Drifts were deposited in water depths between 400 and 1500 m by northward flowing, cold, intermediate depth water masses - Subantarctic Mode Water, Antarctic Intermediate Water, and their predecessor current flows. Drift accumulation started at 24 Ma, fed by terrigenous sediment derived from the newly rising Alpine Fault plate boundary in the west, which has built a progradational shelf-slope sediment prism up to 130 km wide at rates of eastward advance of up to 5.4 km/My. These regionally extensive, intermediate-depth sediment drifts can be examined in outcrop, in marine drillcore (ODP Site 1119) and at the modern seabed. The drifts comprise planar-bedded units up to several metres thick. Sand intervals have either reverse graded or sharp, erosive bases and normally graded tops. Bioturbation is moderate and the sands occur within a pervasive background of cm-scale, planar or wispy alternating muddy and sandy silts, consistent with deposition from rhythmically fluctuating bottom currents. In the Plio-Pleistocene, the sand:silt lithological rhythmicity occurs in synchroneity with Milankovitch-scale climate cycling; periods of inferred faster current flow (sand beds) mostly correspond to warm climatic intervals. The drifts vary in thickness from 300 m near the early Miocene shoreline, where they were accumulating in limited shallow water accommodation, to 2000+ m under the modern shelf edge. Mounded drifts first occur at 15 Ma (Middle Miocene), their appearance perhaps reflecting more vigorous intermediate water flow consequent upon the worldwide climatic deterioration between 15 and 13 Ma. A further change from large (more than 10 km wide) to smaller (1-3 km wide) mounded slope drifts occurs at 3.1 Ma, marking further cooling, the inception of discrete SAMW flows, and initiation of the Subantarctic Front. The natural gamma ray record from Site 1119 contains a history since 3.9 Ma of the waxing and waning of the New Zealand mountain ice cap. Back to 0

  19. The earliest fossil record of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) from the Middle Jurassic of China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, He; Shih, Chungkun; Bashkuev, Alexei; Zhao, Yunyun; Ren, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The early history of Panorpidae (Mecoptera) is poorly known due to sparse fossil records. Up to date, only nine fossil species have been described, all from the Paleogene, except the Early Cretaceous Solusipanorpa gibbidorsa Lin, 1980. However, we suggest S. gibbidorsa is too incompletely preserved to permit even family classification. A new genus with two new species, Jurassipanorpa impunctata gen. et sp. n. and Jurassipanorpa sticta sp. n., are described based on four well-preserved specimens from the late Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Daohugou, Inner Mongolia, China. These two new species are the earliest fossil records of Panorpidae. The new genus is erected based on a combination of forewing characters: both R1 and Rs1 with two branches, 1A reaching posterior margin of wing distad of the forking of Rs from R1, and no crossveins or only one crossvein between veins of 1A and 2A. In all four specimens, long and robust setae ranging from 0.09 to 0.38 mm in length and pointing anteriorly, are present on anal veins of forewings. The function of these setae is enigmatic. PMID:25152669

  20. Direct and indirect fossil records of megachilid bees from the Paleogene of Central Europe (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedmann, Sonja; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael S.

    2009-06-01

    Aside from pollen and nectar, bees of the subfamily Megachilinae are closely associated with plants as a source of materials for nest construction. Megachilines use resins, masticated leaves, trichomes and other plant materials sometimes along with mud to construct nests in cavities or in soil. Among these, the leafcutter bees ( Megachile s.l.) are the most famous for their behaviour to line their brood cells with discs cut from various plants. We report on fossil records of one body fossil of a new non-leafcutting megachiline and of 12 leafcuttings from three European sites—Eckfeld and Messel, both in Germany (Eocene), and Menat, France (Paleocene). The excisions include the currently earliest record of probable Megachile activity and suggest the presence of such bees in the Paleocene European fauna. Comparison with extant leafcuttings permits the interpretation of a minimal number of species that produced these excisions. The wide range of size for the leafcuttings indirectly might suggest at least two species of Megachile for the fauna of Messel in addition to the other megachiline bee described here. The presence of several cuttings on most leaves from Eckfeld implies that the preferential foraging behaviour of extant Megachile arose early in megachiline evolution. These results demonstrate that combined investigation of body and trace fossils complement each other in understanding past biodiversity, the latter permitting the detection of taxa not otherwise directly sampled and inferences on behavioural evolution.

  1. Systematics, phylogeny, and taphonomy of ghost shrimps (Decapoda): a perspective from the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Klompmaker, Adiël A.

    2016-01-01

    Ghost shrimps of Callianassidae and Ctenochelidae are soft-bodied, usually heterochelous decapods representing major bioturbators of muddy and sandy (sub)marine substrates. Ghost shrimps have a robust fossil record spanning from the Early Cretaceous (~ 133 Ma) to the Holocene and their remains are present in most assemblages of Cenozoic decapod crustaceans. Their taxonomic interpretation is in flux, mainly because the generic assignment is hindered by their insufficient preservation and disagreement in the biological classification. Furthermore, numerous taxa are incorrectly classified within the catch-all taxon Callianassa. To show the historical patterns in describing fossil ghost shrimps and to evaluate taphonomic aspects influencing the attribution of ghost shrimp remains to higher level taxa, a database of all fossil species treated at some time as belonging to the group has been compiled: 250 / 274 species are considered valid ghost shrimp taxa herein. More than half of these taxa (160 species, 58.4%) are known only from distal cheliped elements, i.e., dactylus and / or propodus, due to the more calcified cuticle locally. Rarely, ghost shrimps are preserved in situ in burrows or in direct association with them, and several previously unpublished occurrences are reported herein. For generic assignment, fossil material should be compared to living species because many of them have modern relatives. Heterochely, intraspecific variation, ontogenetic changes and sexual dimorphism are all factors that have to be taken into account when working with fossil ghost shrimps. Distal elements are usually more variable than proximal ones. Preliminary results suggest that the ghost shrimp clade emerged not before the Hauterivian (~ 133 Ma). The divergence of Ctenochelidae and Paracalliacinae is estimated to occur within the interval of Hauterivian to Albian (133–100 Ma). Callichirinae and Eucalliacinae likely diverged later during the Late Cretaceous (100–66 Ma

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

    PubMed

    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

    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

  3. Multi-year record of atmospheric mercury at Dumont d'Urville, East Antarctic coast: continental outflow and oceanic influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angot, Hélène; Dion, Iris; Vogel, Nicolas; Legrand, Michel; Magand, Olivier; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2016-07-01

    Under the framework of the Global Mercury Observation System (GMOS) project, a 3.5-year record of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) has been gathered at Dumont d'Urville (DDU, 66°40' S, 140°01' E, 43 m above sea level) on the East Antarctic coast. Additionally, surface snow samples were collected in February 2009 during a traverse between Concordia Station located on the East Antarctic plateau and DDU. The record of atmospheric Hg(0) at DDU reveals particularities that are not seen at other coastal sites: a gradual decrease of concentrations over the course of winter, and a daily maximum concentration around midday in summer. Additionally, total mercury concentrations in surface snow samples were particularly elevated near DDU (up to 194.4 ng L-1) as compared to measurements at other coastal Antarctic sites. These differences can be explained by the more frequent arrival of inland air masses at DDU than at other coastal sites. This confirms the influence of processes observed on the Antarctic plateau on the cycle of atmospheric mercury at a continental scale, especially in areas subject to recurrent katabatic winds. DDU is also influenced by oceanic air masses and our data suggest that the ocean plays a dual role on Hg(0) concentrations. The open ocean may represent a source of atmospheric Hg(0) in summer whereas the sea-ice surface may provide reactive halogens in spring that can oxidize Hg(0). This paper also discusses implications for coastal Antarctic ecosystems and for the cycle of atmospheric mercury in high southern latitudes.

  4. Holocene records of geomagnetic field behavior from a north-south transect along the western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachfeld, S. A.; Shah, D. P.; St-Onge, M.; St-Onge, G.

    2013-12-01

    Geochronology is inherently difficult when working with Antarctic margin sediments. Radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope stratigraphy are challenging or impossible in sites with poor preservation of biogenic calcite. Radiocarbon dating of the acid insoluble organic matter (AIOM) is further complicated by organically lean sediment and the presence of reworked organic carbon or detrital carbon from sedimentary rocks. These complications limit the ability to interpret a paleoclimate record. Geomagnetic paleointensity dating is a proven 'tuning' technique that has been successfully applied in several studies around the Antarctic margin. However, the reference curves to which these sites were tuned were constructed primarily from Northern Hemisphere data. Here we present paleomagnetic secular variation (PSV) and relative paleointensity (RPI) data from three Antarctic Peninsula sites that possess independent chronologies and which have moderate to ultra-high sedimentation rates (40 - 700 cm/ka). Maxwell Bay, located in the volcanic South Shetland Islands, is an ultra-high-resolution site with strongly magnetic sediments from which the Shallow Drilling (SHALDRIL) program recovered a 108-m record spanning the last 14 ka. Outer Barilari Bay and Hugo Island Trough, which lie to the South along the western Antarctic Peninsula, are moderate resolution sites with a high proportion of biogenic silica. Maxwell Bay and Bariliari Bay are unique in that they possess homogenous sediment and uniform magnetic mineral assemblages, while also preserving biogenic calcite, a rare combination on the Antarctic margin. All three sites preserve strong, stable remanent magnetizations with an easily isolated characteristic component and MAD values generally < 2°, with the exception of turbidites, intervals with abundant dropstones, and biosiliceous ooze intervals. Inclination values fluctuate between the present-day value at the cores sites (-58°) and the geomagnetic axial dipole inclination

  5. Keratin Durability Has Implications for the Fossil Record: Results from a 10 Year Feather Degradation Experiment.

    PubMed

    Moyer, Alison E; Zheng, Wenxia; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2016-01-01

    Keratinous 'soft tissue' structures (i.e. epidermally derived and originally non-biomineralized), include feathers, skin, claws, beaks, and hair. Despite their relatively common occurrence in the fossil record (second only to bone and teeth), few studies have addressed natural degradation processes that must occur in all organic material, including those keratinous structures that are incorporated into the rock record as fossils. Because feathers have high preservation potential and strong phylogenetic signal, in the current study we examine feathers subjected to different burial environments for a duration of ~10 years, using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and in situ immunofluorescence (IF). We use morphology and persistence of specific immunoreactivity as indicators of preservation at the molecular and microstructural levels. We show that feather keratin is durable, demonstrates structural and microstructural integrity, and retains epitopes suitable for specific antibody recognition in even the harshest conditions. These data support the hypothesis that keratin antibody reactivity can be used to identify the nature and composition of epidermal structures in the rock record, and to address evolutionary questions by distinguishing between alpha- (widely distributed) and beta- (limited to sauropsids) keratin. PMID:27384819

  6. Keratin Durability Has Implications for the Fossil Record: Results from a 10 Year Feather Degradation Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Moyer, Alison E.; Zheng, Wenxia; Schweitzer, Mary H.

    2016-01-01

    Keratinous ‘soft tissue’ structures (i.e. epidermally derived and originally non-biomineralized), include feathers, skin, claws, beaks, and hair. Despite their relatively common occurrence in the fossil record (second only to bone and teeth), few studies have addressed natural degradation processes that must occur in all organic material, including those keratinous structures that are incorporated into the rock record as fossils. Because feathers have high preservation potential and strong phylogenetic signal, in the current study we examine feathers subjected to different burial environments for a duration of ~10 years, using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and in situ immunofluorescence (IF). We use morphology and persistence of specific immunoreactivity as indicators of preservation at the molecular and microstructural levels. We show that feather keratin is durable, demonstrates structural and microstructural integrity, and retains epitopes suitable for specific antibody recognition in even the harshest conditions. These data support the hypothesis that keratin antibody reactivity can be used to identify the nature and composition of epidermal structures in the rock record, and to address evolutionary questions by distinguishing between alpha- (widely distributed) and beta- (limited to sauropsids) keratin. PMID:27384819

  7. MicroRNAs resolve an apparent conflict between annelid systematics and their fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Sperling, Erik A.; Vinther, Jakob; Moy, Vanessa N.; Wheeler, Benjamin M.; Sémon, Marie; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    2009-01-01

    Both the monophyly and inter-relationships of the major annelid groups have remained uncertain, despite intensive research on both morphology and molecular sequences. Morphological cladistic analyses indicate that Annelida is monophyletic and consists of two monophyletic groups, the clitellates and polychaetes, whereas molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest that polychaetes are paraphyletic and that sipunculans are crown-group annelids. Both the monophyly of polychaetes and the placement of sipunculans within annelids are in conflict with the annelid fossil record—the former because Cambrian stem taxa are similar to modern polychaetes in possessing biramous parapodia, suggesting that clitellates are derived from polychaetes; the latter because although fossil sipunculans are known from the Early Cambrian, crown-group annelids do not appear until the latest Cambrian. Here we apply a different data source, the presence versus absence of specific microRNAs—genes that encode approximately 22 nucleotide non-coding regulatory RNAs—to the problem of annelid phylogenetics. We show that annelids are monophyletic with respect to sipunculans, and polychaetes are paraphyletic with respect to the clitellate Lumbricus, conclusions that are consistent with the fossil record. Further, sipunculans resolve as the sister group of the annelids, rooting the annelid tree, and revealing the polarity of the morphological change within this diverse lineage of animals. PMID:19755470

  8. First Quaternary Fossil Record of Caecilians from a Mexican Archaeological Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-07-01

    A single vertebra from an Early Formative period archaeological site in coastal Chiapas, México, is identified as belonging to the amphibian Dermophis mexicanus (Duméril 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

    preservation in the fossil record. PMID:10091249

  10. Evolutionary timescale of monocots determined by the fossilized birth-death model using a large number of fossil records.

    PubMed

    Eguchi, Satoshi; Tamura, Minoru N

    2016-05-01

    Although the phylogenetic relationships between monocot orders are sufficiently understood, a timescale of their evolution is needed. Several studies on molecular clock dating are available, but their results have been biased by their calibration schemes. Recently, the fossilized birth-death model, a type of Bayesian dating method, was proposed, and it does not require prior calibration and allows the use all available fossils. Using this model, we conducted divergence-time estimations of monocots to explore their evolutionary timeline without calibration bias. This is the first application of this model to seed plants. The dataset contained the matK and rbcL chloroplast genes of 118 monocot genera covering all extant orders. We employed information from 247 monocot fossils, which exceeded previous dating analyses that used a maximum of 12 monocot fossils. The crown group of monocots was dated to approximately the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous periods, and most extant monocot orders were estimated to diverge throughout the Early Cretaceous. Our results overlapped with the divergence time of insect lineages, such as beetles and flies, suggesting an association with pollinators in early monocot evolution. In addition, we proposed three new orders based on divergence time: Orchidales separated from Asparagales and Tofieldiales and Arales separated from Aslimatales. PMID:27061096

  11. Microbial fossil record of rocks from the Ross Desert, Antarctica: implications in the search for past life on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wierzchos, Jacek; Ascaso, Carmen

    2002-01-01

    Cryptoendolithic microbial communities living within Antarctic rocks are an example of survival in an extremely cold and dry environment. The extinction of these micro-organisms formerly colonizing sandstone in the Mount Fleming area (Ross Desert), was probably provoked by the hostile environment. This is considered to be a good terrestrial analogue of the first stage of the disappearance of possible life on early Mars. To date, only macroscopically observed indirect biomarkers of the past activity of cryptoendoliths in Antarctic rocks have been described. The present paper confirms, for the first time, the existence of cryptoendolith microbial fossils within these sandstone rocks. The novel in situ application of scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imaging and simultaneous use of X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy allowed the clear detection of microfossils left behind by Antarctic endoliths. Careful interpretation of the morphological features of cells, such as preserved cell walls in algae, fungi and bacteria, cytoplasm elements such as chloroplast membranes in algae and organic matter traces, mineral associations, and the spatial context of these structures all point to their identification as cryptoendolith microfossils. This type of investigation will prompt the development of research strategies aimed at locating and identifying the signs that Martian microbiota, probably only bacteria if they existed, may have been left for us to see.

  12. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records.

    PubMed

    Kidwell, Susan M

    2015-04-21

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states. PMID:25901315

  13. Changes to the Fossil Record of Insects through Fifteen Years of Discovery.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, David B; Mayhew, Peter J; Ross, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    The first and last occurrences of hexapod families in the fossil record are compiled from publications up to end-2009. The major features of these data are compared with those of previous datasets (1993 and 1994). About a third of families (>400) are new to the fossil record since 1994, over half of the earlier, existing families have experienced changes in their known stratigraphic range and only about ten percent have unchanged ranges. Despite these significant additions to knowledge, the broad pattern of described richness through time remains similar, with described richness increasing steadily through geological history and a shift in dominant taxa, from Palaeoptera and Polyneoptera to Paraneoptera and Holometabola, after the Palaeozoic. However, after detrending, described richness is not well correlated with the earlier datasets, indicating significant changes in shorter-term patterns. There is reduced Palaeozoic richness, peaking at a different time, and a less pronounced Permian decline. A pronounced Triassic peak and decline is shown, and the plateau from the mid Early Cretaceous to the end of the period remains, albeit at substantially higher richness compared to earlier datasets. Origination and extinction rates are broadly similar to before, with a broad decline in both through time but episodic peaks, including end-Permian turnover. Origination more consistently exceeds extinction compared to previous datasets and exceptions are mainly in the Palaeozoic. These changes suggest that some inferences about causal mechanisms in insect macroevolution are likely to differ as well. PMID:26176667

  14. Relict endemism of extant Rhineuridae (Amphisbaenia): testing for phylogenetic niche conservatism in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-03-01

    Rhineurid amphisbaenians are represented by a rich Cenozoic fossil record in North America, but today conisist of a single living species restricted to the Florida Peninsula. Such relict endemism may be the result of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC), the retention of ancestral traits preventing expansion into new environments. Most tests of PNC derive ancestral niche preferences from species' extant ecologies, while ignoring valuable paleontological information. To test if PNC contributes to the restricted distribution of modern Rhineura floridana, we compare the species' current environmental preferences (temperature, precipitation and soil) to paleoenvironmental data from the rhineurid fossil record. We find no evidence of PNC in modern R. floridana, as it also occurred in Florida during drier glacial periods. Ancient rhineurids also exhibit tolerance to changing climates, having undergone a shift from subtropical-humid to semi-arid savanna conditions during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. However, rhineurids nearly disappear from North America after the middle Miocene, potentially due to the onset of prolonged freezing temperatures following the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. This physiological limit of environmental tolerances could be interpreted as PNC for the entire family, but also characterizes much of Amphisbaenia, emphasizing the relevance of the temporal as well as phylogenetic scale at which PNC is investigated. PMID:24482295

  15. Changes to the Fossil Record of Insects through Fifteen Years of Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Nicholson, David B.; Mayhew, Peter J.; Ross, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The first and last occurrences of hexapod families in the fossil record are compiled from publications up to end-2009. The major features of these data are compared with those of previous datasets (1993 and 1994). About a third of families (>400) are new to the fossil record since 1994, over half of the earlier, existing families have experienced changes in their known stratigraphic range and only about ten percent have unchanged ranges. Despite these significant additions to knowledge, the broad pattern of described richness through time remains similar, with described richness increasing steadily through geological history and a shift in dominant taxa, from Palaeoptera and Polyneoptera to Paraneoptera and Holometabola, after the Palaeozoic. However, after detrending, described richness is not well correlated with the earlier datasets, indicating significant changes in shorter-term patterns. There is reduced Palaeozoic richness, peaking at a different time, and a less pronounced Permian decline. A pronounced Triassic peak and decline is shown, and the plateau from the mid Early Cretaceous to the end of the period remains, albeit at substantially higher richness compared to earlier datasets. Origination and extinction rates are broadly similar to before, with a broad decline in both through time but episodic peaks, including end-Permian turnover. Origination more consistently exceeds extinction compared to previous datasets and exceptions are mainly in the Palaeozoic. These changes suggest that some inferences about causal mechanisms in insect macroevolution are likely to differ as well. PMID:26176667

  16. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records

    PubMed Central

    Kidwell, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states. PMID:25901315

  17. First direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level trophic chain in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Witzmann, Florian; Klug, Stefanie; Heidtke, Ulrich H J

    2008-01-22

    We describe the first known occurrence of a Permian shark specimen preserving two temnospondyl amphibians in its digestive tract as well as the remains of an acanthodian fish, which was ingested by one of the temnospondyls. This exceptional find provides for the first time direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level food chain in the fossil record with the simultaneous preservation of three trophic levels. Our analysis shows that small-sized Lower Permian xenacanthid sharks of the genus Triodus preyed on larval piscivorous amphibians. The recorded trophic interaction can be explained by the adaptation of certain xenacanthids to fully freshwater environments and the fact that in these same environments, large temnospondyls occupied the niche of modern crocodiles. This unique faunal association has not been documented after the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, this Palaeozoic three-level food chain provides strong and independent support for changes in aquatic trophic chain structures through time. PMID:17971323

  18. 2015 Antarctic Maximum Sea Ice Extent Breaks Streak of Record Highs

    NASA Video Gallery

    Antarctic sea ice likely reached its annual maximum extent on Oct. 6, barring a late season surge. This video shows the evolution of the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean from its minimum yearly ...

  19. Seismic stratigraphy of the East Antarctic margin: a record of Cenozoic environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leychenkov, German; Guseva, Julia

    2010-05-01

    We have analyzed more than 120000 km of MCS sections collected on the East Antarctic margin (EAM) from 7E to 142E to correlate seismic stratigraphy with Antarctic glacial history predicted from drilling data and deep-sea proxy records, and to estimate what sort of information about ice sheet behavior and paleoceanographic conditions is contained in seismic records. Most of analyzed MCS lines are located on the continental rise and only the Prydz Bay (PB) shelf was studied in details. Five mayor horizons numbered up-section from "1" to "5" are identified in sedimentary cover of deep water EAM (continental rise). Horizon "1" and "2" are correlated with asynchronous Gondwana breakup and early post-breakup events, respectively; horizons "3", "4" and "5" are proposed to be isochronous surfaces related to Late Cenozoic paleoenvironmental transitions. The distinguishing feature of EAM sedimentary cover is the clear upward change in reflection pattern across horizons "3" and "4" that separates a lower sedimentary unit with mostly parallel reflectors from an upper one consisting of variety of acoustic facies typical of active down-slope and along slope processes. This change is associated with the arrival of the ice sheet to the Antarctic margin and significant increase in sedimentary input to deep water regions. Major results of our study are following: 1) Widespread development of channel-levee systems and other facies related to mass-wasting on the EAM is observed above horizon "4" and this interface is proposed to mark continental-scale Antarctic glaciation in the Early Oligocene. However, earliest signs of active down-slope processes are revealed on the Wilkes Land margin (WLM) above horizon "3" and we infer that this margin was glaciated first, probably in the Late Eocene. Under the temperate climate condition debris was delivered to the slope and rise by glaciers (which flowed from central Antarctica via Aurora Subglacial Basin) and abundant melt-water. The rate of

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    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

  1. Calcification and Silicification: Fossilization Potential of Cyanobacteria from Stromatolites of Niuafo‘ou's Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and Implications for the Early Fossil Record

    PubMed Central

    Kazmierczak, Józef; Łukomska-Kowalczyk, Maja; Kempe, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafo‘ou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Si‘i) 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 Niuafo‘ou 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: Stromatolites—Cyanobacteria—Calcification—Silicification—Niuafo‘ou (Tonga)—Archean. Astrobiology 12, 535–548. PMID:22794297

  2. Calcification and silicification: fossilization potential of cyanobacteria from stromatolites of Niuafo'ou's Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and implications for the early fossil record.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Barbara; Kazmierczak, Józef; Lukomska-Kowalczyk, Maja; Kempe, Stephan

    2012-06-01

    Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafo'ou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Si'i) 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 Niuafo'ou 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. PMID:22794297

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retallack, Gregory J.

    2001-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Retallack, G J

    2001-05-17

    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

  5. The taphonomy of unmineralised Palaeozoic fossils preserved as siliciclastic moulds and casts, and their utility in assessing the interaction between environmental change and the fossil record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacGabhann, Breandán; Schiffbauer, James; Hagadorn, James; Van Roy, Peter; Lynch, Edward; Morrsion, Liam; Murray, John

    2015-04-01

    biopolymers, and that these tissues were preferentially fossilised by the formation of an early diagenic mould directly on the organic surfaces. Excess divalent iron ions, produced during decay of more labile tissues by means of bacterial iron reduction, would have adsorbed to anionic functional groups in the biopolymeric tissues. This would have provided a ready substrate for the formation and growth of such an early diagenic mineralised mould, including aluminosilicate minerals produced via reaction with seawater silica and metal ions, and iron sulphide minerals produced via reaction with hydrogen sulphide and free sulphur produced from seawater sulphate through bacterial sulphate reduction associated with further decay. Subsequent weathering would have oxidised such iron sulphides to oxides and oxyhydroxides. This taphonomic model supports the lack of utility of the eldonid palaeobiological record in analysing environmental influence on biological communities, due to the lack of preservation of key anatomical components. However, it also suggests that the very occurrence of fossils preserved in this style is dependent on extrinsic palaeoenvironmental factors - including pH, Eh, and the concentration of other ions in the contemporaneous seawater. Analyses of the distribution of fossils preserved in this style may therefore provide information on ambient conditions which may have affected the distribution of contemporaneous mineralised fossils, potentially allowing a more complete analysis of the effects of palaeoenvironmental change on fossil ecosystems.

  6. A Late Miocene-Pliocene Antarctic Deepwater Record of Cyclic Iron Reduction Events (ODP Leg 178 Site 1095)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepp, D. A.; Moerz, T.

    2007-12-01

    The Pacific margin off the Antarctic Peninsula is very sensitive to climate and ice-sheet volume changes. Climatic variations on the continental shelf control regional sedimentary processes and foster the build-up of giant deep- sea sediment drifts. These drifts represent the most proximal continuous sedimentary recorders for West Antarctic ice sheet evolution and glacial-interglacial cyclicity pattern. Sediment physical, geochemical records and x-ray images derived from ODP Site 1095 (Drift 7) were used to identify pattern in glacial-interglacial cyclicity and associated sedimentary and diagenetic processes during late Miocene and Pliocene. Two boundary types dividing half-cycles have been recognized: (1) interglacial-to-glacial transitions are characterized by a sharp boundary and abrupt change in lithology; (2) glacial-to-interglacial transitions can described as a gradual change from a full glacial to a full interglacial stage. A prominent feature of the glacial-to-interglacial transition is the loss of the magnetic susceptibility signal, caused by diagenetic alteration and demagnetization of magnetic iron minerals in a suboxic to anoxic sediment environment. Similar redox processes are described for organic carbon rich Madeira abyssal plain turbidites and Mediterranean sapropels, but are uncommon for vented Circum- Antarctic deep-sea sediments. Iron reduction zones were coupled to the ice sheet collapse at the end of deglaciation phases. Ice sheet collapse and meltwater formation weaken the bottom water formation and convection, but foster short living diatom blooms resulting in high fluxes of organic matter to the seafloor. Iron reduction zones were observed in sixty-four zones of ODP Site 1095 cores. Thus, the sedimentary record of Drift 7 affords an unique opportunity to study cyclic iron reduction events at long time-scales. The occurrence and intensity of those 'diagenetic zones' reflect long-term trends of global climate change and the related

  7. Balsscallichirus Sakai, 2011 (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callianassidae) in the fossil record: systematics and palaeobiogeography

    PubMed Central

    Hyžný, Matúš

    2016-01-01

    The fossil record of the ghost shrimp genus Balsscallichirus Sakai, 2011 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Callianassidae) is revised. Barnardcallichirus Sakai, 2011 and Tirmizicallichirus Sakai, 2011 are considered subjective synonyms of Balsscallichirus. Based on the examination of extant species it is argued that the morphology of the major cheliped merus, in combination with other hard part morphology characters, is sufficient for assignment of the fossil material into the genus. Main identifying characters are on merus which is keeled along its midline and its lower half is tuberculated; its lower margin possesses broad proximal meral hook continuing into a lobe distally; the entire lower margin is subdivided into numerous irregularly spaced spines. Three species, Callianassa sismondai A. Milne-Edwards, 1860, C. floriana Glaessner, 1928, and Podocallichirus laepaensis Hyžný & Muñiz, 2012, originally described from the Miocene of Italy, Austria and Spain, respectively, are assigned to Balsscallichirus herein. Neocallichirus wellsi Schweitzer, Feldmann & Gingerich, 2004 from the Upper Eocene of Pakistan is tentatively assigned to that genus as well. Spatial and temporal distribution of the genus indicates that at least since the Oligocene, and possibly even sooner (the Late Eocene), the genus has been restricted to the Western Tethys Region. Later, it migrated also into West Atlantic establishing present day communities. PMID:27499568

  8. An ecometric analysis of the fossil mammal record of the Turkana Basin

    PubMed Central

    Žliobaitė, Indrė; Kaya, Ferhat; Bibi, Faysal; Bobe, René; Leakey, Louise; Leakey, Meave; Patterson, David; Rannikko, Janina; Werdelin, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Although ecometric methods have been used to analyse fossil mammal faunas and environments of Eurasia and North America, such methods have not yet been applied to the rich fossil mammal record of eastern Africa. Here we report results from analysis of a combined dataset spanning east and west Turkana from Kenya between 7 and 1 million years ago (Ma). We provide temporally and spatially resolved estimates of temperature and precipitation and discuss their relationship to patterns of faunal change, and propose a new hypothesis to explain the lack of a temperature trend. We suggest that the regionally arid Turkana Basin may between 4 and 2 Ma have acted as a ‘species factory’, generating ecological adaptations in advance of the global trend. We show a persistent difference between the eastern and western sides of the Turkana Basin and suggest that the wetlands of the shallow eastern side could have provided additional humidity to the terrestrial ecosystems. Pending further research, a transient episode of faunal change centred at the time of the KBS Member (1.87–1.53 Ma), may be equally plausibly attributed to climate change or to a top-down ecological cascade initiated by the entry of technologically sophisticated humans. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Major transitions in human evolution’. PMID:27298463

  9. An ecometric analysis of the fossil mammal record of the Turkana Basin.

    PubMed

    Fortelius, Mikael; Žliobaitė, Indrė; Kaya, Ferhat; Bibi, Faysal; Bobe, René; Leakey, Louise; Leakey, Meave; Patterson, David; Rannikko, Janina; Werdelin, Lars

    2016-07-01

    Although ecometric methods have been used to analyse fossil mammal faunas and environments of Eurasia and North America, such methods have not yet been applied to the rich fossil mammal record of eastern Africa. Here we report results from analysis of a combined dataset spanning east and west Turkana from Kenya between 7 and 1 million years ago (Ma). We provide temporally and spatially resolved estimates of temperature and precipitation and discuss their relationship to patterns of faunal change, and propose a new hypothesis to explain the lack of a temperature trend. We suggest that the regionally arid Turkana Basin may between 4 and 2 Ma have acted as a 'species factory', generating ecological adaptations in advance of the global trend. We show a persistent difference between the eastern and western sides of the Turkana Basin and suggest that the wetlands of the shallow eastern side could have provided additional humidity to the terrestrial ecosystems. Pending further research, a transient episode of faunal change centred at the time of the KBS Member (1.87-1.53 Ma), may be equally plausibly attributed to climate change or to a top-down ecological cascade initiated by the entry of technologically sophisticated humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298463

  10. 'Unlocking the archive': Using photogrammetry of historic aerial photographs to extend the record of glacier change on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Lucy; Fox, Adrian

    2014-05-01

    associated errors using an example glacier from the Antarctic Peninsula to highlight the suitability of this technique and demonstrate the data that can be obtained. The photogrammetric technique that is being employed for this research allows accurate measurements of surface elevation change on glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula over a 50 year-time span, enabling both spatial and temporal patterns of change and improving understanding of glacier response in this area. The use of this technique opens up possibilities for 'unlocking the archive' in other remote glacial areas where historic aerial photography exists but the collection of ground control points is limited. References: Fox, A. J. and Cziferszky, A. 2008. Unlocking the time capsule of historic aerial photography to measure changes in Antarctic Peninsula glaciers. Photogrammetric Record, 23 (121): 51-68. Hock, R., de Woul, M., Radic, V. and Dyurgerov, M. 2009. Mountain glaciers and ice caps around Antarctica make a large sea-level rise contribution. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L07501.

  11. New Biogeographic insight into Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): integration from fossil records and molecular analyses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Given that most species that have ever existed on earth are extinct, it stands to reason that the evolutionary history can be better understood with fossil taxa. Bauhinia is a typical genus of pantropical intercontinental disjunction among the Asian, African, and American continents. Geographic distribution patterns are better recognized when fossil records and molecular sequences are combined in the analyses. Here, we describe a new macrofossil species of Bauhinia from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan County, Southeast Yunnan, China, and elucidate the biogeographic significance through the analyses of molecules and fossils. Results Morphometric analysis demonstrates that the leaf shapes of B. acuminata, B. championii, B. chalcophylla, B. purpurea, and B. podopetala closely resemble the leaf shapes of the new finding fossil. Phylogenetic relationships among the Bauhinia species were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, which inferred that species in Bauhinia species are well-resolved into three main groups. Divergence times were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method under a relaxed clock, and inferred that the stem diversification time of Bauhinia was ca. 62.7 Ma. The Asian lineage first diverged at ca. 59.8 Ma, followed by divergence of the Africa lineage starting during the late Eocene, whereas that of the neotropical lineage starting during the middle Miocene. Conclusions Hypotheses relying on vicariance or continental history to explain pantropical disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. We suggest that Bauhinia originated in the middle Paleocene in Laurasia, probably in Asia, implying a possible Tethys Seaway origin or an “Out of Tropical Asia”, and dispersal of legumes. Its present pantropical disjunction resulted from disruption of the boreotropical flora by climatic cooling after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal

  12. A dinosaurian facial deformity and the first occurrence of ameloblastoma in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Dumbravă, Mihai D.; Rothschild, Bruce M.; Weishampel, David B.; Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Andrei, Răzvan A.; Acheson, Katharine A.; Codrea, Vlad A.

    2016-01-01

    Despite documentation of various types of neoplastic pathologies encountered in the vertebrate fossil record, no ameloblastic tumours have been recognised so far. Ameloblastoma is a benign neoplasic tumour with a strong preponderance for the mandible. Here, we report for the first time the presence of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in the lower jaw of a specimen referred to the derived non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid dinosaur Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus from the uppermost Cretaceous of the Haeg Basin in Romania. The location, external appearance and internal structure of the pathological outgrowth provide clear evidence for the diagnosis of ameloblastoma in Telmatosaurus. This report extends the range of pathologies encountered in hadrosauroid dinosaurs. In addition, recognition of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in a taxon lying close to the origin of ‘duck-billed’ hadrosaurid dinosaurs confirms the predisposition of this clade towards neoplasia pathologies already in its basal members. PMID:27377317

  13. A dinosaurian facial deformity and the first occurrence of ameloblastoma in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Dumbravă, Mihai D; Rothschild, Bruce M; Weishampel, David B; Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Andrei, Răzvan A; Acheson, Katharine A; Codrea, Vlad A

    2016-01-01

    Despite documentation of various types of neoplastic pathologies encountered in the vertebrate fossil record, no ameloblastic tumours have been recognised so far. Ameloblastoma is a benign neoplasic tumour with a strong preponderance for the mandible. Here, we report for the first time the presence of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in the lower jaw of a specimen referred to the derived non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid dinosaur Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus from the uppermost Cretaceous of the Haeg Basin in Romania. The location, external appearance and internal structure of the pathological outgrowth provide clear evidence for the diagnosis of ameloblastoma in Telmatosaurus. This report extends the range of pathologies encountered in hadrosauroid dinosaurs. In addition, recognition of an ameloblastoma neoplasm in a taxon lying close to the origin of 'duck-billed' hadrosaurid dinosaurs confirms the predisposition of this clade towards neoplasia pathologies already in its basal members. PMID:27377317

  14. Fossil invertebrates records in cave sediments and paleoenvironmental assessments - a study of four cave sites from Romanian Carpathians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moldovan, O. T.; Constantin, S.; Panaiotu, C.; Roban, R. D.; Frenzel, P.; Miko, L.

    2016-01-01

    Fossil invertebrates from cave sediments have been recently described as a potential new proxy for paleoenvironment and used in cross-correlations with alternate proxy records from cave deposits. Here we present the results of a fossil invertebrates study in four caves from two climatically different regions of the Romanian Carpathians, to complement paleoenvironmental data previously reported. Oribatid mites and ostracods are the most common invertebrates in the studied cave sediments. Some of the identified taxa are new to science, and most of them are indicative for either warm and/or cold stages or dry and/or wetter oscillations. In two caves the fossil invertebrates records indicate rapid climate oscillations during times known for a relatively stable climate. By corroborating the fossil invertebrates' record with the information given by magnetic properties and sediment structures, complementary data on past vegetation, temperatures and hydraulic regimes could be gathered. This paper analyzes the potential of fossil invertebrate records as a paleoenvironmental proxy, potential problems and pitfalls.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Kevin J.; Butterfield, Nicholas J.

    2005-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  17. Extreme Glacial Legacies: A Synthesis of the Antarctic Springtail Phylogeographic Record

    PubMed Central

    McGaughran, Angela; Stevens, Mark I.; Hogg, Ian D.; Carapelli, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    We review current phylogeographic knowledge from across the Antarctic terrestrial landscape with a focus on springtail taxa. We describe consistent patterns of high genetic diversity and structure among populations which have persisted in glacial refugia across Antarctica over both short (<2 Mya) and long (>10 Mya) timescales. Despite a general concordance of results among species, we explain why location is important in determining population genetic patterns within bioregions. We complete our review by drawing attention to the main limitations in the field of Antarctic phylogeography, namely that the scope of geographic focus is often lacking within studies, and that large gaps remain in our phylogeographic knowledge for most terrestrial groups. PMID:26467614

  18. New Eocene Coleoid (Cephalopoda) Diversity from Statolith Remains: Taxonomic Assignation, Fossil Record Analysis, and New Data for Calibrating Molecular Phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Neige, Pascal; Lapierre, Hervé; Merle, Didier

    2016-01-01

    New coleoid cephalopods are described from statolith remains from the Middle Eocene (Middle Lutetian) of the Paris Basin. Fifteen fossil statoliths are identified and assigned to the Sepiidae (Sepia boletzkyi sp. nov.,? Sepia pira sp. nov.), Loliginidae (Loligo clarkei sp. nov.), and Ommastrephidae (genus indet.) families. The sediments containing these fossils indicate permanent aquatic settings in the infralittoral domain. These sediments range in age from 46 Mya to 43 Mya. Analysis of the fossil record of statoliths (from findings described here, together with a review of previously published data) indicates marked biases in our knowledge. Fossil statoliths are known from as far back as the Early Jurassic (199.3 to 190.8 Mya) but surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, no record occurs in the Cretaceous. This is a “knowledge bias” and clearly calls for further studies. Finally, we attempt to compare findings described here with fossils previously used to constrain divergence and/or diversification ages of some coleoid subclades in molecular phylogenies. This comparison clearly indicates that the new records detailed here will challenge some estimated divergence times of coleoid cephalopod subclades. PMID:27192490

  19. New Eocene Coleoid (Cephalopoda) Diversity from Statolith Remains: Taxonomic Assignation, Fossil Record Analysis, and New Data for Calibrating Molecular Phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Neige, Pascal; Lapierre, Hervé; Merle, Didier

    2016-01-01

    New coleoid cephalopods are described from statolith remains from the Middle Eocene (Middle Lutetian) of the Paris Basin. Fifteen fossil statoliths are identified and assigned to the Sepiidae (Sepia boletzkyi sp. nov.,? Sepia pira sp. nov.), Loliginidae (Loligo clarkei sp. nov.), and Ommastrephidae (genus indet.) families. The sediments containing these fossils indicate permanent aquatic settings in the infralittoral domain. These sediments range in age from 46 Mya to 43 Mya. Analysis of the fossil record of statoliths (from findings described here, together with a review of previously published data) indicates marked biases in our knowledge. Fossil statoliths are known from as far back as the Early Jurassic (199.3 to 190.8 Mya) but surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, no record occurs in the Cretaceous. This is a "knowledge bias" and clearly calls for further studies. Finally, we attempt to compare findings described here with fossils previously used to constrain divergence and/or diversification ages of some coleoid subclades in molecular phylogenies. This comparison clearly indicates that the new records detailed here will challenge some estimated divergence times of coleoid cephalopod subclades. PMID:27192490

  20. Cenozoic prograding sequences of the Antarctic continental margin: a record of glacio-eustatic and tectonic events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, A. K.; Barrett, P.J.; Hinz, K.; Traube, V.; Letichenkov, G.; Stagg, H.M.J.

    1991-01-01

    times, like today, by little or no clastic sedimentation on the continental shelf other than beneath retreated ice shelves lying far from the continental sheld edge. Ice streams carve broad depressions across the shelf and carry abundant basal sediments directly to the continental shelf edge, thereby creating troughmouth fans and sheet-like prograding sequences (i.e. type IA sequences). Numerous acoustic unconformities and multiple overcompacted layers within the prograding sequences suggest major fluctuations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The available drilling and seismic interpretations provide the following history: (1) Cenozoic ice sheets have existed in places near the continental shelf since middle to late Eocene time. (2) A grounded Antarctic ice sheet first expanded to the continental shelf edge, with probable overdeepening of the outer shelf, in late Eucene to early Oligocene time in Prydz Bay, possibly in early Miocene time in the Ross Sea, and at least by middle Miocene time in the Weddell Sea. (3) The relative amounts of shelf prograding and inferred ice-volume variations (and related sea-level changes) have increased since middle to late Miocene time in the eastern Ross Sea, Prydz Bay, and possibly Weddell Sea. Our analysis is preliminary. Further acoustic surveys and scientific drilling are needed to resolve the proximal Antarctic record of glacio-eustatic, climatic, and tectonic events recorded by the prograding sequences. ?? 1991.

  1. Recording of climate and diagenesis through sedimentary DNA and fossil pigments at Laguna Potrok Aike, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuillemin, Aurèle; Ariztegui, Daniel; Leavitt, Peter R.; Bunting, Lynda; The Pasado Science Team

    2016-04-01

    Aquatic sediments record past climatic conditions while providing a wide range of ecological niches for microorganisms. In theory, benthic microbial community composition should depend on environmental features and geochemical conditions of surrounding sediments, as well as ontogeny of the subsurface environment as sediment degraded. In principle, DNA in sediments should be composed of ancient and extant microbial elements persisting at different degrees of preservation, although to date few studies have quantified the relative influence of each factor in regulating final composition of total sedimentary DNA assemblage. Here geomicrobiological and phylogenetic analyses of a Patagonian maar lake were used to indicate that the different sedimentary microbial assemblages derive from specific lacustrine regimes during defined climatic periods. Two climatic intervals (Mid-Holocene, 5 ka BP; Last Glacial Maximum, 25 ka BP) whose sediments harbored active microbial populations were sampled for a comparative environmental study based on fossil pigments and 16S rRNA gene sequences. The genetic assemblage recovered from the Holocene record revealed a microbial community displaying metabolic complementarities that allowed prolonged degradation of organic matter to methane. The series of Archaea identified throughout the Holocene record indicated an age-related stratification of these populations brought on by environmental selection during early diagenesis. These characteristics were associated with sediments resulting from endorheic lake conditions and stable pelagic regime, high evaporative stress and concomitant high algal productivity. In contrast, sulphate-reducing bacteria and lithotrophic Archaea were predominant in sediments dated from the Last Glacial Maximum, in which pelagic clays alternated with fine volcanic material characteristic of a lake level highstand and freshwater conditions, but reduced water column productivity. Comparison of sedimentary DNA composition

  2. Two new fossil genera and species of Cerocephalinae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Pteromalidae), including the first record from the Eocene

    PubMed Central

    Bläser, Marcel; Krogmann, Lars; Peters, Ralph S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Cerocephalinae (Chalcidoidea, Pteromalidae) is a small group of parasitoid wasps characterized by a number of derived diagnostic features. Their hosts are endophytic beetles. So far, 43 species of Cerocephalinae have been described, including one fossil species from the Miocene. In this study, we add two new genera and species from Baltic and Dominican amber to the fossil record. Tenuicornus dominicus gen. et sp. n. is the second genus described from Dominican amber, and Pteropilosa lailarabanorum gen. et sp. n., described from Baltic amber, represents the oldest record of the subfamily, pushing the minimum age of Cerocephalinae back to the Eocene. Diagnostic characters of both species are discussed in comparison with other Cerocephalinae. An updated key to extant and fossil Cerocephalinae is presented. PMID:26798296

  3. Testing the Molecular Clock Using the Best Fossil Record: Case Studies from the Planktic Foraminifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steel, B. A.; Kucera, M.; Darling, K.

    2004-12-01

    Criticism of molecular clock studies often centres on inadequate calibration and a perceived lack of correlation between reproductive isolation and recognisable morphological evolution. Since many major groups (e.g. birds, mammals, reptiles) have a poor fossil record, it is often difficult to test and refute these limitations. Planktic foraminifera represent an exception to this rule. Deep-sea sediments are super-abundant in foraminifera, and large numbers of specimens and occurrences are easily garnered from Ocean Drilling Programme cores. Planktic foraminifera therefore represent an ideal model group with which to test and refine molecular clock studies. Since the 1990AƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAøs, genetic sequences (principally 18S r-RNA) have been extracted from living planktic foraminifera, and a large genetic library has developed. Our study attempts to contextualise and test molecular data, particularly AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"molecular clockAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø dates, utilising material from two ODP cores (Site 926A (Atlantic) and 806 (Pacific), to examine the evolutionary history of two sibling-species complexes (Globigerinella siphonifera and Globigerinoides ruber, both common shallow-water species and both of considerable palaeoceanographic utility). Recent genetic studies have suggested that these two AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"super-speciesAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø in fact consist of a number of isolated forms, with contrasting ecologies and longevities, which in Recent and sub-Recent sediments can be distinguished either on the basis of pore ultrastructure (Gl. siphonifera) or test colouration (Gs. ruber). In both cases, molecular clock estimates are indicative of ancient (7-11 Ma) intra-species cryptic divergences, which seem to be considerably older than fossil dates. In particular, the calculated molecular split between the two forms of Gs. ruber (AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"whiteAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø and AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"pinkA

  4. Fossil spiders.

    PubMed

    Selden, Paul A; Penney, David

    2010-02-01

    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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodick, Jeff; Orion, Nir

    2003-01-01

    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)

  6. Fossilized spermatozoa preserved in a 50-Myr-old annelid cocoon from Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Mörs, Thomas; Ferraguti, Marco; Reguero, Marcelo A.; McLoughlin, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    The origin and evolution of clitellate annelids—earthworms, leeches and their relatives—is poorly understood, partly because body fossils of these delicate organisms are exceedingly rare. The distinctive egg cases (cocoons) of Clitellata, however, are relatively common in the fossil record, although their potential for phylogenetic studies has remained largely unexplored. Here, we report the remarkable discovery of fossilized spermatozoa preserved within the secreted wall layers of a 50-Myr-old clitellate cocoon from Antarctica, representing the oldest fossil animal sperm yet known. Sperm characters are highly informative for the classification of extant Annelida. The Antarctic fossil spermatozoa have several features that point to affinities with the peculiar, leech-like ‘crayfish worms' (Branchiobdellida). We anticipate that systematic surveys of cocoon fossils coupled with advances in non-destructive analytical methods may open a new window into the evolution of minute, soft-bodied life forms that are otherwise only rarely observed in the fossil record. PMID:26179804

  7. Piscivory in a Miocene Cetotheriidae of Peru: first record of fossilized stomach content for an extinct baleen-bearing whale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collareta, Alberto; Landini, Walter; Lambert, Olivier; Post, Klaas; Tinelli, Chiara; Di Celma, Claudio; Panetta, Daniele; Tripodi, Maria; Salvadori, Piero A.; Caramella, Davide; Marchi, Damiano; Urbina, Mario; Bianucci, Giovanni

    2015-12-01

    Instead of teeth, modern mysticetes bear hair-fringed keratinous baleen plates that permit various bulk-filtering predation techniques (from subsurface skimming to lateral benthic suction and engulfment) devoted to various target prey (from small invertebrates to schooling fish). Current knowledge about the feeding ecology of extant cetaceans is revealed by stomach content analyses and observations of behavior. Unfortunately, no fossil stomach contents of ancient mysticetes have been described so far; the investigation of the diet of fossil baleen whales, including the Neogene family Cetotheriidae, remains thus largely speculative. We report on an aggregate of fossil fish remains found within a mysticete skeleton belonging to an undescribed late Miocene (Tortonian) cetotheriid from the Pisco Formation (Peru). Micro-computed tomography allowed us to interpret it as the fossilized content of the forestomach of the host whale and to identify the prey as belonging to the extant clupeiform genus Sardinops. Our discovery represents the first direct evidence of piscivory in an ancient edentulous mysticete. Since among modern mysticetes only Balaenopteridae are known to ordinarily consume fish, this fossil record may indicate that part of the cetotheriids experimented some degree of balaenopterid-like engulfment feeding. Moreover, this report corresponds to one of the geologically oldest records of Sardinops worldwide, occurring near the Tortonian peak of oceanic primary productivity and cooling phase. Therefore, our discovery evokes a link between the rise of Cetotheriidae; the setup of modern coastal upwelling systems; and the radiation of epipelagic, small-sized, schooling clupeiform fish in such highly productive environments.

  8. 30-Year Satellite Record Reveals Accelerated Arctic Sea Ice Loss, Antarctic Sea Ice Trend Reversal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Parkinson, C. L.; Vinnikov, K. Y.

    2003-01-01

    Arctic sea ice extent decreased by 0.30 plus or minus 0.03 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1972 through 2002, but decreased by 0.36 plus or minus 0.05 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per decade from 1979 through 2002, indicating an acceleration of 20% in the rate of decrease. In contrast to the Arctic, the Antarctic sea ice extent decreased dramatically over the period 1973-1977, then gradually increased, with an overall 30-year trend of -0.15 plus or minus 0.08 x 10(exp 6) square kilometers per 10yr. The trend reversal is attributed to a large positive anomaly in Antarctic sea ice extent observed in the early 1970's.

  9. A NEW SPECIES OF DIAPHANA FROM BATHYAL DEPTHS IN THE WEDDELL SEA, ANTARCTICA AND FIRST RECORD OF DIAPHANA INFLATA (STREBEL, 1908) IN THE HIGH ANTARCTIC (GASTROPODA: OPISTHOBRANCHIA).

    PubMed

    Linse, KATRIN; SchiØtte, TOM

    2002-05-01

    Diaphana haini n.sp. is described from Antarctica. With a depth range from about 400 to 2100 m, D. haini is the second Antarctic species of this genus to extend into the deep sea, the other being D. inflata (Strebel, 1908). Phylogenetic analysis has allowed D. haini to be incorporated within Schiøtte's (1998) cladogram for this genus and, thereby clarify its historical zoogeography. A record of D. inflata from the Weddell Sea extends its known distribution range. The recorded geographic distribution now ranges from South Georgia to the Antarctic continent, and the depth range is extended considerably, from 252-310 m to 1645 m. PMID:12011240

  10. A multi-calibrated mitochondrial phylogeny of extant Bovidae (Artiodactyla, Ruminantia) and the importance of the fossil record to systematics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Molecular phylogenetics has provided unprecedented resolution in the ruminant evolutionary tree. However, molecular age estimates using only one or a few (often misapplied) fossil calibration points have produced a diversity of conflicting ages for important evolutionary events within this clade. I here identify 16 fossil calibration points of relevance to the phylogeny of Bovidae and Ruminantia and use these, individually and together, to construct a dated molecular phylogeny through a reanalysis of the full mitochondrial genome of over 100 ruminant species. Results The new multi-calibrated tree provides ages that are younger overall than found in previous studies. Among these are young ages for the origin of crown Ruminantia (39.3–28.8 Ma), and crown Bovidae (17.3–15.1 Ma). These are argued to be reasonable hypotheses given that many basal fossils assigned to these taxa may in fact lie on the stem groups leading to the crown clades, thus inflating previous age estimates. Areas of conflict between molecular and fossil dates do persist, however, especially with regard to the base of the rapid Pecoran radiation and the sister relationship of Moschidae to Bovidae. Results of the single-calibrated analyses also show that a very wide range of molecular age estimates are obtainable using different calibration points, and that the choice of calibration point can influence the topology of the resulting tree. Compared to the single-calibrated trees, the multi-calibrated tree exhibits smaller variance in estimated ages and better reflects the fossil record. Conclusions The use of a large number of vetted fossil calibration points with soft bounds is promoted as a better approach than using just one or a few calibrations, or relying on internal-congruency metrics to discard good fossil data. This study also highlights the importance of considering morphological and ecological characteristics of clades when delimiting higher taxa. I also illustrate how

  11. Review of the monotreme fossil record and comparison of palaeontological and molecular data.

    PubMed

    Musser, A M

    2003-12-01

    Monotremes have traditionally been considered a remnant group of mammals descended from archaic Mesozoic stock, surviving to the present day on the relatively isolated Australian continent. Challenges to this orthodoxy have been spurred by discoveries of 'advanced' Cretaceous monotremes (Steropodon galmani, Archer, M., et al., 1985. First Mesozoic mammal from Australia-an Early Cretaceous monotreme, Nature. 318, 363-366) as well as by results from molecular data linking monotremes to therian mammals (specifically to marsupials in some studies). This paper reviews the monotreme fossil record and briefly discusses significant new information from additional Cretaceous Australian material. Mesozoic monotremes (including S. galmani) were a diverse group as evidenced by new material from the Early Cretaceous of New South Wales and Victoria currently under study. Although most of these new finds are edentulous jaws (limiting dental comparisons and determination of dietary niches), a range of sizes and forms has been determined. Some of these Cretaceous jaws exhibit archaic features-in particular evidence for the presence of a splenial bone in S. galmani-not seen in therian mammals or in post-Mesozoic (Tertiary and Quaternary) monotreme taxa. Tertiary monotremes were either archaic ornithorhynchids (toothed platypuses in the genera Monotrematum and Obdurodon) or tachyglossids (large echidnas in the genera Megalibgwilia and Zaglossus). Quaternary ornithorhynchid material is referable to the sole living platypus species Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Quaternary echidnas, however, were moderately diverse and several forms are known (Megalibgwilia species; 'Zaglossus' hacketti; Zaglossus species and Tachyglossus aculeatus). PMID:14667856

  12. On the development of probabilistic climate reconstructions based on fossil pollen records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoelzel, C.; Hense, A.

    2009-04-01

    Past climate reconstructions based on proxy data help to understand natural climate variability. It is essential that palaeoenvironmental transfer functions between climate and proxy variables take in to account the stochastical nature of the climate system. Especially pollen based reconstructions are a complex issue, since pollen counts do not show direct relation to climatological parameters, e.g. due to plant competition and/or land cultivation. The idea is to assess the background knowledge from classical, more empirically based methods in order to develop statistical transfer functions between vegetation and climate. Two popular concepts, the indicator taxa approach (or MCR) as well as the biomisation (BIOME/PFT), are translated into a statistical framework in order to reconstruct January and July temperatures as well as annual precipitation during the Holocene (10,000yrs BP). This involves the problem of multivariate random vectors with non-normally distributed marginals, which has been adressed by using copulas. The methods are applied to fossil pollen records of laminated sediments from the Eifel region in Germany. On the one hand, the reconstructions indicate that pollen based reconstructions show larger uncertainty ranges than expected by several classical approaches. On the other hand, the indicator taxa approach is robust to the lack of modern analogues, which is an advantage in highly anthropogenically influenced areas such as the Mediterranean or Central Europe.

  13. Species-energy relationship in the deep sea: A test using the Quaternary fossil record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunt, G.; Cronin, T. M.; Roy, K.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the processes regulating species richness in deep-sea communities. Here we take advantage of natural experiments involving climate change to test whether predictions of the species-energy hypothesis hold in the deep sea. In addition, we test for the relationship between temperature and species richness predicted by a recent model based on biochemical kinetics of metabolism. Using the deep-sea fossil record of benthic foraminifera and statistical meta-analyses of temperature-richness and productivity-richness relationships in 10 deep-sea cores, we show that temperature but not productivity is a significant predictor of species richness over the past c. 130 000 years. Our results not only show that the temperature-richness relationship in the deep-sea is remarkably similar to that found in terrestrial and shallow marine habitats, but also that species richness tracks temperature change over geological time, at least on scales of c. 100 000 years. Thus, predicting biotic response to global climate change in the deep sea would require better understanding of how temperature regulates the occurrences and geographical ranges of species. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Cell symbiosis [correction of symbioisis] theory: status and implications for the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Margulis, L; Stolz, J F

    1984-01-01

    Recent geological treatises have presented three alternative models of the origins of eukaryotes as if they merited equal treatment. However, modern biological techniques, especially nucleic acid and protein sequencing, have clearly established the validity of the symbiotic theory of the origin of eukaryotic organelles. The serial endosymbiotic theory in its most extreme form states that three classes of eukaryotic cell organelles (mitochondria, plastids and undulipodia) originated as free-living bacteria (aerobic respirers, phototrophic bacteria and spirochetes respectively) in association with hosts that become the nucleocytoplasm (Thermoplasma-like archaebacterial hosts). Molecular biological information, primarily derived from ribosomal RNA nucleotide sequencing studies leads to the conclusion that the symbiotic origin theory for both mitochondria and plastids has been proven. The probability of an ancestral archaebacterial-Thermoplasma-like host for the nucleocytoplasm has been rendered more likely by discoveries by Dennis Searcy and his colleagues and Carl Woese and his colleagues. The most equivocal postulate of the symbiotic theory, the origin of undulipodia (cilia and other organelles of motility that develop from kinetosomes is under investigation now. The status of these postulates, as well as their implications for the fossil record, is briefly summarized here. PMID:11537775

  15. Dietary correlates associated with the mental foramen in primates: implications for interpreting the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Muchlinski, Magdalena N; Deane, Andrew S

    2016-07-01

    The mandibular nerve is a sensory and motor nerve that innervates the muscles of mastication, the lower dentition, and the lower lip and surrounding structures. Although this nerve contains both efferent and afferent fibers, the mental nerve, a terminal branch of the mandibular nerve, is a strictly sensory nerve that exits the mental foramen and innervates the lower lip, the skin overlaying the mandible, and the oral mucosa around the mandible. Osteological foramina are often used as proxies for nerve cross section area and they often correlate well with some aspect of a primate's ecology (e.g., optic foramen and visual acuity). The primary objective of this study is to explore the correlation between the mental foramen and dietary preference among primates. The mental foramen of 40 primate species (n = 180) was measured from 3-D surface models of the mandible. Both conventional and phylogenetic tests indicate that although frugivores have larger mental foramina than folivores, the differences were not significant. These results show that while structures like the infraorbital foramen correlate well with diet and touch sensitivity, the mental foramen does not. Based on these findings, the mental foramen is not a suggested morphological character for interpreting of the fossil record. J. Morphol. 277:978-985, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27130849

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  17. First forensic records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, R A; Soriano, E P; Carvalho, M V D; Caldas-Junior, A F; Souza, E H A; Coelho-Junior, L G T M; Campello, R I C; Almeida, A C; Farias, R C A P; Vasconcellos, A

    2016-07-25

    The aim of this study was to describe the first records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil. The cases reported in this study resulted from forensic analysis of six human skeletons found in northeastern Brazil between 2012 and 2014. Traces of tunnels and nests commonly produced by termites were found on several human bone surfaces as well as the specimens and characteristic signs of osteophagic activity. In four cases, the species were identified: Amitermes amifer Silvestri, 1901, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1855) (on two skeletons), and Microcerotermes indistinctus Mathews, 1977. In two other cases, the activity of termites on bone surfaces was evidenced by remains of nests and tunnels produced by these insects. At least in the samples of human remains available for this report, the number of termites collected was greater on bones found during autumn, the rainy season in the Northeast of Brazil. The human bones examined showed termites like insects with lots of strength at bone degradation, capable of continuing the process of decomposition of human remains even in completely skeletonized bodies. PMID:27463832

  18. Fossil bryophytes as recorders of ancient CO2 levels: Experimental evidence and a Cretaceous case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Benjamin J.; Beerling, David J.; Brentnall, Stuart J.; Royer, Dana L.

    2005-09-01

    Biological and geochemical CO2 proxies provide critical constraints on understanding the role of atmospheric CO2 in driving climate change during Earth history. As no single existing CO2 proxy is without its limitations, there is a clear need for new approaches to reconstructing past CO2 concentrations. Here we develop a new pre-Quaternary CO2 proxy based on the stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of astomatous land plants. In a series of CO2-controlled laboratory experiments, we show that the carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C) of a range of bryophyte (liverwort and moss) species increases with atmospheric CO2 across the range 375 to 6000 ppm. Separate experiments establish that variations in growth temperature, water content and substrate type have minor impacts on the Δ13C of liverworts but not mosses, indicating the greater potential of liverworts to faithfully record past variations in CO2. A mechanistic model for calculating past CO2 concentrations from bryophyte Δ13C (White et al., 1994) is extended and calibrated using our experimental results. The potential for fossil liverworts to record past CO2 changes is investigated by analyzing the δ13C of specimens collected from Alexander Island, Antarctica dating to the "greenhouse" world of the mid-Cretaceous. Our analysis and isotopic model yield mid-Cretaceous CO2 concentrations of 1000-1400 ppm, in general agreement with independent proxy data and long-term carbon cycle models. The exceptionally long evolutionary history of bryophytes offers the possibility of reconstructing CO2 concentrations back to the mid-Ordovician, pre-dating all currently used quantitative CO2 proxies.

  19. Ancestral state reconstruction of body size in the Caniformia (Carnivora, Mammalia): the effects of incorporating data from the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Finarelli, John A; Flynn, John J

    2006-04-01

    A recent molecular phylogeny of the mammalian order Carnivora implied large body size as the ancestral condition for the caniform subclade Arctoidea using the distribution of species mean body sizes among living taxa. "Extant taxa-only" approaches such as these discount character state observations for fossil members of living clades and completely ignore data from extinct lineages. To more rigorously reconstruct body sizes of ancestral forms within the Caniformia, body size and first appearance data were collected for 149 extant and 367 extinct taxa. Body sizes were reconstructed for four ancestral nodes using weighted squared-change parsimony on log-transformed body mass data. Reconstructions based on extant taxa alone favored large body sizes (on the order of 10 to 50 kg) for the last common ancestors of both the Caniformia and Arctoidea. In contrast, reconstructions incorporating fossil data support small body sizes (< 5 kg) for the ancestors of those clades. When the temporal information associated with fossil data was discarded, body size reconstructions became ambiguous, demonstrating that incorporating both character state and temporal information from fossil taxa unambiguously supports a small ancestral body size, thereby falsifying hypotheses derived from extant taxa alone. Body size reconstructions for Caniformia, Arctoidea, and Musteloidea were not sensitive to potential errors introduced by uncertainty in the position of extinct lineages relative to the molecular topology, or to missing body size data for extinct members of an entire major clade (the aquatic Pinnipedia). Incorporating character state observations and temporal information from the fossil record into hypothesis testing has a significant impact on the ability to reconstruct ancestral characters and constrains the range of potential hypotheses of character evolution. Fossil data here provide the evidence to reliably document trends of both increasing and decreasing body size in several

  20. A High-Resolution Record of Early Miocene Antarctic Glacial History From Downhole Logs, Site 1165, ODP Leg 188

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, T.; Barr, S.; Handwerger, D.

    2002-12-01

    ODP Site 1165, located 400 km NW of Prydz Bay, contains the most detailed record yet obtained of Early Miocene Antarctic glacial history. The 520-m-thick Early Miocene consists of dark grey claystone with silt laminae (contourites) alternating with decimeter-scale layers of greenish-grey bioturbated claystone that contain common ice rafted debris (IRD). These sediments are interpreted to record pulses of IRD from the continent, and alternations in the position or strength of the currents at the site. Downhole logs of electrical resistivity, natural gamma radiation, and density also record the alternations between the two facies. Here we assess the lithological significance of the logs by examining the opal, IRD, and susceptibility of two short intervals at high resolution, with samples taken every 10 cm, or about 1250 yr. The IRD-bearing greenish-grey claystone corresponds to higher resistivity and density because of increased cementation by silica, and corresponds to lower natural gamma radiation because of decreased clay content. Thus, using the logs, lithology can be inferred for intervals where no core was recovered. Based mainly on magnetostratigraphy, the age of the base of the hole is 22 Ma, and the sedimentation rate for the Early Miocene about 9 cm/kyr. The regular spacing of the facies alternations in the logs suggests they are astronomically paced. Between 18-20 Ma, the main periodicity is in the precessional range, and between 20-22 Ma, the logs have a saw-toothed form, with a major peak in IRD at the beginning of each, repeating about every 100 kyr. We think that the IRD pulses represent deglaciations. Hence our data suggest that the Antarctic continent, at least around the Prydz Bay region, was glaciated in the Early Miocene, and that the size of the ice sheet oscillated on Milankovitch time scales.

  1. Recording of climate and diagenesis through fossil pigments and sedimentary DNA at Laguna Potrok Aike, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuillemin, A.; Ariztegui, D.; Leavitt, P. R.; Bunting, L.; Pasado Science Team

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic sediments record past climatic conditions while providing a wide range of ecological niches for microorganisms. Although marine sedimentary microbial assemblages are often defined by their surrounding geochemical conditions, the influence of environmental features upon microbial development and post-depositional survival remains largely unknown in the lacustrine realm. Due to long-term microbial activity, the composition of environmental DNA can be expected to evolve with sediment depth and over time and therefore should reflect both ancient and extant microbial populations, but this hypothesis has rarely been tested using a multiproxy approach. Here geomicrobiological and phylogenetic analyses of a Patagonian maar lake were used to indicate that the different sedimentary microbial assemblages derive from specific lacustrine regimes during defined climatic periods. Two well defined climatic intervals whose sediments harboured active microbial populations and measurable ATP were sampled for a comparative environmental study based on fossil pigments and 16S rRNA gene sequences. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from the Holocene record revealed a microbial community adapted to subsaline conditions actively producing methane during organic matter degradation. These characteristics were associated with sediments resulting from endorheic lake conditions with high evaporative stress and concomitant high algal productivity. Moreover, archaeal clone libraries established throughout the Holocene record indicate an age-related stratification of these populations, consistent with a gradual use of organic substrates after deposition. In contrast, sulphate-reducing bacteria and lithotrophic Archaea were predominant in sediments dated from the Last Glacial Maximum, in which pelagic clays alternated with fine volcanic material characteristic of a lake level highstand and freshwater conditions, but reduced water column productivity. These patterns

  2. Decay of vertebrate characters in hagfish and lamprey (Cyclostomata) and the implications for the vertebrate fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Sansom, Robert S.; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Purnell, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The timing and sequence of events underlying the origin and early evolution of vertebrates remains poorly understood. The palaeontological evidence should shed light on these issues, but difficulties in interpretation of the non-biomineralized fossil record make this problematic. Here we present an experimental analysis of decay of vertebrate characters based on the extant jawless vertebrates (Lampetra and Myxine). This provides a framework for the interpretation of the anatomy of soft-bodied fossil vertebrates and putative cyclostomes, and a context for reading the fossil record of non-biomineralized vertebrate characters. Decay results in transformation and non-random loss of characters. In both lamprey and hagfish, different types of cartilage decay at different rates, resulting in taphonomic bias towards loss of ‘soft’ cartilages containing vertebrate-specific Col2α1 extracellular matrix proteins; phylogenetically informative soft-tissue characters decay before more plesiomorphic characters. As such, synapomorphic decay bias, previously recognized in early chordates, is more pervasive, and needs to be taken into account when interpreting the anatomy of any non-biomineralized fossil vertebrate, such as Haikouichthys, Mayomyzon and Hardistiella. PMID:20947532

  3. Antarctic ecosystems as models for extraterrestrial surface habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wynn-Williams, D. D.; Edwards, H. G. M.

    2000-09-01

    Surface habitats in Antarctic deserts are near the limits of life on Earth and resemble those hypothesized for early Mars. Cyanobacteria dominate the transient riverbeds, stromatolitic sediments in ice-covered lakes, and endolithic communities in translucent rock. There is still no direct evidence of photosynthetic life on early Mars, but cyanobacteria are amongst the earliest microbes detectable in the fossil record for analogous habitats on Earth. Key biomolecules persist in Antarctic microbial habitats, even after extinction by excessive low temperatures, desiccation and UV-B stress within the Ozone Hole. Pigments (or their fossil residues), such as chlorophyll and the UV-protectants scytonemin, carotene and quinones, are good biomarkers. To show not only their presence but also their micro-spatial distribution in situ, we describe the use of FT-Raman spectroscopy with 1064 nm excitation to avoid autofluorescence from the pigments. We report not only the diversity of biomolecules that we have diagnosed from their unique Raman spectra of Antarctic cyanobacterial communities, but also their functional stratification in endolithic communities. Our analyses of Antarctic habitats show the potential of this remote, non-intrusive technique to probe for buried biomolecules on future Mars missions and in Antarctic Lake Vostok, >4 km beneath the Central Ice Sheet, with implications for the putative analogous sub-ice ocean on Europa.

  4. Historical whaling records reveal major regional retreat of Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotté, Cédric; Guinet, Christophe

    2007-02-01

    Several studies have provided evidence of a reduction of the Antarctic sea ice extent. However, these studies were conducted either at a global scale or at a regional scale, and possible inter-regional differences were not analysed. Using the long-term whaling database we investigated circum-Antarctic changes in summer sea ice extent from 1931 to 1987. Accounting for bias inherent in the whaling method, this analysis provides new insight into the historical ice edge reconstruction and inter-regional differences. We highlight a reduction of the sea ice extent occurring in the 1960s, mainly in the Weddell sector where the change ranged from 3° to 7.9° latitude through summer. Although the whaling method may not be appropriate for detecting fine-scale change, these results provide evidence for a heterogeneous circumpolar change of the sea ice extent. The shift is temporally and spatially consistent with other environmental changes detected in the Weddell sector and also with a shift in the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. The large reduction of the sea ice extent has probably influenced the ecosystem of the Weddell Sea, particularly the krill biomass.

  5. Evolutionary innovations in the fossil record: the intersection of ecology, development, and macroevolution.

    PubMed

    Jablonski, David

    2005-11-15

    The origins of evolutionary innovations have been intensively studied, but relatively little is known about their large-scale ecological patterns. For post-Paleozoic benthic marine invertebrates, which have the richest and most densely sampled fossil record, order-level taxa tend to appear first in onshore, disturbed habitats, even in groups that are now exclusively deep-water (so that present-day distributions are not reliable indicators of original environments). New results presented here show that the onshore-origination pattern is robust to shifts in taxonomic methods and to new paleontological discoveries, and the few available studies suggest that this pattern can also be seen in terms of excursions in morphospace or the acquisition of derived character states, without reference to taxonomic categories. The environmental pattern at high levels contrasts significantly with the origin of low-level novelties (such as defined genera and families) in crinoids, echinoids, and bryozoans, where first appearances tend to conform to their clade-specific bathymetric diversity gradients. This discordance seems to eliminate potential driving mechanisms that simply scale up within-population genetic or ecological processes. Little is known about the factors that promote the onshore-offshore expansion of orders across the continental shelf, or that drive some clades to abandon ancestral habitats for an exclusively deep-water distribution. The origin of evolutionary innovation must ultimately reside in developmental changes, but the onshore-origination bias could emerge from two different dynamics: the pattern could be primarily genetic and developmental, i.e., innovations truly arise onshore; or primarily ecological, i.e., innovations arise randomly but preferentially survive onshore. Whatever the ultimate driving mechanisms, these macroevolutionary patterns show that theories of large-scale evolutionary novelty must include an ecological dimension. PMID:16161067

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

    PubMed

    Moran, Amy L

    2004-12-01

    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

  7. Palaeontology: The Point of No Return in the Fossil Record of Eusociality.

    PubMed

    Rust, Jes; Wappler, Torsten

    2016-02-22

    The evolution of eusociality is one of the major transitions in the history of life, particularly in the insects. Now, fossil termites and ants from Burmese amber offer insights into early stages of eusociality in the Lower Cretaceous. PMID:26906485

  8. A long-term association between global temperature and biodiversity, origination and extinction in the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Mayhew, Peter J; Jenkins, Gareth B; Benton, Timothy G

    2007-01-01

    The past relationship between global temperature and levels of biological diversity is of increasing concern due to anthropogenic climate warming. However, no consistent link between these variables has yet been demonstrated. We analysed the fossil record for the last 520 Myr against estimates of low latitude sea surface temperature for the same period. We found that global biodiversity (the richness of families and genera) is related to temperature and has been relatively low during warm ‘greenhouse’ phases, while during the same phases extinction and origination rates of taxonomic lineages have been relatively high. These findings are consistent for terrestrial and marine environments and are robust to a number of alternative assumptions and potential biases. Our results provide the first clear evidence that global climate may explain substantial variation in the fossil record in a simple and consistent manner. Our findings may have implications for extinction and biodiversity change under future climate warming. PMID:17956842

  9. A new Eemian record of Antarctic tephra layers retrieved from the Talos Dome ice core (Northern Victoria Land)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria; Petit, Jean Robert; Langone, Antonio; Stenni, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Polar ice sheets are remarkable repositories of tephra layers. The Talos Dome ice core (72°49‧S, 159°11‧E), drilled at the edge of the East Antarctic Plateau, close to Late Quaternary volcanoes, offers considerable potential to extend the current tephra time-stratigraphic framework. A tephrochronological study was undertaken of the ice core sections related to the Last Interglacial and the transition to the subsequent glacial period. Thirteen macroscopically visible layers, interpreted to be related to primary deposition of fallout tephra, have been analysed for quantitative grain size and glass shard geochemistry. The layers, precisely framed within the climate (δ18O) record for the core, span in age from 111.6 ± 1.9 to 123.3 ± 2.2 ka. Coarse particle size suggests origin from regional sources. Indeed, the vast majority of the samples display an alkaline affinity and trachytic composition that are both typical geochemical features of rifting Antarctic volcanism. Using subtle differences in the geochemical signatures and the comparison with data from previous studies, a few layers are attributed to known coeval Mt. Melbourne eruptions. Another sample subset is consistent with derivation from The Pleiades and Mt. Rittmann volcanoes. One peculiar trachytic glass population appears to be related to activity of the more distant Marie Byrd Land volcanoes. The newly detected tephras provide stratigraphic markers that could facilitate future synchronisation and dating of palaeoclimatic records. The Talos Dome tephra inventory also contributes significantly to the reconstruction of the Northern Victoria Land explosive volcanism, for which chronostratigraphic data for the Last Interglacial temporal segment are poor.

  10. Fossil Crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  11. Fossil Crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    1999-10-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  12. Piscivory in a Miocene Cetotheriidae of Peru: first record of fossilized stomach content for an extinct baleen-bearing whale.

    PubMed

    Collareta, Alberto; Landini, Walter; Lambert, Olivier; Post, Klaas; Tinelli, Chiara; Di Celma, Claudio; Panetta, Daniele; Tripodi, Maria; Salvadori, Piero A; Caramella, Davide; Marchi, Damiano; Urbina, Mario; Bianucci, Giovanni

    2015-12-01

    Instead of teeth, modern mysticetes bear hair-fringed keratinous baleen plates that permit various bulk-filtering predation techniques (from subsurface skimming to lateral benthic suction and engulfment) devoted to various target prey (from small invertebrates to schooling fish). Current knowledge about the feeding ecology of extant cetaceans is revealed by stomach content analyses and observations of behavior. Unfortunately, no fossil stomach contents of ancient mysticetes have been described so far; the investigation of the diet of fossil baleen whales, including the Neogene family Cetotheriidae, remains thus largely speculative. We report on an aggregate of fossil fish remains found within a mysticete skeleton belonging to an undescribed late Miocene (Tortonian) cetotheriid from the Pisco Formation (Peru). Micro-computed tomography allowed us to interpret it as the fossilized content of the forestomach of the host whale and to identify the prey as belonging to the extant clupeiform genus Sardinops. Our discovery represents the first direct evidence of piscivory in an ancient edentulous mysticete. Since among modern mysticetes only Balaenopteridae are known to ordinarily consume fish, this fossil record may indicate that part of the cetotheriids experimented some degree of balaenopterid-like engulfment feeding. Moreover, this report corresponds to one of the geologically oldest records of Sardinops worldwide, occurring near the Tortonian peak of oceanic primary productivity and cooling phase. Therefore, our discovery evokes a link between the rise of Cetotheriidae; the setup of modern coastal upwelling systems; and the radiation of epipelagic, small-sized, schooling clupeiform fish in such highly productive environments. PMID:26553062

  13. A Bivalve Proxy for Neogene Antarctic Shelf Marine Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, N. A.; Williams, M.; Quilty, P. G.; Leng, M. J.; Zalasiewicz, J. A.; Smellie, J.; Dowsett, H. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Neogene shallow-marine successions of the Antarctic Peninsula and of the East Antarctic region preserve rich assemblages of bivalve molluscs. These bivalve molluscs provide a detailed record of palaeoseasonality in the chemical signature and morphology of their shells that can be used to assess sea temperatures and sea ice extent for the Antarctic shelf during the Pliocene. Analyses identify the following. 1) Neogene bivalves from James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, comprise material of late Miocene through to late Pliocene age. Results identify warm (ca. 3-10 °C) early Pliocene sea temperatures, and cooler late Pliocene sea temperatures (ca. 0-4 °C), and flag a cooling trend which is consistent with the evolution of polar climate through this interval. 2) Neogene bivalves from the Larsemann Hills, East Antarctic, identify generally warmer than present sea temperatures (ca. 0-11 °C) in the early Pliocene consistent with data from other fossil groups of this age, including dolphins and silicoflagellates. The new data may provide significant ground truth for climate models assessing the Southern Ocean and Antarctic shelf climate.

  14. Ghost shrimp Calliax de Saint Laurent, 1973 (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callianassidae) in the fossil record: systematics, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography

    PubMed Central

    HYŽNÝ, MATÚŠ; GAŠPARIČ, ROK

    2015-01-01

    Ghost shrimps of the family Callianassidae are very common in the fossil record, but mostly as isolated cheliped elements only. The assignment to biologically defined genera, diagnosed on the basis of soft part morphology, is thus rather difficult. In this respect, proxy characters present on chelipeds that are the most durable ghost shrimp remains are needed to ascribe fossil material to extant genera. The genus Calliax de Saint Laurent, 1973 has been particularly obscure in this respect. Thorough comparison of extant members of the genus resulted in evaluation of characters present on chelipeds being taxonomically important on the genus level, specifically: 1) rectangular major P1 propodus with two ridges on the base of the fixed finger extending onto manus; 2) major P1 fingers relatively short; and 3) minor P1 chela with dactylus longer than fixed finger and possessing a wide gap between fingers. On this basis, Callianassa michelottii A. Milne Edwards, 1860, from the Oligocene and Miocene of Europe is herein reassigned to Calliax. Further re-examination of the ghost shrimp fossil record revealed that C. szobensis Müller, 1984, from the Middle Miocene of Hungary represents the same animal as C. michelottii and they are synomymised herein. The known geographic distribution of C. michelottii is expanded by the first confirmed occurrence of the species in Slovakia. All occurrences of C. michelottii known to date are reviewed and documented. The presence of Calliax michelottii comb. nov. may be considered an indicator of deeper marine settings. Based on the scarce fossil record known to date, Calliax has a Tethyan origin; it supposedly migrated westward to establish present day communities in the Caribbean sometime before the Middle Miocene. PMID:24989725

  15. Expanding Ice Sheets on the Antarctic Peninsula during the Plio/Pleistocene Recorded in Continental Rise Sediment Drifts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, E. A.; Hillenbrand, C.

    2007-12-01

    Sediment drifts on the continental rise west of the Antarctic Peninsula are located within 125 km from the continental shelf edge, the main contributor of terrigenous sediment during both glacial and interglacial periods. The composition of drift deposits continuously recorded changes in ice sheet volume and thermal regime as well as sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and sea ice extent. The coarse-grained terrigenous sediment (pebbles and coarse sand), a proxy for iceberg-rafted debris (IRD), was analyzed in sediments spanning the last 3.1 m.y. at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 1101 and 1096. IRD is deposited in both glacial intervals, dominated by fine-grained laminated mud and interglacial units consisting of bioturbated muds enriched in biogenic components. Contents of biogenic opal, which reflect diatom abundance, are relatively high from 3.1-2.2 Ma. Calcareous nannofossils are present within interglacial sediments from 2.2-0.76 Ma. Both findings suggest warm SSTs and limited sea ice over the drifts during interglacial periods before the Late Pleistocene. Quartz grains picked from the IRD fraction and imaged with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) show an abrupt change in surface microtextures at 1.35 Ma. During the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene, many quartz grains are completely weathered and only a few show signs of crushing and abrasion, indicating that glaciers were too small to inundate the Antarctic Peninsula topography. Debris shed from mountain peaks was transported supraglacially or englacially allowing weathered grains to pass unmodified through the glaciers. Glaciers expanded in size during glacial periods from 1.35-0.76 Ma. The IRD accumulation during those periods was very high and diverse dropstone lithologies document supply from sources throughout the Antarctica Peninsula. Conditions that spawned the large polar ice sheet identified at the Last Glacial Maximum have been present on the Antarctic Peninsula during glacial periods since

  16. First geomorphological record and glacial history of an inter-ice stream ridge on the West Antarctic continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klages, J. P.; Kuhn, G.; Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Graham, A. G. C.; Smith, J. A.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K.

    2013-02-01

    Inter-ice stream areas cover significant portions of Antarctica's formerly glaciated shelves, but have been largely neglected in past geological studies because of overprinting by iceberg scours. Here, we present results of the first detailed survey of an inter-ice stream ridge from the West Antarctic continental shelf. Well-preserved sub- and proglacial bedforms on the seafloor of the ridge in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) provide new insights into the flow dynamics of this sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) during the Last Glacial cycle. Multibeam swath bathymetry and PARASOUND acoustic sub-bottom profiler data acquired across a mid-shelf bank, between the troughs of the Pine Island-Thwaites (PITPIS) and Cosgrove palaeo-ice streams (COPIS), reveal large-scale ribbed moraines, hill-hole pairs, terminal moraines, and crevasse-squeeze ridges. Together, these features form an assemblage of landforms that is entirely different from that in the adjacent ice-stream troughs, and appears to be unique in the context of previous studies of Antarctic seafloor geomorphology. From this assemblage, the history of ice flow and retreat from the inter-ice stream ridge is reconstructed. The bedforms indicate that ice flow was significantly slower on the inter-ice stream ridge than in the neighbouring troughs. While terminal moraines record at least two re-advances or stillstands of the ice sheet during deglaciation, an extensive field of crevasse-squeeze ridges indicates ice stagnation subsequent to re-advancing ice, which deposited the field of terminal moraines in the NE. The presented data suggest that the ice flow behaviour on the inter-ice stream ridge was substantially different from that in the adjacent troughs. However, newly obtained radiocarbon ages on two sediment cores recovered from the inter-ice stream ridge suggest a similar timing in the deglaciation of both areas. This information closes an important gap in the understanding of past WAIS

  17. Solar vs. Tidal Forcing of Centennial to Decadal Scale Variability in Marine Sedimentary Records from the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkwood, G.; Domack, E.; Brachfeld, S.

    2004-12-01

    Prior studies on Holocene marine sediments from the Antarctic Peninsula, including ODP Site 1098 and USAP N. B. Palmer jumbo piston cores have revealed pronounced multi-century scale variations within a number of paleoenvironmental proxies. In order to fully understand the exact timing of this signal an ultra-high resolution jumbo piston core from the Schollaert Drift was correlated with the well-known Palmer Deep record. A precise and accurate radiocarbon chronology is now available from the former site that utilizes in-situ mollusks, rather than bulk organic matter. The resulting time series spans the last 5000 years over the 20 m length of core NBP99-03 JPC28 and the surface stratigraphy of kasten core NBP01-07 KC8. The corrected and calibrated ages (with an applied reservoir correction of 1170 years) of 10 mollusks dated by the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility and the University of Arizona TAMS facility were used to construct an age-depth profile for JPC28 and KC8. A linear trend (R2 value of 0.993) of the age-depth profile was used to extrapolate the constant time interval between magnetic susceptibility measurements, which were analyzed every 1 cm. Dominant periods in the upper 10 m of the time series were identified using the Arand Spectral Analysis Package (Howell, 2001). This analysis revealed a single pronounced maxima at 160 years, which is inconsistent with the dominant periods found in time series of climate proxies from other sites on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. In particular, periods of 200 and 400 years, which are dominant in the Palmer Deep site (Warner and Domack, 2002), are not present in the Schollaert Drift. The spectral peaks derived from the two records are significantly different at the 95% confidence level. The cycles in the Palmer Deep record have been associated with solar variability, where as the 160 year cycle in the Schollaert Drift is close to a 180 year cycle in tidal forces (Keeling

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

    SciTech Connect

    CoBabe, E.A.

    1995-12-31

    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.

  19. Two Years of Plankton Tows in a Seasonal Upwelling Region: Foraminiferal Abundances and Implications for the Fossil Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, C. V.; Hill, T. M.; Jahncke, J.

    2014-12-01

    Planktic foraminifera have a long history of use as paleoceaographic proxies due to their environmental sensitivity, cosmopolitan distribution and extensive fossil record. The seasonal, spatial and water mass affinities of foraminifera species have implications for the interpretation of fossil assemblages and the interpretation of shell geochemistry. Two years (2012-2014) of shallow (<200 m) plankton tows, taken along the continental shelf inside the California Current system, offer new insights into the spatial and seasonal dynamics of planktic foraminifera in an upwelling regime. Tows along with intensive hydrologic monitoring by CTD casts and discrete bottle sampling (temperature, salinity, oxygen, thermocline depth, carbonate saturation state) have spanned two complete seasonal upwelling-relaxation cycles. We present the results from these tows as well as preliminary models linking environmental drivers and foraminifera assemblages in this highly dynamic environment. Species abundances appear to be highly seasonal, in keeping with water column structure, with a seasonal upwelling to relaxation trade off between the non-spinose foraminifers Neogloboquadrina pachyderma and Neogloboquadrina incompta. We focus on the implications of species seasonality and hydrologic affinities to the interpretation of the fossil record in upwelling regions.

  20. A first record of Cretaceous aphids (Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Aphidomorpha) in Australia, from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed, Victoria.

    PubMed

    Martin, Sarah K; Skidmore, Luke I; Stilwell, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the first species of aphid from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed of the Gippsland Basin, southeastern Victoria, Australia. This aphid, herein named Koonwarraphis rotundafrons gen. & sp. nov., is assigned to the cosmopolitan Cretaceous superfamily Tajmyraphidoidea, which has been previously described from the Lebanese, Taimyrian, Canadian, Myanmar (Burmese), and Spanish ambers. Koonwarraphis rotundafrons is the first aphid recorded from the eastern Gondwanan landmass during the Cretaceous, and represents the only tajmyraphidoid preserved as a compression fossil, rather than as an amber inclusion. Due to the nature of the fossil's preservation, Koonwarraphis cannot be firmly placed in any of the described tajmyraphidoid families; however, all observable morphological features suggest that the genus is broadly typical of the superfamily and Cretaceous aphids in general. Koonwarraphis' shortened rostrum, a feature also seen in other tajmyraphidoids, suggests an association with the more herbaceous aspects of the Early Cretaceous Victorian flora. Considering the modern aphid preference for angiosperm plants, it is possible that this aphid was living upon the herbaceous early angiosperms recorded previously from the Koonwarra macrofloral assemblage. PMID:27395744

  1. The First Occurrence in the Fossil Record of an Aquatic Avian Twig-Nest with Phoenicopteriformes Eggs: Evolutionary Implications

    PubMed Central

    Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Murelaga, Xabier; Larrasoaña, Juan C.; Silveira, Luis F.; Olivares, Maitane; Ortega, Luis A.; Trimby, Patrick W.; Pascual, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Background We describe the first occurrence in the fossil record of an aquatic avian twig-nest with five eggs in situ (Early Miocene Tudela Formation, Ebro Basin, Spain). Extensive outcrops of this formation reveal autochthonous avian osteological and oological fossils that represent a single taxon identified as a basal phoenicopterid. Although the eggshell structure is definitively phoenicopterid, the characteristics of both the nest and the eggs are similar to those of modern grebes. These observations allow us to address the origin of the disparities between the sister taxa Podicipedidae and Phoenicopteridae crown clades, and traces the evolution of the nesting and reproductive environments for phoenicopteriforms. Methodology/Principal Findings Multi-disciplinary analyses performed on fossilized vegetation and eggshells from the eggs in the nest and its embedding sediments indicate that this new phoenicopterid thrived under a semi-arid climate in an oligohaline (seasonally mesohaline) shallow endorheic lacustine environment. High-end microcharacterizations including SEM, TEM, and EBSD techniques were pivotal to identifying these phoenicopterid eggshells. Anatomical comparisons of the fossil bones with those of Phoenicopteriformes and Podicipediformes crown clades and extinct palaelodids confirm that this avian fossil assemblage belongs to a new and basal phoenicopterid. Conclusions/Significance Although the Podicipediformes-Phoenicopteriformes sister group relationship is now well supported, flamingos and grebes exhibit feeding, reproductive, and nesting strategies that diverge significantly. Our multi-disciplinary study is the first to reveal that the phoenicopteriform reproductive behaviour, nesting ecology and nest characteristics derived from grebe-like type strategies to reach the extremely specialized conditions observed in modern flamingo crown groups. Furthermore, our study enables us to map ecological and reproductive characters on the

  2. Antarctic Miocene Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Fossils from Antarctic Miocene terrestrial deposits, coupled with stratigraphic, geochemical and paleontological data from marine boreholes, provide new insights into the climatic history of the continent. During the Miocene, ice caps coalesced to form ice sheets and vegetated surfaces gave way to barren expanses. The cryospheric changes especially have global climatic implications. The fossil data consists of diatoms, pollen and spores, and macroscopic remains of plants, ostracods, insects, molluscs and a fish. Plant fossils include wood and leaves of Nothofagus (southern beech), seeds of several vascular plants, including Ranunculus (buttercup), Hippuris (mare's-tail) and Myriophyllum (watermilfoil), megaspores of Isoetes (quillwort), and moss species. The insect chitin consists of larval head capsules of Chironomidae (midges) and exoskeletal parts of Coleoptera (beetles). The molluscs include freshwater gastropods and bivalves. The majority of these taxa are likely descendants of taxa that had survived on the continent from the Paleogene or earlier. Even though early Miocene glaciations may have been large, the climate was never cold enough to cause the extinction of the biota, which probably survived in coastal refugia. Early Miocene (c. 20 Ma) macrofossils from the McMurdo Dry Valleys (77°S) support palynological interpretations from the Cape Roberts and ANDRILL marine records that the upland vegetation was a shrub tundra. Mean summer temperature (MST) in the uplands was c. 6°C and possibly higher at the coast. The climate was wet, supporting mires and lakes. By the mid-Miocene, even though the climate continued to be wet. MST was c. 4°C which was too cold to support Nothofagus and most vascular plant species. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the time between the Early and Mid-Miocene was a time of repeated ice advances and retreats of small glaciers originating from ice caps. At c. 14 Ma there appears to have been a modal shift in climate to

  3. Uranium-series dating of fossil coral reefs: Extending the sea-level record beyond the last glacial cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stirling, Claudine H.; Andersen, Morten B.

    2009-07-01

    Absolutely dated records of past sea-level change are extremely important for understanding the advance and retreat of the large ice sheets. When combined with other complementary climate archives and climate models, such records offer the potential to gain an improved understanding of Earth's natural climate cycles, providing a firmer basis for assessing the role of anthropogenic effects, such as greenhouse gas emissions, in modifying climate. The U-series dating of fossil coral reefs has been widely utilized to provide absolutely dated records of past sea-level change and numerous observations now exist for the past 130,000 years spanning the last glacial cycle. Despite this, controversies still exist regarding the exact timing and character of sea-level events within this time interval, and extending the sea-level history further back in time on the basis of robust and independent age constraints for older fossil reefs remains very elusive. This is primarily due to a progressive loss in the resolution of the U-series chronometer as one goes further back in time, coupled to a lack of well-preserved, dateable coral in older fossil reefs. To overcome these limitations, the primary challenges are three-fold. First, new analytical protocols are required to improve the resolution of the U-series chronometer. Enhanced analytical precision must be coupled to accuracy through continued refinement of the U-series decay constant determinations and via the implementation of rigorous inter-laboratory calibration exercises. Second, efforts should continue to be focussed on gaining an improved understanding of the mechanisms controlling open-system exchange of the U-series isotopes in fossil reef systems. This will allow the number of 'reliable' U-series observations to be extended. Third, alternative dateable archives of past sea-level change must continue to be emphasized to further complement the coral reef database. These limitations are discussed in the context of current

  4. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: Lessons from Antarctic mega-dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekaykin, Alexey; Eberlein, Lutz; Lipenkov, Vladimir; Popov, Sergey; Schroder, Ludwig

    2015-04-01

    We present the results of glaciological investigations in the mega-dune area located 30 km to the east from Vostok Station (central East Antarctica) implemented during the 58th and 59th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013 and January 2014). Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD and δ18O) were measured along the 2-km profile across the mega-dune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and GPR survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by 1 order of magnitude within the distance < 1 km, with the reduced accumulation at the leeward slope of the dune and increased accumulation in the hollow between the dunes. At the same time, the accumulation rate averaged over the length of a dune wave (25 mm w.e.) corresponds well with the value obtained at Vostok Station, which suggests no additional wind-driven snow sublimation in the mega-dunes comparing to the surrounding plateau. The snow isotope content is in negative correlation with the snow accumulation, which could be explained by post-depositional snow modification and/or by enhanced redistribution by wind of winter precipitation comparing to summer precipitation. Using the GPR data, we estimated the dune drift velocity (5.5 ± 1.3 m yr-1). The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 340 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotope content are supposed to drift with the dune, an ice core drilled in the mega-dune area would exhibit the non-climatic 340-yr cycle of these two parameters. We made an attempt to simulate a vertical profile of isotope content with such a non-climatic variability in a virtual ice core, using the data on the dune size and velocity. The obtained results are discussed in terms of real ice core data interpretation.

  5. Cercopithecoid humeri from Taung support the distinction of major papionin clades in the South African fossil record.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Christopher C; Takahashi, Maressa Q; Delson, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Associated cercopithecoid postcrania are rare in the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record, particularly in the case of South African karst cave sites. However, as clear postcranial differences between major papionin clades have been documented, it should be possible to assign isolated papionin postcrania to the Cercocebus/Mandrillus and Papio/Lophocebus/Theropithecus groups wherever sufficient anatomy is preserved. Here, we demonstrate that two partial humeri preserved at Taung, UCMP 56693 and UCMP 125898, are most likely attributable to the Cercocebus/Mandrillus and Papio/Lophocebus/Theropithecus clades, respectively. Univariate analyses (ANOVAs and t-tests) and multivariate analyses (discriminant function analyses) of humeral features, combined with a phylogenetic analysis of 24 humeral characters, all support our assessment. Given that the overwhelming number of craniodental specimens at Taung are attributable to two papionin taxa, Procercocebus antiquus (a member of the Cercocebus/Mandrillus clade) and Papio izodi (a purported fossil species of the modern genus Papio), we assign UCMP 56693 to Pr. antiquus and UCMP 125868 to P. izodi with a high degree of confidence. Implications for cercopithecoid evolution and biogeography are discussed, with a particular emphasis on these two fossil taxa. PMID:26767962

  6. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: lessons from Antarctic mega-dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekaykin, A.; Eberlein, L.; Lipenkov, V.; Popov, S.; Scheinert, M.; Schröder, L.; Turkeev, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present the results of glaciological investigations in the mega-dune area located 30 km to the east from Vostok Station (central East Antarctica) implemented during the 58th, 59th and 60th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013-January 2015). Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD, δ18O and δ17O) were measured along the 2 km profile across the mega-dune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and GPR survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by one order of magnitude within the distance < 1 km, with the reduced accumulation at the leeward slope of the dune and increased accumulation in the hollow between the dunes. At the same time, the accumulation rate averaged over the length of a dune wave (22 mm we) corresponds well with the value obtained at Vostok Station, which suggests no additional wind-driven snow sublimation in the mega-dunes compared to the surrounding plateau. The snow isotopic composition is in negative correlation with the snow accumulation. Analyzing dxs/δD and 17O-excess/δD slopes, we conclude that the spatial variability of the snow isotopic composition in the mega-dune area could be explained by post-depositional snow modifications. Using the GPR data, we estimated the apparent dune drift velocity (4.6 ± 1.1 m yr-1). The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 410 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotopic composition are supposed to drift with the dune, an ice core drilled in the mega-dune area would exhibit the non-climatic 410 year cycle of these two parameters. We simulated a vertical profile of snow isotopic composition with such a non-climatic variability, using the data on the dune size and velocity. This artificial profile is then compared with the real vertical profile of snow isotopic composition obtained from a core drilled in the mega-dune area. We

  7. Non-climatic signal in ice core records: lessons from Antarctic megadunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekaykin, Alexey; Eberlein, Lutz; Lipenkov, Vladimir; Popov, Sergey; Scheinert, Mirko; Schröder, Ludwig; Turkeev, Alexey

    2016-06-01

    We present the results of glaciological investigations in the megadune area located 30 km to the east of Vostok Station (central East Antarctica) implemented during the 58th, 59th and 60th Russian Antarctic Expedition (January 2013-2015). Snow accumulation rate and isotope content (δD, δ18O and δ17O) were measured along the 2 km profile across the megadune ridge accompanied by precise GPS altitude measurements and ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey. It is shown that the spatial variability of snow accumulation and isotope content covaries with the surface slope. The accumulation rate regularly changes by 1 order of magnitude within the distance < 1 km, with the reduced accumulation at the leeward slope of the dune and increased accumulation in the hollow between the dunes. At the same time, the accumulation rate averaged over the length of a dune wave (22 mm w.e.) corresponds well with the value obtained at Vostok Station, which suggests no additional wind-driven snow sublimation in the megadunes compared to the surrounding plateau. The snow isotopic composition is in negative correlation with the snow accumulation. Analysing dxs / δD and 17O-excess / δD slopes (where dxs = δD - 8 ṡ δ18O and 17O-excess = ln(δ17O / 1000 + 1) -0.528 ṡ ln (δ18O / 1000 + 1)), we conclude that the spatial variability of the snow isotopic composition in the megadune area could be explained by post-depositional snow modifications. Using the GPR data, we estimated the apparent dune drift velocity (4.6 ± 1.1 m yr-1). The full cycle of the dune drift is thus about 410 years. Since the spatial anomalies of snow accumulation and isotopic composition are supposed to drift with the dune, a core drilled in the megadune area would exhibit the non-climatic 410-year cycle of these two parameters. We simulated a vertical profile of snow isotopic composition with such a non-climatic variability, using the data on the dune size and velocity. This artificial profile is then compared

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

    PubMed Central

    Belanger, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    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 2.1–4.5°C, 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

  9. Antarctic-type blue whale calls recorded at low latitudes in the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stafford, Kathleen M.; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne R.; Tolstoy, Maya; Chapp, Emily; Mellinger, David K.; Moore, Sue E.

    2004-10-01

    Blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, were once abundant around the Antarctic during the austral summer, but intensive whaling during the first half of the 20th century reduced their numbers by over 99%. Although interannual variability of blue whale occurrence on the Antarctic feeding grounds was documented by whalers, little was known about where the whales spent the winter months. Antarctic blue whales produce calls that are distinct from those produced by blue whales elsewhere in the world. To investigate potential winter migratory destinations of Antarctic blue whales, we examined acoustic data for these signals from two low-latitude locales: the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Antarctic-type blue whale calls were detected on hydrophones in both regions during the austral autumn and winter (May-September), with peak detections in July. Calls occurred over relatively brief periods in both oceans, suggesting that there may be only a few animals migrating so far north and/or producing calls. Antarctic blue whales appear to use both the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans concurrently, indicating that there is not a single migratory destination. Acoustic data from the South Atlantic and from mid-latitudes in the Indian or Pacific Oceans are needed for a more global understanding of migratory patterns and destinations of Antarctic blue whales.

  10. Challenges Of Interpreting Antarctic Pliocene Climate From The Sediment Record At ODP Sites 693 And 697 In The Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    OConnell, S.; Cullen, K.; Flores, C.; Hall, J. T.; Kaufman, Z. S.

    2015-12-01

    The Weddell Sea receives sediment from both East and West Antarctica and records cryospheric changes in both ice sheets. Examination of Pliocene sediment from two ODP Sites (693 and 697) provides a history of ice rafted detritus (IRD), biosilica production and orbital pacing. Age dating at both sites is limited to shipboard biostratigraphy and paleomagnetics, yielding low age resolution. Using this age data we have attempted to correlate sedimentary changes with the LR04 benthic stack to provide a context with global oceanographic changes. Site 693 is adjacent to Dronning Maud Land on a shelf bench in 2480 m water and receives sediment exclusively from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). Detailed analysis of Core 8R, (approximately 1 sample/2-3 kyr) within Chron 2Ar (3.58-4.18 my) shows little variation in wt% biosilica and wt% IRD (fraction >63um). The exception is around 4 Ma when IRD is relatively constant at 2 wt%, while biosilica ranges 6 to 14%. These changes do not parallel the LR04 stack, suggesting limited interaction at this site with the global ocean. 40Ar/39Ar dating of hornblendes and biotites give a consistent age between 400-650 Ma (Pan African orogeny). The limited age range and composition, as well as small variation in % of IRD and biosilica suggest a single source and support the interpretation that this portion of the EAIS was relatively stable at this time. Site 697, in 3480 m water, lies in the Jane Basin, adjacent to the South Orkney Islands. The interval between 3.0 and 3.8 Ma has higher variation in both IRD (1-13%) and biosilica (2-12%) than Site 693, an expected outcome because its terrigeneous sediment source is dominated by the less stable West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Clear obliquity pacing, correlateable with part of the LR04 stack, is observed. However after 3.3 Ma, near the beginning of the Pliocene warm period, wt% IRD is less than 2% and biosilica increases to it's highest values. This suggests that few icebergs are reaching this far

  11. A new record of post-glacial sedimentation in a glacial trough, offshore sub-Antarctic South Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisel, Ove; Graham, Alastair; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    Past studies of South Georgia's climatic history were constrained to land-based sedimentary records, such as peat bogs and coastal lakes, or to terrestrial geomorphology, such as terminal moraines. Hence, the current state of knowledge on past climatic changes in South Georgia is characterised by a complete absence of records from sedimentary marine archives in the fjords or coastal embayments of the region. This study comprises detailed examination of one of the first marine sediment cores recovered on its northeastern shelf in Royal Bay Glacial Trough. Alongside the analysis of new acoustic sub-bottom data, it is the first work to deliver extensive insight into South Georgia's post-glacial climatic history from a marine perspective. The glacial troughs on the South Georgia shelf radiate from the coast towards the shelf edge and represent major sediment traps as they form the only key large-scale depressions in the shelf bathymetry. Sedimentary records, covering a period since at least the Last Glacial Maximum, are thought likely to be recorded in most of them. The sediment core of this study covers sedimentation dated from a maximum of 15,346 ± 492 cal. yr BP until the present day. Physical core parameters indicate a major change in climatic conditions around 14,000 cal. yr BP, the time of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Holocene climate variabilities are also recorded in the trough infill. The acoustic data show a major change in sedimentation and a pronounced unconformity at the core site, which appears to have had a widespread effect over a large area of the shelf. The origin of the unconformity remains unclear, though several hypotheses, including bottom-current erosion, glacial overriding and earthquake activity, are proposed and discussed. Another important finding at the core site is the presence of methane-derived authigenic carbonates. They form either as secondary precipitates in the subsurface or syndepositional at the seafloor as individual minerals or

  12. Vegetation response to climate change in Alaska: examples from the fossil record

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ager, Thomas A.

    2007-01-01

    Preface: This report was presented as an invited paper at the Fish & Wildlife Service Climate Forum held in Anchorage, Alaska on February 21-23, 2007. The purpose of the talk was to provide some examples of past climate changes that appear to have caused significant responses in Alaskan vegetation. These examples are based on interpretations of dated fossil assemblages (pollen, spores and plant macrofossils) collected and interpreted by U.S. Geological Survey and collaborating scientists from other scientific organizations during the past several decades.

  13. Tooth counts through growth in diapsid reptiles: implications for interpreting individual and size-related variation in the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Brown, Caleb Marshall; VanBuren, Collin S; Larson, Derek W; Brink, Kirstin S; Campione, Nicolás E; Vavrek, Matthew J; Evans, David C

    2015-04-01

    Tooth counts are commonly recorded in fossil diapsid reptiles and have been used for taxonomic and phylogenetic purposes under the assumption that differences in the number of teeth are largely explained by interspecific variation. Although phylogeny is almost certainly one of the greatest factors influencing tooth count, the relative role of intraspecific variation is difficult, and often impossible, to test in the fossil record given the sample sizes available to palaeontologists and, as such, is best investigated using extant models. Intraspecific variation (largely manifested as size-related or ontogenetic variation) in tooth counts has been examined in extant squamates (lizards and snakes) but is poorly understood in archosaurs (crocodylians and dinosaurs). Here, we document tooth count variation in two species of extant crocodylians (Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus) as well as a large varanid lizard (Varanus komodoensis). We test the hypothesis that variation in tooth count is driven primarily by growth and thus predict significant correlations between tooth count and size, as well as differences in the frequency of deviation from the modal tooth count in the premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary. In addition to tooth counts, we also document tooth allometry in each species and compare these results with tooth count change through growth. Results reveal no correlation of tooth count with size in any element of any species examined here, with the exception of the premaxilla of C. porosus, which shows the loss of one tooth position. Based on the taxa examined here, we reject the hypothesis, as it is evident that variation in tooth count is not always significantly correlated with growth. However, growth trajectories of smaller reptilian taxa show increases in tooth counts and, although current samples are small, suggest potential correlates between tooth count trajectories and adult size. Nevertheless, interspecific variation in growth patterns

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, Antônio J. V.; da Rosa, Átila A. S.; Goldberg, Karin

    2005-08-01

    The Early Cretaceous, pre-rift continental rock sequences of northeastern Brazil (Rio do Peixe, Araripe, Recôncavo-Tucano, and Sergipe-Alagoas basins), deposited in a wide intracontinental basin (Afro-Brazilian Depression), and the Late Cretaceous, post-rift continental deposits of the Paraná 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 Paraná 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 Paraná 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.

  15. A new 10Be record recovered from an Antarctic ice core: validity and limitations to record the solar activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baroni, Mélanie; Bard, Edouard; Aster Team

    2015-04-01

    Cosmogenic nuclides provide the only possibility to document solar activity over millennia. Carbon-14 (14C) and beryllium-10 (10Be) records are retrieved from tree rings and ice cores, respectively. Recently, 14C records have also proven to be reliable to detect two large Solar Proton Events (SPE) (Miyake et al., Nature, 2012, Miyake et al., Nat. Commun., 2013) that occurred in 774-775 A.D. and in 993-994 A.D.. The origin of these events is still under debate but it opens new perspectives for the interpretation of 10Be ice core records. We present a new 10Be record from an ice core from Dome C (Antarctica) covering the last millennium. The chronology of this new ice core has been established by matching volcanic events on the WAIS Divide ice core (WDC06A) that is the best dated record in Antarctica over the Holocene (Sigl et al., JGR, 2013, Sigl et al., Nat. Clim. Change, 2014). The five minima of solar activity (Oort, Wolf, Spörer, Maunder and Dalton) are detected and characterized by a 10Be concentration increase of ca. 20% above average in agreement with previous studies of ice cores drilled at South Pole and Dome Fuji in Antarctica (Bard et al., EPSL, 1997; Horiuchi et al., Quat. Geochrono., 2008) and at NGRIP and Dye3 in Greenland (Berggren et al., GRL, 2009). The high resolution, on the order of a year, allows the detection of the 11-year solar cycle. Sulfate concentration, a proxy for volcanic eruptions, has also been measured in the very same samples, allowing a precise comparison of both 10Be and sulfate profiles. We confirm the systematic relationship between stratospheric eruptions and 10Be concentration increases, first evidenced by observations of the stratospheric volcanic eruptions of Agung in 1963 and Pinatubo in 1991 (Baroni et al., GCA, 2011). This relationship is due to an increase in 10Be deposition linked to the role played by the sedimentation of volcanic aerosols. In the light of these new elements, we will discuss the limitations and

  16. Towards a morphological metric of assemblage dynamics in the fossil record: a test case using planktonic foraminifera.

    PubMed

    Hsiang, Allison Y; Elder, Leanne E; Hull, Pincelli M

    2016-04-01

    With a glance, even the novice naturalist can tell you something about the ecology of a given ecosystem. This is because the morphology of individuals reflects their evolutionary history and ecology, and imparts a distinct 'look' to communities--making it possible to immediately discern between deserts and forests, or coral reefs and abyssal plains. Once quantified, morphology can provide a common metric for characterizing communities across space and time and, if measured rapidly, serve as a powerful tool for quantifying biotic dynamics. Here, we present and test a new high-throughput approach for analysing community shape in the fossil record using semi-three-dimensional (3D) morphometrics from vertically stacked images (light microscopic or photogrammetric). We assess the potential informativeness of community morphology in a first analysis of the relationship between 3D morphology, ecology and phylogeny in 16 extant species of planktonic foraminifera--an abundant group in the marine fossil record--and in a preliminary comparison of four assemblages from the North Atlantic. In the species examined, phylogenetic relatedness was most closely correlated with ecology, with all three ecological traits examined (depth habitat, symbiont ecology and biogeography) showing significant phylogenetic signal. By contrast, morphological trees (based on 3D shape similarity) were relatively distantly related to both ecology and phylogeny. Although improvements are needed to realize the full utility of community morphometrics, our approach already provides robust volumetric measurements of assemblage size, a key ecological characteristic. PMID:26977067

  17. Lower Cretaceous Fossil Record of The Lavrasian Continental Shelf in Northwestern Turkey and Its Correlation with Surrounding Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menteş, Merve; Özkar Öngen, İzver

    2015-04-01

    This study contains Zonguldak, Amasra and Kırkalerli (İğneada) area in the Northwestern Turkey. In this region, The Istanbul-Zonguldak Composite Terrane consists of two Paleozoic terranes and their Mesozoic overstep sequences around Zonguldak and Amasra. However The Istranca Terrane is characterized by a complex nappe-pile that includes metamorphic assemblages unconformably overlain by Tertiary sediments of the Thrace basin around İğneada. The original purpose of this study to analyze fossil records of Kozlu-Zonguldak, Amasra and Kırklareli (İğneada) in which Lower Cretaceous of shallow nautical sedimentary stacking which is regarding to The Lavrasian continental shelf in Northwestern Turkey. After analysing about 90 thin section and 30 samples we followed and associated lito-biostratigraphical similarities and contrasts, horizontal and vertical variation in facies which includes Orbitolina, Neotrocholina, megalospheric Rudists and various benthic foraminifera fossil records. Correlation between sections with detailed paleontological analyse wasn't presented until today, however there are several geological examination in these areas. In accordance with this purpose, this study tries to determine possible paleogeographic borders, which are in Northwestern Anatolian of The Lavrasian continental shelf, with benthic foraminiferal assemblages . In this examination, the other aim is to correlate with researches of Lower Cretaceous continental shelf of Iranian in East, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Spain in West, to present comparisons and contrasts in Western Pontids. Keywords: Lower Cretaceous, Benthic Foraminifera, Correlation.

  18. Revisiting the origin and diversification of vascular plants through a comprehensive Bayesian analysis of the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Silvestro, Daniele; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Bacon, Christine D; Antonelli, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    Plants have a long evolutionary history, during which mass extinction events dramatically affected Earth's ecosystems and its biodiversity. The fossil record can shed light on the diversification dynamics of plant life and reveal how changes in the origination-extinction balance have contributed to shaping the current flora. We use a novel Bayesian approach to estimate origination and extinction rates in plants throughout their history. We focus on the effect of the 'Big Five' mass extinctions and on estimating the timing of origin of vascular plants, seed plants and angiosperms. Our analyses show that plant diversification is characterized by several shifts in origination and extinction rates, often matching the most important geological boundaries. The estimated origin of major plant clades predates the oldest macrofossils when considering the uncertainties associated with the fossil record and the preservation process. Our findings show that the commonly recognized mass extinctions have affected each plant group differently and that phases of high extinction often coincided with major floral turnovers. For instance, after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary we infer negligible shifts in diversification of nonflowering seed plants, but find significantly decreased extinction in spore-bearing plants and increased origination rates in angiosperms, contributing to their current ecological and evolutionary dominance. PMID:25619401

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

    PubMed Central

    Handley, John C.; Brett, Carlton E.

    2013-01-01

    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 York—the 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

  20. Combining ice core records and ice sheet models to explore the evolution of the East Antarctic Ice sheet during the Last Interglacial period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, S. L.; Siddall, M.; Milne, G. A.; Masson-Delmotte, V.; Wolff, E.

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluates the influence of plausible changes in East Antarctic Ice sheet (EAIS) thickness and the subsequent glacio-isostatic response as a contributor to the Antarctic warming indicated by ice core records during the Last Interglacial period (LIG). These higher temperatures have been estimated primarily using the difference in the δD peak (on average ~ 15‰) in these LIG records relative to records for the Present Interglacial (PIG). Using a preliminary exploratory modelling study, it is shown that introducing a relatively moderate reduction in the amount of thickening of the EAIS over the LIG period introduces a significant increase (up to 8‰) in the predicted elevation-driven only δD signal at the central Antarctic Ice sheet (AIS) ice core sites compared to the PIG. A sensitivity test in response to a large prescribed retreat of marine-based ice in the Wilkes and Aurora subglacial basins (equivalent to ~ 7 m of global mean sea-level rise) results in a distinct elevation signal that is resolvable within the ice core stable isotope records at three sites (Taylor Dome, TALDICE and EPICA Dome C). These findings have two main implications. First, EAIS elevation's only effects could account for a significant fraction of the LIG warming interpreted from ice core records. This result highlights the need for an improved estimate to be made of the uncertainty and size of this elevation-driven δD signal which contributes to this LIG warming and that these effects need to be deconvolved prior to attempting to extract a climatic-only signal from the stable isotope data. Second, a fingerprint of significant retreat of ice in the Wilkes and Aurora basins should be detectable from ice core δD records proximal to these basins and therefore used to constrain their contribution to elevated LIG sea levels, after accounting for ice sheet-climate interactions not considered in our approach.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

    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

  2. Palaeoenvironmental records from fossil corals: The effects of submarine diagenesis on temperature and climate estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, Nicola; Finch, Adrian A.; Webster, Jody M.; Clague, David A.

    2007-10-01

    The geochemistry of coral skeletons may reflect seawater conditions at the time of deposition and the analysis of fossil skeletons offers a method to reconstruct past climate. However the precipitation of cements in the primary coral skeleton during diagenesis may significantly affect bulk skeletal geochemistry. We used secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to measure Sr, Mg, B, U and Ba concentrations in primary coral aragonite and aragonite and calcite cements in fossil Porites corals from submerged reefs around the Hawaiian Islands. Cement and primary coral geochemistry were significantly different in all corals. We estimate the effects of cement inclusion on climate estimates from drilled coral samples, which combine cements and primary coral aragonite. Secondary 1% calcite or ˜2% aragonite cement contamination significantly affects Sr/Ca SST estimates by +1 °C and -0.4 to -0.9 °C, respectively. Cement inclusion also significantly affects Mg/Ca, B/Ca and U/Ca SST estimates in some corals. X-ray diffraction (XRD) will not detect secondary aragonite cements and significant calcite contamination may be below the limit of detection (˜1%) of the technique. Thorough petrographic examination of fossils is therefore essential to confirm that they are pristine before bulk drilled samples are analysed. To confirm that the geochemistry of the original coral structures is not affected by the precipitation of cements in adjacent pore spaces we analysed the primary coral aragonite in cemented and uncemented areas of the skeleton. Sr/Ca, B/Ca and U/Ca of primary coral aragonite is not affected by the presence of cements in adjacent interskeletal pore spaces i.e. the coral structures maintain their original composition and selective SIMS analysis of these structures offers a route to the reconstruction of accurate SSTs from altered coral skeletons. However, Mg/Ca and Ba/Ca of primary coral aragonite are significantly higher in parts of skeletons infilled with high Mg

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

    SciTech Connect

    Forester, R.M.; Smith, A.J.

    1995-10-01

    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.

  4. Microbe-like inclusions in tree resins and implications for the fossil record of protists in amber.

    PubMed

    Thiel, V; Lausmaa, J; Sjövall, P; Ragazzi, E; Seyfullah, L J; Schmidt, A R

    2016-07-01

    During the past two decades, a plethora of fossil micro-organisms have been described from various Triassic to Miocene ambers. However, in addition to entrapped microbes, ambers commonly contain microscopic inclusions that sometimes resemble amoebae, ciliates, microfungi, and unicellular algae in size and shape, but do not provide further diagnostic features thereof. For a better assessment of the actual fossil record of unicellular eukaryotes in amber, we studied equivalent inclusions in modern resin of the Araucariaceae; this conifer family comprises important amber-producers in Earth history. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), we investigated the chemical nature of the inclusion matter and the resin matrix. Whereas the matrix, as expected, showed a more hydrocarbon/aromatic-dominated composition, the inclusions contain abundant salt ions and polar organics. However, the absence of signals characteristic for cellular biomass, namely distinctive proteinaceous amino acids and lipid moieties, indicates that the inclusions do not contain microbial cellular matter but salts and hydrophilic organic substances that probably derived from the plant itself. Rather than representing protists or their remains, these microbe-like inclusions, for which we propose the term 'pseudoinclusions', consist of compounds that are immiscible with the terpenoid resin matrix and were probably secreted in small amounts together with the actual resin by the plant tissue. Consequently, reports of protists from amber that are only based on the similarity of the overall shape and size to extant taxa, but do not provide relevant features at light-microscopical and ultrastructural level, cannot be accepted as unambiguous fossil evidence for these particular groups. PMID:27027519

  5. Uncertainties in dating constrain model choice for inferring extinction time from fossil records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saltré, Frédérik; Brook, Barry W.; Rodríguez-Rey, Marta; Cooper, Alan; Johnson, Christopher N.; Turney, Chris S. M.; Bradshaw, Corey J. A.

    2015-03-01

    Accurate estimates of the timing of extinctions (θ) are critical for understanding the causes of major die-off events and for identifying evolutionary or environmental transitions. Yet many studies have demonstrated that sampling biases and underlying statistical assumptions affect the accuracy of model-based estimates of extinction times (θˆ), and the added uncertainty contributed by inherent (laboratory) dating errors has largely been neglected. Here we provide a general guide (model-selection key) for choosing from among eight alternative ';frequentist sampling' (i.e., non-Bayesian) methods, differentiated by their treatment of both the probability of record occurrence and uncertainties in record dates, the most appropriate for a given record. We first provide a methodological framework to characterize time series of dated records as a function of the number of records, the size of the interval between successive records, and laboratory dating errors. Using both simulated data and dated Australian megafauna remains, we then assess how the characteristic of a dataset's time series dictates model performance and the probability of misclassification (false extant vs. false extinct). Among the four classic frequentist methods providing highest model performance, Marshall's (1997) and McCarthy's (1998) methods have the highest model precision. However, high model performance did not prevent misclassification errors, such that the Gaussian-resampled inverse-weighted McInerny (GRIWM) approach is the only method providing both high model accuracy and no misclassification issues, because of its unique down-weighting interval procedure and its ability to account for uncertainties in record dates. Applying the guideline to three time series of extinct Australian species, we recommend using Marshall's, McCarthy's and/or GRIWM methods to infer θ of both Thylacinus sp. and Genyornis sp., because each dataset is characterized by many sightings and a low variance of the

  6. Fossil Horses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.

    1994-06-01

    The family Equidae have an extensive fossil record spanning the past 58 million years, and the evolution of the horse has frequently been used as a classic example of long-term evolution. In recent years, however, there have been many important discoveries of fossil horses, and these, in conjunction with such new methods as cladistics, and techniques such as precise geochronology, have allowed us to achieve a much greater understanding of the evolution and biology of this important group. This book synthesizes the large body of data and research relevant to an understanding of fossil horses from several disciplines including biology, geology and paleontology. Using horses as the central theme, the author weaves together in the text such topics as modern geochronology, paleobiogeography, climate change, evolution and extinction, functional morphology, and population biology during the Cenozoic period. This book will be exciting reading for researchers and graduate students in vertebrate paleontology, evolution, and zoology.

  7. Late Miocene terrestrial record of East Antarctic Ice Sheet configuration and dynamics recorded by volcanic lithofacies and sequence characteristics in northern Victoria Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smellie, John; Rocchi, Sergio; Gemelli, Maurizio; di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Armienti, Pietro

    2010-05-01

    Late Miocene (c. 12-5 Ma) volcanic sequences crop out extensively along > 250 km of northern Victoria Land coastline, at the Ross Sea margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). The sequences are dominantly glaciovolcanic and two main types are present. The commonest and most representative comprises multiple mafic aa lava-fed deltas, a type of glaciovolcanic sequence not previously described. The second sequence type resembles mafic glaciovolcanic sheet-like sequences of Mt Pinafore type (sensu Smellie, 2006, Earth-Science Reviews, 74, 241-268) but includes felsic examples as well, and there are additional minor occurrences of pyroclastic cones and an ice-marginal lacustrine deposit. Interpretation of the glaciovolcanic sequences enables estimates of past ice thicknesses that were coeval with eruptions to be made with considerable certainty. The sequences were formed in association with a glacial cover that was typically, and probably never much more than, a few hundred metres thick. Despite gaps in the record, no evidence was observed for subaerial (i.e. fully ice-free) eruptive conditions, suggesting either that ice-free conditions did not occur or else were of such short duration that they left no record. These observations are consistent with the presence of a late Miocene ice dome or regional ice sheet situated in northern Victoria Land for the period, although it may have been confluent with the EAIS similar to conditions present today. The basal glacial thermal regime varied from wet-based and dynamic, to cold-based (frozen to its bed) and presumably relatively stable. A major change from wet-based ice to cold-based ice is evident but its timing is not precisely determined. There is also evidence that temporary changes in thermal regime might have occurred before and after the principal transition.

  8. Towards a morphological metric of assemblage dynamics in the fossil record: a test case using planktonic foraminifera

    PubMed Central

    Hsiang, Allison Y.; Elder, Leanne E.; Hull, Pincelli M.

    2016-01-01

    With a glance, even the novice naturalist can tell you something about the ecology of a given ecosystem. This is because the morphology of individuals reflects their evolutionary history and ecology, and imparts a distinct ‘look’ to communities—making it possible to immediately discern between deserts and forests, or coral reefs and abyssal plains. Once quantified, morphology can provide a common metric for characterizing communities across space and time and, if measured rapidly, serve as a powerful tool for quantifying biotic dynamics. Here, we present and test a new high-throughput approach for analysing community shape in the fossil record using semi-three-dimensional (3D) morphometrics from vertically stacked images (light microscopic or photogrammetric). We assess the potential informativeness of community morphology in a first analysis of the relationship between 3D morphology, ecology and phylogeny in 16 extant species of planktonic foraminifera—an abundant group in the marine fossil record—and in a preliminary comparison of four assemblages from the North Atlantic. In the species examined, phylogenetic relatedness was most closely correlated with ecology, with all three ecological traits examined (depth habitat, symbiont ecology and biogeography) showing significant phylogenetic signal. By contrast, morphological trees (based on 3D shape similarity) were relatively distantly related to both ecology and phylogeny. Although improvements are needed to realize the full utility of community morphometrics, our approach already provides robust volumetric measurements of assemblage size, a key ecological characteristic. PMID:26977067

  9. Observations of asexual reproductive strategies in Antarctic hexactinellid sponges from ROV video records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixidó, Núria; Gili, Josep-Maria; Uriz, María-J.; Gutt, Julian; Arntz, Wolf E.

    2006-04-01

    Hexactinellid sponges are one of the structuring taxa of benthic communities on the Weddell Sea shelf (Antarctica). However, little is known about their reproduction patterns (larval development, release, settlement, and recruitment), particularly in relation to sexual and asexual processes in sponge populations. Video stations obtained during several expeditions covering a wide depth range and different areas recorded a high frequency of asexual reproductive strategies (ARS) (bipartition and budding) among hexactinellids. Analysis of seabed video strips between 108 and 256 m depth, representing an area of 1400 m 2, showed that about 28% of these sponges exhibited ARS. The Rossella nuda type dominated most of the video stations and exhibited the highest proportion of budding (35%). This proportion increased with the size class. Size class >20 cm exhibited in all the stations a mean value of 8.3±0.7 (SE) for primary and of 2.5±0.2 (SE) for secondary propagules per sponge, respectively. Results from a shallow station (Stn 059, 117 m depth) showed the highest relative abundance of R. nuda type and budding (>20 cm ˜72%, 10-20 cm ˜60%, 5-10 cm ˜12%, and <5 cm ˜3%). A potential influence of iceberg scouring disturbance on the occurrence of budding and number of propagules also was investigated. We conclude that asexual reproduction in hexactinellid sponges may be more frequent than has been thought before and it may greatly influence the genetic structure of populations.

  10. Diagnose oscillation properties observed in an Antarctic ice core oxygen isotope record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motizuki, Y.

    2013-12-01

    We investigate water isotope ratio profile obtained in a shallow ice core drilled at Dome Fuji, East Antarctica. Two sets of time series will be discussed; the first set was analyzed at NIPR (National Institute of Polar Research) with temporal resolution of about 5 years for the past 1900 years, and the second was obtained at RIKEN very recently with temporal resolution of less than a year for the past 400 years. Paying our attention on uncertainty in the depth-age relation, time series analyses to the measured oxygen isotope variations will be presented. A preliminary result for the former time series shows a ~200-year periodicity, which is by chance the same with one of solar activity cycles reported from tree ring studies. We note that snow and ice core samples obtained at Dome Fuji are known to contain much information on the stratosphere than those recovered from other sites in both the hemisphere. Considering this, we will further discuss possible mechanism to cause oscillation in oxygen isotope record in a Dome Fuji ice core.

  11. Biophysical constraints on the origin of leaves inferred from the fossil record

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, C. P.; Beerling, D. J.; Lomax, B. H.; Chaloner, W. G.

    2004-01-01

    The molecular tool kit for producing flat-bladed photosynthetic structures evolved in marine and terrestrial plants during the middle Paleozoic, but it took a further 20 million years before leaves suddenly spread throughout land floras. This delay has long been difficult to explain, given the apparent advantage of leaves for photosynthetic primary production. Theory and experiments predict that exceptionally high atmospheric CO2 levels in the middle Paleozoic delayed the origin of leaves by restricting stomatal development. This would have limited evaporative cooling, leading to lethal overheating of leaves absorbing large quantities of solar energy. Here we test the central prediction of this argument with a morphometric analysis of 300 plant fossils from major European collections. We show a 25-fold enlargement of leaf blades in two phylogenetically independent clades as atmospheric CO2 levels fell during the late Paleozoic. Furthermore, preliminary data suggest that the first abrupt increase in leaf size was accompanied by an 8-fold rise in stomatal density. These evolutionary patterns support the relaxation of biophysical constraints on leaf area predicted by theory and point to a significant role for CO2 in plant evolution. PMID:15240879

  12. High-resolution leaf-fossil record spanning the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, K.R.; Nichols, D.J.; Attrep, M., Jr.; Orth, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    THEORIES that explain the extinctions characterizing the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary1-3 need to be tested by analyses of thoroughly sampled biotas. Palynological studies are the primary means for stratigraphic placement of the terrestrial boundary and for estimates of plant extinction4-12, but have not been combined with quantitative analyses of fossil leaves (megaflora). Megafloral studies complement palynology by representing local floras with assemblages capable of high taxonomic resolution13, but have previously lacked the sample size and stratigraphic spacing needed to resolve latest Cretaceous floral history5,14-18. We have now combined megafloral data from a 100-m-thick composite K/T boundary section in North Dakota with detailed palynological analysis. Here the boundary is marked by a 30% palynofloral extinction coincident with iridium and shocked-mineral anomalies and lies ???2 m above the highest dinosaur remains. The megaflora undergoes a 79% turnover across the boundary, and smaller changes 17- and 25-m below it. This pattern is consistent with latest Cretaceous climatic warming preceding a bolide impact. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Fossil pollen records indicate that Patagonian desertification was not solely a consequence of Andean uplift.

    PubMed

    Palazzesi, L; Barreda, V D; Cuitiño, J I; Guler, M V; Tellería, M C; Ventura Santos, R

    2014-01-01

    The Patagonian steppe-a massive rain-shadow on the lee side of the southern Andes-is assumed to have evolved ~15-12 Myr as a consequence of the southern Andean uplift. However, fossil evidence supporting this assumption is limited. Here we quantitatively estimate climatic conditions and plant richness for the interval ~10-6 Myr based on the study and bioclimatic analysis of terrestrially derived spore-pollen assemblages preserved in well-constrained Patagonian marine deposits. Our analyses indicate a mesothermal climate, with mean temperatures of the coldest quarter between 11.4 °C and 16.9 °C (presently ~3.5 °C) and annual precipitation rarely below 661 mm (presently ~200 mm). Rarefied richness reveals a significantly more diverse flora during the late Miocene than today at the same latitude but comparable with that approximately 2,000 km further northeast at mid-latitudes on the Brazilian coast. We infer that the Patagonian desertification was not solely a consequence of the Andean uplift as previously insinuated. PMID:24675482

  14. Fossil pollen records indicate that Patagonian desertification was not solely a consequence of Andean uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palazzesi, L.; Barreda, V. D.; Cuitiño, J. I.; Guler, M. V.; Tellería, M. C.; Ventura Santos, R.

    2014-03-01

    The Patagonian steppe—a massive rain-shadow on the lee side of the southern Andes—is assumed to have evolved ~15-12 Myr as a consequence of the southern Andean uplift. However, fossil evidence supporting this assumption is limited. Here we quantitatively estimate climatic conditions and plant richness for the interval ~10-6 Myr based on the study and bioclimatic analysis of terrestrially derived spore-pollen assemblages preserved in well-constrained Patagonian marine deposits. Our analyses indicate a mesothermal climate, with mean temperatures of the coldest quarter between 11.4 °C and 16.9 °C (presently ~3.5 °C) and annual precipitation rarely below 661 mm (presently ~200 mm). Rarefied richness reveals a significantly more diverse flora during the late Miocene than today at the same latitude but comparable with that approximately 2,000 km further northeast at mid-latitudes on the Brazilian coast. We infer that the Patagonian desertification was not solely a consequence of the Andean uplift as previously insinuated.

  15. Late Eocene Antarctic glacial events revealed by radiogenic isotope records from the Kerguelen Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, B. W.; Munn, G. H.; Bohaty, S. M.; Scher, H. D.

    2011-12-01

    Oxygen isotope measurements of benthic foraminifera in ODP Hole 738B (Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Ocean) show a 0.6% shift toward more positive values at ca. 37.1 Ma, near the middle/late Eocene boundary. The δ18O values during this cool event reach 2.2%, which may reflect a combination of both intermediate deep-water cooling and partial glaciation of East Antarctica. We conducted neodymium (Nd) isotope measurements of the terrigenous detrital fraction (i.e., decarbonated and leached) from the same samples used to construct the stable isotope record. Our results reveal a shift in the Nd isotope composition of fine-grained material deposited on Kerguelen Plateau that coincides with the δ18O excursion. The background ɛNd values (i.e., before and after the δ18O shift) are -12 ɛNd, consistent with regionally sourced sediment from along the East Antarctica margin (e.g., Wilkes Land, Prydz Bay). During the δ18O excursion at 37.1 Ma, there is transient decrease in ɛNd values to -15.5. These results strongly indicate that Kerguelen Plateau received an influx of detrital material from ancient sediment sources (i.e., with low ɛNd values), such as those found in nearby Prydz Bay. Our results support an increase in continental ice volume in East Antarctica during this event, resulting in enhanced rates of mechanical weathering. We have also documented a second cool event ca. 36.7 Ma, approximately 400 kyr after the 37 Ma event. Future efforts will focus on determining the timing of middle-to-late Eocene cooling episoides and further documenting changes in weathering during each of these events.

  16. THE VERY FAINT END OF THE UV LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OVER COSMIC TIME: CONSTRAINTS FROM THE LOCAL GROUP FOSSIL RECORD

    SciTech Connect

    Weisz, Daniel R.; Johnson, Benjamin D.; Conroy, Charlie

    2014-10-10

    We present a new technique to estimate the evolution of the very faint end of the UV luminosity function (LF) out to z ∼ 5. Measured star formation histories (SFHs) from the fossil record of Local Group (LG) galaxies are used to reconstruct the LF down to M {sub UV} ∼–5 at z ∼ 5 and M {sub UV} ∼–1.5 at z < 1. Such faint limits are well beyond the current observational limits and are likely to remain beyond the limits of next-generation facilities. The reconstructed LFs, when combined with direct measurements of the LFs at higher luminosity, are well-fit by a standard Schechter function with no evidence of a break to the faintest limits probed by this technique. The derived faint-end slope, α, steepens from ≈ – 1.2 at z < 1 to ≈ – 1.6 at 4 < z < 5. We test the effects of burstiness in the SFHs and find the recovered LFs to be only modestly affected. Incompleteness corrections for the faintest LG galaxies and the (unlikely) possibility of significant luminosity-dependent destruction of dwarf galaxies between high redshift and the present epoch are important uncertainties. These and other uncertainties can be mitigated with more detailed modeling and future observations. The reconstructed faint end LF from the fossil record can therefore be a powerful and complementary probe of the high-redshift faint galaxies believed to play a key role in the reionization of the universe.

  17. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J.; Meachen, Julie; O’Keefe, F. Robin

    2015-01-01

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change. PMID:25901310

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

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo, Juan D.; Forasiepi, Analía; Jaramillo, Carlos; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2015-01-01

    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 (~10–7 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

  19. The Cenozoic history of East Antarctic subglacial erosion and sediment flux from the offshore detrital thermochronometric record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, S. N.; Reiners, P. W.; Tochilin, C. J.; Hemming, S. R.; Gehrels, G. E.

    2011-12-01

    To improve and better quantify the record of subglacial erosion and landscape evolution in East Antarctica since the inception of the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS) at 34 Ma we have developed a novel technique to triple-date single grains of detrital apatite by U-Pb, fission track, and (U-Th)/He dating. We applied this method to offshore sediments deposited from the Cretaceous through Holocene in Prydz Bay. The modern source region of Prydz Bay incorporates the Lambert Glacier catchment that drains some 20% of the EAIS. In pre-glacial times, landscape reconstructions and sediment analysis imply that Prydz Bay was the site of deposition of fluvial sediments draining large parts of the East Antarctic craton including parts of the now-subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains. Apatite U-Pb ages from samples through the whole stratigraphic section show a dominant Pan-African age signature (ca. 500 Ma) implying much of the Lambert catchment experienced Pan-African metamorphism to temperatures > ca. 500°C. Pre-glacial Late Cretaceous and Eocene fluvial sandstones are characterized by old apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He (AHe) ages between about 300 and 220 Ma. AFT and AHe single grain age pairs show two distinct groups, one indicative of fast cooling and erosion during the Permian followed by residence at low near-surface temperatures until the Eocene, and the other indicative of more constant, but very slow erosion rates (<0.02 km/Myr) since the Permian. A few ages between 110-120 Ma are seen in some Late Cretaceous sediments diagnostic of resetting related to local basic magmatism associated with Kerguelen plume activity seen in very localized catchment bedrock exposures. Importantly, our thermochronometric data from pre-glacial (Eocene and older) sediments show no evidence for any enhanced Cretaceous erosion in the Lambert Graben catchment area, despite the almost certain presence of the >2500 m high Gamburtsev mountains. These old ages are indicative of a slowly

  20. Novel long-chain anteiso-alkanes and anteiso-alkanoic acids in Antarctic rocks colonized by living and fossil cryptoendolithic microorganisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matsumoto, G. I.; Friedmann, E. I.; Watanuki, K.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.

    1992-01-01

    Saponified extracts of rock samples colonized by cryptoendolithic microbial communities from the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Southern Victoria Land, Antarctica, were separated into hydrocarbon and fatty acid fractions by silica gel column chromatography. Hydrocarbons and methyl esters of fatty acids were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Unusually, a suite of long-chain anteiso-alkanes (a-C20 to a-C30) and anteiso-alkanoic acids (a-C20 to a-C30) were detected in many samples, together with straight-chain, branched and/or cyclic and acyclic isoprenoid compounds. These novel compounds are probably derived from unidentified heterotrophic bacteria or symbiotic processes in a unique microbial community in the Antarctic cold desert and suggest the occurrence of a special biosynthetic pathway. Long-chain anteiso-alkanes are probably formed through microbial decarboxylation of corresponding anteiso-alkanoic acids. They may serve as new biomarkers in environmental and geochemical studies.

  1. International Workshop on Antarctic Meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Annexstad, J. O.; Schultz, L.; Waenke, H.

    1986-01-01

    Topics addressed include: meteorite concentration mechanisms; meteorites and the Antarctic ice sheet; iron meteorites; iodine overabundance in meteorites; entrainment, transport, and concentration of meteorites in polar ice sheets; weathering of stony meteorites; cosmic ray records; radiocarbon dating; element distribution and noble gas isotopic abundances in lunar meteorites; thermoanalytical characterization; trace elements; thermoluminescence; parent sources; and meteorite ablation and fusion spherules in Antarctic ice.

  2. Tectonometamorphic record in a fossilized subduction channel: insights from the Cycladic Blueschist Unit (Cyclades, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, Valentin; Roche, Vincent; Jolivet, Laurent; Lanari, Pierre; Augier, Romain; Scaillet, Stéphane

    2016-04-01

    The comprehension of subduction dynamics is partly based on the reconstruction of detailed Pressure-Temperature-time-deformation paths of HP-LT metamorphic rocks, which have undergone a complete burial-exhumation cycle. The Cycladic Blueschist Unit (CBU), located in the Aegean domain (Greece), is one of the best examples of a fossilized subduction channel. The tectonometamorphic history of this domain can be summarized in two successive episodes: (1) From the Paleocene to the Eocene, the formation of the Hellenides-Taurides belt due to the convergence between Eurasia and Africa. During this episode, the entrance of the Apulian crust in the subduction zone led to an episode of crustal thickening and formation-exhumation of HP-LT metamorphic units like the CBU. (2) From the Early Oligocene, consecutively to the retreat of the African slab, back-arc extension affected the previously thickened crust and the Aegean Sea started to form. Syros and Sifnos islands are worldwide known for their excellent preservation of HP-LT parageneses in the CBU, providing one of the best case-studies to understand the tectonometamorphic evolution of a subduction channel. This study aims to decipher the P-T-t-d path of the CBU using for the first time on Syros, Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material to constrain metamorphic peak temperature (Beyssac et al., 2002) and a quantitative X-ray micro-mapping approach together with the program XMapTools (Lanari et al., 2014). The micro-mapping tools allowed extracting local chemical compositions observed in zoned garnets to calculate the local effective bulk composition. Forward models are then created to constrain P-T conditions of crystallization of these local assemblages. This study brings new data on the debated metamorphic peak conditions of the CBU, which undoubtedly attained at least 20 ± 2 kbar / 530 ± 50°C. Additionally, the geological and metamorphic maps of Syros and Sifnos have been totally redrawn in order to decipher the

  3. Shifts in Ross Sea food web structure as indicated by δ15N and δ13C values of fossil Antarctic seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leopold, A.; Brault, E.; McMahon, K.

    2013-12-01

    As climate change continues to mount, there is a growing need for understanding its effects on biological-physical interactions of marine ecosystems. Assessing the effects of anthropogenic activities on the coastal marine ecosystem involves understanding the underlying mechanisms driving these changes as well as establishing baselines of the natural system. Preliminary findings have indicated shifts in bulk carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) isotopic values of southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) samples, collected in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica in the Ross Sea region, over approximately the last 7,000 years. These shifts could result from 1) seals changing their foraging location and/or diet over this time, 2) climate change-induced shifts in the biogeochemistry at the base of the food web, or 3) some combination of both processes. We explored the patterns of long-term change in Ross Sea food web structure by examining the stable isotope values of three top predators in this system, Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii), leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx), and crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophagus). Fossil seal samples were collected in the Dry Valleys during the austral summer of 2012/13 and then analyzed for bulk C and N isotopes via an elemental analyzer/isotope-ratio mass spectrometer (EA/IRMS). Our initial findings indicate that C isotopic values of fossil seal samples from Weddell, leopard, and crabeater seals were more enriched than isotopic values of modern seals of the same species (e.g., δ13C = -22.79 × 0.92 ‰ and -26.71 × 0.50 ‰ for fossil and modern crabeater seals, respectively). Given the relatively consistent diet of crabeater seals, these findings suggest a shift in baseline food web structure occurred over the last 10,000 years, either through changes in foraging location or local shifts in biogeochemistry. For all species, N isotopic values are widely variable (e.g., 7.28 to 16.0 δ15N ‰ for the Weddell seal), which may be a result of

  4. Arthropod eyes: The early Cambrian fossil record and divergent evolution of visual systems.

    PubMed

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Fortey, Richard A; Land, Michael F; Liu, Yu; Cong, Peiyun; Hou, Xianguang

    2016-03-01

    evolution of sessile eyes equipped with optics typical of extant xiphosurans. Observations of fossil material, including that of trilobites and eurypterids, support the proposition that the ancestral compound eye was the apposition type. Cambrian arthropods include possible precursors of mandibulate eyes. The latter are the modified compound eyes, now sessile, and their underlying optic lobes exemplified by scutigeromorph chilopods, and the mobile stalked compound eyes and more elaborate optic lobes typifying Pancrustacea. Radical divergence from an ancestral apposition type is demonstrated by the evolution of chelicerate eyes, from doublet sessile-eyed stem-group taxa to special apposition eyes of xiphosurans, the compound eyes of eurypterids, and single-lens eyes of arachnids. Different eye types are discussed with respect to possible modes of life of the extinct species that possessed them, comparing these to extant counterparts and the types of visual centers the eyes might have served. PMID:26276096

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

    PubMed Central

    Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F.

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Pimiento, Catalina; Clements, Christopher F

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Reorganization of Southern Ocean plankton ecosystem at the onset of Antarctic glaciation.

    PubMed

    Houben, Alexander J P; Bijl, Peter K; Pross, Jörg; Bohaty, Steven M; Passchier, Sandra; Stickley, Catherine E; Röhl, Ursula; Sugisaki, Saiko; Tauxe, Lisa; van de Flierdt, Tina; Olney, Matthew; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Sluijs, Appy; Escutia, Carlota; Brinkhuis, Henk; Dotti, Carlota Escutia; Klaus, Adam; Fehr, Annick; Williams, Trevor; Bendle, James A P; Carr, Stephanie A; Dunbar, Robert B; Flores, José-Abel; Gonzàlez, Jhon J; Hayden, Travis G; Iwai, Masao; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J; Katsuki, Kota; Kong, Gee Soo; McKay, Robert M; Nakai, Mutsumi; Pekar, Stephen F; Riesselman, Christina; Sakai, Toyosaburo; Salzmann, Ulrich; Shrivastava, Prakash K; Tuo, Shouting; Welsh, Kevin; Yamane, Masako

    2013-04-19

    The circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean is an important region for global marine food webs and carbon cycling because of sea-ice formation and its unique plankton ecosystem. However, the mechanisms underlying the installation of this distinct ecosystem and the geological timing of its development remain unknown. Here, we show, on the basis of fossil marine dinoflagellate cyst records, that a major restructuring of the Southern Ocean plankton ecosystem occurred abruptly and concomitant with the first major Antarctic glaciation in the earliest Oligocene (~33.6 million years ago). This turnover marks a regime shift in zooplankton-phytoplankton interactions and community structure, which indicates the appearance of eutrophic and seasonally productive environments on the Antarctic margin. We conclude that earliest Oligocene cooling, ice-sheet expansion, and subsequent sea-ice formation were important drivers of biotic evolution in the Southern Ocean. PMID:23599491

  8. Human species and mating systems: Neandertal-Homo sapiens reproductive isolation and the archaeological and fossil records.

    PubMed

    Overmann, Karenleigh; Coolidge, Frederick

    2013-01-01

    The present paper examined the assumption of strong reproductive isolation (RI) between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, as well as the question of what form it might have taken, using insights from the parallel case of chimpanzee–bonobo hybridization. RI from hybrid sterility or inviability was thought unlikely based on the short separation-to-introgression timeline. The forms of RI that typically develop in primates have relatively short timelines (especially for partial implementation); they generally preclude mating or influence hybrid survival and reproduction in certain contexts, and they have the potential to skew introgression directionality. These RI barriers are also consistent with some interpretations of the archaeological and fossil records, especially when behavioral, cognitive, morphological, and genetic differences between the two human species are taken into consideration. Differences potentially influencing patterns of survival and reproduction include interspecies violence, Neandertal xenophobia, provisioning behavior, and ontogenetic, morphological, and behavioral differences affecting matters such as kin and mate recognition, infanticide, and sexual selection. These factors may have skewed the occurrence of interbreeding or the survival and reproduction of hybrids in a way that might at least partially explain the pattern of introgression. PMID:24344097

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

    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.

  10. The Mescal Cave Fauna (San Bernardino County, California) and testing assumptions of habitat fidelity in the Quaternary fossil record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegner, Mary Allison

    2015-05-01

    The late Pleistocene and Holocene vertebrate fossil record for the northern Mojave Desert (southwestern USA) is known primarily from five sites. Until now, only two of these have been radiometrically dated, and temporal placement of the others has been based on stratigraphic or biostratigraphic correlation, leading to circular interpretations of mammal extirpations in the Mojave. Here, I report a revised and complete faunal list for Mescal Cave, along with 22 AMS radiocarbon dates from 5 vertebrate taxa recovered from its deposits. The results reported here demonstrate time-averaging in Mescal Cave encompassing around ~ 34 ka, a maximum age 14 ka older and minimum age 10 ka younger than previously thought. Furthermore, radiocarbon analyses suggest local extirpation of Marmota flaviventris around 3.6 cal ka BP, considerably younger than expected based on regional patterns of warming and aridification in the Mojave. Conversely, radiocarbon dates from another presumably boreal species, Neotoma cinerea, are considerably older than expected, suggesting either that climate change at this site did not directly mirror regional patterns, that habitat requirements for these two species are not strictly boreal or cool/mesic as has often been assumed, or that local edaphic conditions and/or competitive interactions overrode the regional climatic controls on theses species' distribution.

  11. An analysis of pterosaurian biogeography: implications for the evolutionary history and fossil record quality of the first flying vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Upchurch, Paul; Andres, Brian; Butler, Richard J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    The biogeographical history of pterosaurs has received very little treatment. Here, we present the first quantitative analysis of pterosaurian biogeography based on an event-based parsimony method (Treefitter). This approach was applied to a phylogenetic tree comprising the relationships of 108 in-group pterosaurian taxa, spanning the full range of this clade's stratigraphical and geographical extent. The results indicate that there is no support for the impact of vicariance or coherent dispersal on pterosaurian distributions. However, this group does display greatly elevated levels of sympatry. Although sampling biases and taxonomic problems might have artificially elevated the occurrence of sympatry, we argue that our results probably reflect a genuine biogeographical signal. We propose a novel model to explain pterosaurian distributions: pterosaurs underwent a series of ‘sweep-stakes’ dispersal events (across oceanic barriers in most cases), resulting in the founding of sympatric clusters of taxa. Examination of the spatiotemporal distributions of pterosaurian occurrences indicates that their fossil record is extremely patchy. Thus, while there is likely to be genuine information on pterosaurian diversity and biogeographical patterns in the current data-set, caution is required in its interpretation. PMID:26339122

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

    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.

  13. Stable isotopes and Antarctic moss banks: Plants and soil microbes respond to recent warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Royles, Jessica; Amesbury, Matthew; Ogée, Jérôme; Wingate, Lisa; Convey, Peter; Hodgson, Dominic; Griffiths, Howard; Leng, Melanie; Charman, Dan

    2014-05-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, with air temperature increases of as much as 3°C recorded since the 1950s. However, the longer-term context of this change is limited and existing records, largely relying on ice core data, are not suitably located to be able to trace the spatial signature of change over time. We are working on a project exploiting stable isotope records preserved in moss peat banks spanning 10 degrees of latitude along the Antarctic Peninsula as an archive of late Holocene climate variability. Here we present a unique time series of past moss growth and soil microbial activity that has been produced from a 150 year old moss bank at Lazarev Bay, Alexander Island (69°S), a site at the southern limit of significant plant growth in the Antarctic Peninsula region. These moss banks are ideal archives for palaeoclimate research as they are well-preserved by freezing, generally monospecific, easily dated by radiocarbon techniques, and have sufficiently high accumulation rates to permit decadal resolution. We use accumulation rates, cellulose δ13C and fossil testate amoebae to show that growth rates, assimilation and microbial productivity rose rapidly in the 1960s, consistent with temperature change, although recently may have stalled, concurrent with other evidence. The increase in biological activity is unprecedented in the last 150 years. Along with work completed on Signy Island (60°S), in the South Orkney Islands, in which we used carbon isotope evidence to show recent climate-related enhancement of CO2 assimilation and peat accumulation rates in Antarctica, the observed relationships between moss growth, microbial activity and climate suggests that moss bank records have the potential to test the regional expression of temperature variability shown by instrumental data on the Antarctic Peninsula over centennial to millennial timescales, by providing long-term records of summer growth conditions

  14. Millennial-scale Variability in Antarctic Ice-Sheet Discharge Throughout the Last Deglaciation From Scotia Sea Records of Iceberg-Rafted Debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. U.; Weber, M. E.; Timmermann, A.; Lohmann, G.; Menviel, L.; Gladstone, R. M.

    2014-12-01

    The deglacial evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 26,000 - 19,000 years ago) is based largely on a few well-dated but temporally and geographically restricted terrestrial and shallow-marine sequences. This sparseness limits our understanding of the dominant feedbacks between the AIS, Southern Hemisphere climate, and global sea level. Marine records of iceberg-rafted debris (IBRD) provide a nearly continuous signal of ice-sheet dynamics and variability. IBRD records from the North Atlantic Ocean have been widely used to reconstruct variability in Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, but comparable records from the Southern Ocean of the AIS are lacking due to the low resolution and large dating uncertainties in existing sediment cores. Here we present two well-dated, high-resolution IBRD records that capture a spatially integrated signal of AIS variability during the last deglaciation. We document eight events of increased iceberg flux from various parts of the AIS between 19,000 and 9,000 years ago, in marked contrast to previous scenarios which identified the main AIS retreat as occurring after Meltwater Pulse 1A (MWP-1A) and continuing into the late Holocene. The highest IBRD flux occurred 14,600 years ago, providing the first direct evidence for an Antarctic contribution to MWP-1A. Climate model simulations with AIS freshwater forcing identify a positive feedback between poleward transport of Circumpolar Deep Water, subsurface warming and AIS melt, suggesting that small perturbations to the ice sheet can be substantially enhanced and providing a possible mechanism for rapid sea-level rise.

  15. Bedform signature of a West Antarctic palaeo-ice stream reveals a multi-temporal record of flow and substrate control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Alastair G. C.; Larter, Robert D.; Gohl, Karsten; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Smith, James A.; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2009-12-01

    The presence of a complex bedform arrangement on the sea floor of the continental shelf in the western Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, indicates a multi-temporal record of flow related to the activity of one or more ice streams in the past. Mapping and division of the bedforms into distinct landform assemblages reveals their time-transgressive history, which implies that bedforms can neither be considered part of a single downflow continuum nor a direct proxy for palaeo-ice velocity, as suggested previously. A main control on the bedform imprint is the geology of the shelf, which is divided broadly between rough bedrock on the inner shelf, and smooth, dipping sedimentary strata on the middle to outer shelf. Inner shelf bedform variability is well preserved, revealing information about local, complex basal ice conditions, meltwater flow, and ice dynamics over time. These details, which are not apparent at the scale of regional morphological studies, indicate that past ice streams flowed across the entire shelf at times, and often had onset zones that lay within the interior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet today. In contrast, highly elongated subglacial bedforms on sedimentary strata of the middle to outer shelf represent a timeslice snapshot of the last activity of ice stream flow, and may be a truer representation of fast palaeo-ice flow in these locations. A revised model for ice streams on the shelf captures complicated multi-temporal bedform patterns associated with an Antarctic palaeo-ice stream for the first time, and confirms a strong substrate control on a major ice stream system that drained the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the Late Quaternary.

  16. Review of the fossil matamata turtles: earliest well-dated record and hypotheses on the origin of their present geographical distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Gabriel S.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Solórzano, Andrés; Langer, Max C.

    2016-04-01

    The matamata ( Chelus fimbriatus) is a highly aquatic chelid turtle known exclusively from northern South America. Due to its extremely modified morphology, it is well circumscribed among living taxa, but that is not the case of the two extinct species ascribed to the taxon, Chelus colombianus and Chelus lewisi. These were originally described for the Miocene of Colombia and Venezuela, respectively, and are known mostly from post-cranial material. Few traits have been considered diagnostic for these fossil taxa, and their shared geographic and temporal distributions raise doubts about their distinctiveness. Here, we describe new turtle remains from the early Miocene Castillo Formation, at Cerro la Cruz, northwestern Venezuela, assigning them to C. colombianus. We also review the taxonomy and diagnostic features of the fossil species of Chelus, comparing them with the variation recognized within C. fimbriatus. All alleged differences between the fossil Chelus species were found in our sample of the extant species, and may represent intraspecific variation of a single fossil species. Further, we reviewed the fossil record of Chelus spp. and proposed a paleobiogeographic hypothesis to explain its present geographic range.

  17. Review of the fossil matamata turtles: earliest well-dated record and hypotheses on the origin of their present geographical distribution.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Gabriel S; Rincón, Ascanio D; Solórzano, Andrés; Langer, Max C

    2016-04-01

    The matamata (Chelus fimbriatus) is a highly aquatic chelid turtle known exclusively from northern South America. Due to its extremely modified morphology, it is well circumscribed among living taxa, but that is not the case of the two extinct species ascribed to the taxon, Chelus colombianus and Chelus lewisi. These were originally described for the Miocene of Colombia and Venezuela, respectively, and are known mostly from post-cranial material. Few traits have been considered diagnostic for these fossil taxa, and their shared geographic and temporal distributions raise doubts about their distinctiveness. Here, we describe new turtle remains from the early Miocene Castillo Formation, at Cerro la Cruz, northwestern Venezuela, assigning them to C. colombianus. We also review the taxonomy and diagnostic features of the fossil species of Chelus, comparing them with the variation recognized within C. fimbriatus. All alleged differences between the fossil Chelus species were found in our sample of the extant species, and may represent intraspecific variation of a single fossil species. Further, we reviewed the fossil record of Chelus spp. and proposed a paleobiogeographic hypothesis to explain its present geographic range. PMID:26940060

  18. Highly Variable Holocene Antarctic Climate: A High-Resolution Marine Geochemical Record of Surface and Export Production, Terrigenous Provenance, and Terrigenous Accumulation from the Palmer Deep, West Antarctic Peninsula.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kryc, K. A.; Murray, R. W.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2001-12-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is an ideal region to investigate climate change at decadal to millennial timescales due to its location in one of the earth's most dynamic climate systems. We have targeted the geochemical sedimentary record of ODP Site 1098 in the Palmer Deep to investigate changes in Holocene glacial evolution and oscillations in the Circumpolar Deep Water as traced by terrigenous provenance, terrigenous accumulation, nutrient utilization, and surface and export production. More than 50 meters of laminated diatomaceous muds, oozes, and muddy diamictons were recovered from the Palmer Deep, comprising the first, high-resolution, continuous Holocene sediment record from the Antarctic continental margin. We report on a synthesis of trace and major element, stable isotope, and C/N geochemistry on samples collected at a temporal resolution ranging from ~8 to ~50 years. We analyzed Si, Al, Ti, P, Ba, biogenic opal, organic C and N, and organic 13C/12C and 15N/14N isotopic ratios every 2.5 to 10 cm downcore. A series of sequential extractions were completed on a subset of samples to better constrain the elemental distribution within the different components of the sediment. Our chronology is based on 36 AMS radiocarbon dates. Biogenic opal, Corg, and P accumulation rates all increase ~2,000 years B.P., reaching a maximum ~5,500 to 7,000 years B.P. Opal concentrations are less variable, yet indicate that biosiliceous production increased during the mid-Holocene. 13C/12C in bulk organic matter are high (with values similar to ice-edge bloom products) ~4500 to 7000 years B.P., signifying stronger diatom bloom events during the mid-Holocene. Prior to ~3000 years B.P., delta15N was lower for ~2,000 years, resulting from less complete utilization of photic zone nitrate. The Al/Ti ratio indicates a change in terrigenous composition ~3500 years B.P. indicating a change in source, weathering style, and/or intensity. All tracers of productivity and terrigenous provenance

  19. Stratospheric temperatures in Antarctic winter: Does the 40-year record confirm midlatitude trends in stratospheric water vapour?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roscoe, H. K.; Colwell, S. R.; Shanklin, J. D.

    2003-04-01

    Water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas, and the observed increases in water vapour in the stratosphere act to cool it. Possible changes in stratospheric temperatures are important for future ozone loss because colder temperatures in the edge region of the Antarctic ozone hole act to increase polar stratospheric clouds there, and so delay recovery of the ozone hole. Trends in lower-stratospheric temperature within the core of the Antarctic vortex in winter should be a unique indicator of trends in stratospheric water vapour, because neither changes in CO2 nor in ozone have a large effect on temperature in the lower stratosphere in the dark. Here, measured stratospheric temperatures southward of 70°S in winter are presented and their quality and corrections discussed. The character and magnitude of the long-term changes at Halley (76°S) are similar from 100 to 70 hPa and at 50 hPa, whether corrected for sonde changes or not, and are also similar to those at other Antarctic sites. We found no significant trend in temperatures at Halley between 1960 and 2000, which is inconsistent with the change calculated from the trend in lower-stratospheric water vapour in northern hemisphere midlatitudes between 1960 and 2000. Over the shorter interval between 1980 and 2000 at Halley, the change in temperature was-1.8 ± 0.6 K, in agreement with the change calculated from the trend in stratospheric water vapour in northern hemisphere midlatitudes between 1980 and 2000. The differences between these periods are discussed in terms of: possible fortuitous agreement between 1980 and 2000; the poorer representation and quality of the measurements of stratospheric water vapour between 1960 and 1980; and a possible large variation in the rate of oxidation of CH4 to H2O in the upper stratosphere between 1960 and 1980. Such a variation in oxidation rate was observed by satellite between 1992 and 1999.

  20. 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)

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

    2010-12-01

    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.

  1. Antarctic Entomology.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Convey, Peter

    2016-03-11

    The Antarctic region comprises the continent, the Maritime Antarctic, the sub-Antarctic islands, and the southern cold temperate islands. Continental Antarctica is devoid of insects, but elsewhere diversity varies from 2 to more than 200 species, of which flies and beetles constitute the majority. Much is known about the drivers of this diversity at local and regional scales; current climate and glacial history play important roles. Investigations of responses to low temperatures, dry conditions, and varying salinity have spanned the ecological to the genomic, revealing new insights into how insects respond to stressful conditions. Biological invasions are common across much of the region and are expected to increase as climates become warmer. The drivers of invasion are reasonably well understood, although less is known about the impacts of invasion. Antarctic entomology has advanced considerably over the past 50 years, but key areas, such as interspecific interactions, remain underexplored. PMID:26982437

  2. First recorded loss of an emperor penguin colony in the recent period of Antarctic regional warming: implications for other colonies.

    PubMed

    Trathan, Philip N; Fretwell, Peter T; Stonehouse, Bernard

    2011-01-01

    In 1948, a small colony of emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri was discovered breeding on Emperor Island (67° 51' 52″ S, 68° 42' 20″ W), in the Dion Islands, close to the West Antarctic Peninsula (Stonehouse 1952). When discovered, the colony comprised approximately 150 breeding pairs; these numbers were maintained until 1970, after which time the colony showed a continuous decline. By 1999 there were fewer than 20 pairs, and in 2009 high-resolution aerial photography revealed no remaining trace of the colony. Here we relate the decline and loss of the Emperor Island colony to a well-documented rise in local mean annual air temperature and coincident decline in seasonal sea ice duration. The loss of this colony provides empirical support for recent studies (Barbraud & Weimerskirch 2001; Jenouvrier et al 2005, 2009; Ainley et al 2010; Barber-Meyer et al 2005) that have highlighted the vulnerability of emperor penguins to changes in sea ice duration and distribution. These studies suggest that continued climate change is likely to impact upon future breeding success and colony viability for this species. Furthermore, a recent circumpolar study by Fretwell & Trathan (2009) highlighted those Antarctic coastal regions where colonies appear most vulnerable to such changes. Here we examine which other colonies might be at risk, discussing various ecological factors, some previously unexplored, that may also contribute to future declines. The implications of this are important for future modelling work and for understanding which colonies actually are most vulnerable. PMID:21386883

  3. First Recorded Loss of an Emperor Penguin Colony in the Recent Period of Antarctic Regional Warming: Implications for Other Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Trathan, Philip N.; Fretwell, Peter T.; Stonehouse, Bernard

    2011-01-01

    In 1948, a small colony of emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri was discovered breeding on Emperor Island (67° 51′ 52″ S, 68° 42′ 20″ W), in the Dion Islands, close to the West Antarctic Peninsula (Stonehouse 1952). When discovered, the colony comprised approximately 150 breeding pairs; these numbers were maintained until 1970, after which time the colony showed a continuous decline. By 1999 there were fewer than 20 pairs, and in 2009 high-resolution aerial photography revealed no remaining trace of the colony. Here we relate the decline and loss of the Emperor Island colony to a well-documented rise in local mean annual air temperature and coincident decline in seasonal sea ice duration. The loss of this colony provides empirical support for recent studies (Barbraud & Weimerskirch 2001; Jenouvrier et al 2005, 2009; Ainley et al 2010; Barber-Meyer et al 2005) that have highlighted the vulnerability of emperor penguins to changes in sea ice duration and distribution. These studies suggest that continued climate change is likely to impact upon future breeding success and colony viability for this species. Furthermore, a recent circumpolar study by Fretwell & Trathan (2009) highlighted those Antarctic coastal regions where colonies appear most vulnerable to such changes. Here we examine which other colonies might be at risk, discussing various ecological factors, some previously unexplored, that may also contribute to future declines. The implications of this are important for future modelling work and for understanding which colonies actually are most vulnerable. PMID:21386883

  4. The first fossil record of the Emesinae genus Emesopsis Uhler (Hemiptera: Heteroptera, Reduviidae) from Eocene Baltic amber.

    PubMed

    Popov, Yuri A; Chłond, Dominik

    2015-01-01

    Two new fossil representatives of the assassin bug family Reduviidae are described as new from Baltic amber (Upper Eocene), belonging to the genus Emesopsis of the tribe Ploiariolini (Emesinae): Emesopsis putshkovi sp. nov. and E. similis sp. nov. These representatives of the Emesinae are the oldest fossil bugs of the genus Emesopsis known so far, and reported for the first time. This genus is also briefly diagnosed. PMID:26624642

  5. Using beryllium-10 to test the validity of past accumulation rate reconstruction from water isotope records in East Antarctic ice cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauquoin, A.; Landais, A.; Raisbeck, G. M.; Jouzel, J.; Bazin, L.; Kageyama, M.; Peterschmitt, J.-Y.; Werner, M.; Bard, E.; Aster Team

    2014-08-01

    Ice cores are exceptional archives which allow us to reconstruct a wealth of climatic parameters as well as past atmospheric composition over the last 800 ka in Antarctica. Inferring the variations of past accumulation rate in polar regions is essential both for documenting past climate and for ice core chronology. On the East Antarctic plateau, the accumulation rate is so small that annual layers cannot be identified and accumulation rate is mainly deduced from the water isotopic composition assuming constant temporal relationships between temperature, water isotopic composition and accumulation rate. Such assumption leads to large uncertainties on the reconstructed past accumulation rate. Here, we use high resolution beryllium-10 (10Be) as an alternative tool for inferring past accumulation rate for the EPICA Dome C ice core, in East Antarctica. We present a high resolution 10Be record covering a full climatic cycle over the period 269 to 355 kyr BP from MIS 9 to MIS 10 (Marine Isotope Stages). After correcting 10Be for the estimated effect of the paleomagnetic field, we deduce that the classical estimation of accumulation rate variations from records of water isotopes agrees, with a possible underestimation of 16%, with the uncertainty on the temperature reconstruction from water isotopes in Antarctic ice cores. This is within their uncertainty of -10 to +30%. Finally, we show that the relationship between temperature and accumulation rate is comparable when using ice core data and results from several AGCM simulations run on glacial-interglacial conditions despite a larger spread in model outputs. These results indicate that the thermodynamic law linking moisture content in the air and temperature, as implemented in the different models, leads to realistic results even in polar regions, at the end of the water distillation trajectory.

  6. †Kenyaichthyidae fam. nov. and †Kenyaichthys gen. nov. – First Record of a Fossil Aplocheiloid Killifish (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes)

    PubMed Central

    Altner, Melanie; Reichenbacher, Bettina

    2015-01-01

    The extant Cyprinodontiformes (killifishes) with their two suborders Cyprinodontoidei and Aplocheiloidei represent a diverse and well-studied group of fishes. However, their fossil record is comparatively sparse and has so far yielded members of the Cyprinodontoidei only. Here we report on cyprinodontiform fossils from the upper Miocene Lukeino Formation in the Tugen Hills of the Central Rift Valley of Kenya, which represent the first fossil record of an aplocheiloid killifish. A total of 169 specimens - mostly extraordinarily well preserved - and a sample of ten extant cyprinodontiform species were studied on the basis of morphometrics, meristics and osteology. A phylogenetic analysis using PAUP was also conducted for the fossils. Both the osteological data and the phylogenetic analysis provide strong evidence for the assignment of the fossils to the Aplocheiloidei, and justify the definition of the new family †Kenyaichthyidae, the new genus †Kenyaichthys and the new species †K. kipkechi sp. nov. The phylogenetic analysis unexpectedly places †Kenyaichthys gen. nov. in a sister relationship to the Rivulidae (a purely Neotropical group), a probable explanation might be lack of available synapomorphies for the Rivulidae, Nothobranchiidae and Aplocheilidae. The specimens of †K. kipkechi sp. nov. show several polymorphic characters and large overlap in meristic traits, which justifies their interpretation as a species flock in statu nascendi. Patterns of variation in neural and haemal spine dimensions in the caudal vertebrae of †Kenyaichthys gen. nov. and the extant species studied indicate that some previously suggested synapomorphies of the Cyprinodontoidei and Aplocheiloidei need to be revised. PMID:25923654

  7. Climate Change and Trophic Response of the Antarctic Bottom Fauna

    PubMed Central

    Aronson, Richard B.; Moody, Ryan M.; Ivany, Linda C.; Blake, Daniel B.; Werner, John E.; Glass, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Background As Earth warms, temperate and subpolar marine species will increasingly shift their geographic ranges poleward. The endemic shelf fauna of Antarctica is especially vulnerable to climate-mediated biological invasions because cold temperatures currently exclude the durophagous (shell-breaking) predators that structure shallow-benthic communities elsewhere. Methodology/Principal Findings We used the Eocene fossil record from Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, to project specifically how global warming will reorganize the nearshore benthos of Antarctica. A long-term cooling trend, which began with a sharp temperature drop ∼41 Ma (million years ago), eliminated durophagous predators—teleosts (modern bony fish), decapod crustaceans (crabs and lobsters) and almost all neoselachian elasmobranchs (modern sharks and rays)—from Antarctic nearshore waters after the Eocene. Even prior to those extinctions, durophagous predators became less active as coastal sea temperatures declined from 41 Ma to the end of the Eocene, ∼33.5 Ma. In response, dense populations of suspension-feeding ophiuroids and crinoids abruptly appeared. Dense aggregations of brachiopods transcended the cooling event with no apparent change in predation pressure, nor were there changes in the frequency of shell-drilling predation on venerid bivalves. Conclusions/Significance Rapid warming in the Southern Ocean is now removing the physiological barriers to shell-breaking predators, and crabs are returning to the Antarctic Peninsula. Over the coming decades to centuries, we predict a rapid reversal of the Eocene trends. Increasing predation will reduce or eliminate extant dense populations of suspension-feeding echinoderms from nearshore habitats along the Peninsula while brachiopods will continue to form large populations, and the intensity of shell-drilling predation on infaunal bivalves will not change appreciably. In time the ecological effects of global warming could spread to other

  8. Plants and soil microbes respond to recent warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amesbury, M. J.; Royles, J.; Hodgson, D.; Convey, P.; Griffiths, H.; Charman, D.

    2013-12-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, with temperature increases of as much as 3°C recorded since the 1950s. However, the longer-term context of this change is limited and existing records are not suitably located to be able to trace the spatial signature of change over time. This paper will present the first published results from a wider project exploiting peat moss banks spanning 10 degrees of latitude along the Antarctic Peninsula as an archive of late Holocene climate variability. These moss banks are ideal archives for palaeoclimate research as they are well-preserved by freezing, generally monospecific, easily dated by radiocarbon techniques and have sufficiently high accumulation rates to permit decadal resolution. A unique time series of past moss growth and soil microbial activity has been produced from a 150 year old moss bank at Lazarev Bay, Alexander Island, a site at the southern limit of significant plant growth in the Antarctic Peninsula region. We use accumulation rates, cellulose δ13C and fossil testate amoebae to provide an indication of ecosystem productivity. We show that both moss and microbial population growth rates rose rapidly in the 1960s, consistent with temperature change, although recently may have stalled, concurrent with other evidence. The increase in terrestrial plant growth rates and soil microbial activity is unprecedented in the last 150 years. The observed relationship between moss growth, microbial activity and climate at Lazarev Bay suggests that moss bank records have the potential to test the regional expression of temperature variability shown by instrumental data on the Antarctic Peninsula over centennial to millennial timescales, by providing long-term records of summer growth conditions, complementing the more distant and widely dispersed ice core records. As a result, we will conclude by placing the Lazarev Bay record into the wider context of the latest progress of analysis of

  9. Variability of Black Carbon Deposition to the East Antarctic Plateau, 1800-2000 AD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bisiaux, M. M.; Edwards, R.; McConnell, J. R.; Albert, M. R.; Anschutz, H.; Neumann, T. A.; Isaksson, E.; Penner, J. E.

    2012-01-01

    Refractory black carbon aerosols (rBC) from biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion are deposited to the Antarctic ice sheet and preserve a history of emissions and long-range transport from low- and mid-latitudes. Antarctic ice core rBC records may thus provide information with respect to past combustion aerosol emissions and atmospheric circulation. Here, we present six East Antarctic ice core records of rBC concentrations and fluxes covering the last two centuries with approximately annual resolution (cal. yr. 1800 to 2000). The ice cores were drilled in disparate regions of the high East Antarctic ice sheet, at different elevations and net snow accumulation rates. Annual rBC concentrations were log-normally distributed and geometric means of annual concentrations ranged from 0.10 to 0.18 m cro-g/kg. Average rBC fluxes were determined over the time periods 1800 to 2000 and 1963 to 2000 and ranged from 3.4 to 15.5 m /a and 3.6 to 21.8 micro-g/sq m/a, respectively. Geometric mean concentrations spanning 1800 to 2000 increased linearly with elevation at a rate of 0.025 micro-g/kg/500 m. Spectral analysis of the records revealed significant decadal-scale variability, which at several sites was comparable to decadal ENSO variability.

  10. Linkages between East Antarctic Ice Sheet extent and Southern Ocean temperatures based on a Pliocene high-resolution record of ice-rafted debris off Prydz Bay, East Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passchier, S.

    2011-12-01

    Ice-rafted debris mass accumulation rates (IRD MAR) at a drill site on the Antarctic continental margin are investigated to evaluate the linkages between East Antarctic Ice Sheet extent and Southern Ocean temperatures in the early to mid-Pliocene. ODP Site 1165 is within 400 km of the Antarctic coastline and in the direct pathway of icebergs released by the Amery Ice Shelf. The Amery Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in East Antarctica and it buttresses the Lambert Glacier drainage system, which accounts for 14% of the outflow from the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. IRD MAR were low during peak Southern Ocean warming in the early Pliocene. After a brief precursor, a tenfold increase in IRD MAR at 3.3 Ma marks the termination of the early Pliocene ice sheet minimum, coincident with the M2 glacial. For the mid-Pliocene, a strong correlation exists between the high-amplitude signal in the LR04 benthic stack and IRD MAR, suggesting linkages between East Antarctic ice extent, global ice volume and deep-water temperatures. The IRD record at Site 1165 provides evidence of greater sensitivity of the Lambert Glacier-Amery Ice Shelf system to Southern Ocean warming than is currently predicted by ice sheet models, which may relate to uncertainties in the understanding of ocean heat uptake, poleward heat transport and ice sheet-ocean interactions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    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

  12. Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, W. A.; Rancitelli, L. A.

    1982-04-01

    An abundance of meteorites has been discovered on two sites in the Antarctic which may assist in the study of the origins of meteorites and the history of the solar system. Characteristics particular to those meteorites discovered in this region are explained. These specimens, being well preserved due to the climate, have implications in the study of the cosmic ray flux through time, the meteoroid complex in space, and cosmic ray exposure ages. Implications for the study of the Antarctic, particularly the ice flow, are also discussed. Further discoveries of meteorites in this region are anticipated.

  13. Measurements of ethane in Antarctic ice cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verhulst, K. R.; Fosse, E. K.; Aydin, K. M.; Saltzman, E. S.

    2011-12-01

    Ethane is one of the most abundant hydrocarbons in the atmosphere. The major ethane sources are fossil fuel production and use, biofuel combustion, and biomass-burning emissions and the primary loss pathway is via reaction with OH. A paleoatmospheric ethane record would be useful as a tracer of biomass-burning emissions, providing a constraint on past changes in atmospheric methane and methane isotopes. An independent biomass-burning tracer would improve our understanding of the relationship between biomass burning and climate. The mean annual atmospheric ethane level at high southern latitudes is about 230 parts per trillion (ppt), and Antarctic firn air measurements suggest that atmospheric ethane levels in the early 20th century were considerably lower (Aydin et al., 2011). In this study, we present preliminary measurements of ethane (C2H6) in Antarctic ice core samples with gas ages ranging from 0-1900 C.E. Samples were obtained from dry-drilled ice cores from South Pole and Vostok in East Antarctica, and from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS-D). Gases were extracted from the ice by melting under vacuum in a glass vessel sealed by indium wire and were analyzed using high resolution GC/MS with isotope dilution. Ethane levels measured in ice core samples were in the range 100-220 ppt, with a mean of 157 ± 45 ppt (n=12). System blanks contribute roughly half the amount of ethane extracted from a 300 g ice core sample. These preliminary data exhibit a temporal trend, with higher ethane levels from 0-900 C.E., followed by a decline, reaching a minimum between 1600-1700 C.E. These trends are consistent with variations in ice core methane isotopes and carbon monoxide isotopes (Ferretti et al., 2005, Wang et al., 2010), which indicate changes in biomass burning emissions over this time period. These preliminary data suggest that Antarctic ice core bubbles contain paleoatmospheric ethane levels. With further improvement of laboratory techniques it appears

  14. Influence of changes in climate, sea level, and depositional systems on the fossil record of the Neoproterozoic-early Cambrian metazoan radiation, Australia

    SciTech Connect

    Mount, J.F.; McDonald, C. )

    1992-11-01

    On the Australian continent the fossil record of the initial appearance and radiation of higher metazoans is strongly influenced by the distribution of facies suitable for fossil preservation. The limited stratigraphic range of the [open quotes]Ediacaran[close quotes] fauna, the seemingly abrupt appearance and radiation of Cambrian-aspect traces, and the apparently late appearance of skeletogenous organisms are all functions of the spatial and temporal distributions of key habitats. The principal controls on the formation of these habitats appear to have been changes in climate and siliciclastic sediment supply coupled with cyclic changes in sea level. Aspects of the artifactual bias documented in Australia are recognized (but rarely documented) in Precambrian-Cambrian boundary sections worldwide. This bias may ultimately form a major stumbling block to detailed reconstruction of early metazoan evolution. 43 refs., 3 figs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  16. Reassessment of Olduvai Bed I cercopithecoids: A new biochronological and biogeographical link to the South African fossil record.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Christopher C; Frost, Stephen R; Delson, Eric

    2016-03-01

    Fossil monkeys have long been used as important faunal elements in studies of African Plio-Pleistocene biochronology, particularly in the case of the South African karst cave sites. Cercopithecoid fossils have been known from Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge for nearly a century, with multiple taxa documented including Theropithecus oswaldi and Cercopithecoides kimeui, along with papionins and colobines less clearly attributable to species. A small number of large papionin fossils, including a partial male cranium and partial female skull, have been previously identified as an early form of Papio, but noted as distinct from extant baboons as well as other fossil Papio species. In 2013 we reviewed the Olduvai cercopithecoid material at the National Museum of Tanzania, with a particular focus on the specimens from Beds I-IV. Quantitative and qualitative comparisons of the Olduvai papionins largely confirmed previous observations, with one notable exception. The large papionin taxon from Bed I previously recognized as Papio sp. is more properly recognized as Gorgopithecus major, a taxon previously known only from South Africa. Features shared between the Olduvai specimens and G. major include relatively short and concavo-convex tubular nasals, antero-posteriorly curved upper incisor roots, downwardly curved brow ridges in the midline, and robust zygomatic arches. The recognition of G. major at Olduvai Bed I, a well-known horizon with precise radiometric dates, provides an important biochronological and biogeographical link with South African localities Kromdraai A, Swartkrans Member 1 and possibly Swartkrans Members 2-3 and Cooper's A and D. PMID:26989016

  17. Heinrich Stadial 4: sequence of events from North to South seen in high resolution Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and suggestion of synchronization to North Atlantic marine records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillevic, Myriam; Bazin, Lucie; Stowasser, Christopher; Landais, Amaelle; Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Prié, Frédéric; Blunier, Thomas; Eynaud, Frédérique; Michel, Elisabeth; Vinther, Bo M.

    2013-04-01

    The last glacial period was affected by the occurrence of rapid climatic events at the millennial time scale known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events. In Greenland, these events are composed of a rapid temperature increase of 5-16° in less than a century, a warm phase lasting several centuries (InterStadial, GI) followed by a more gradual temperature decrease, and finally a cold phase (Stadial, GS). An Antarctic counterpart to each GI of the Last Glacial Period has been identified in Antarctic ice cores. In the North Atlantic Ocean, marine cores also record changes in surface temperature as well as the occurrence during cold phases of ice rafted debris horizons, corresponding to massive icebergs discharges, known as Heinrich (H) events. It has never been possible to identify the presence of H events from temperature proxies in Greenland ice cores. It thus remains difficult to compare the durations of H events and GS. Here, we focus on the time period covering DO 9 to 7 (41 to 34 ka b2k according to the GICC05/AICC2012 time scales), with H event 4 occurring during GS 9. We present a compilation of high resolution measurements (about 60 years) of this period based on Greenland and Antarctic ice cores data (ice and gas) synchronized on the new time scale AICC2012. Proxies for local Greenland temperature (δ15N-N2, δ18O-H2O) record GS9 as a uniform period lasting ~1850 years, followed by a sharp transition to GI8. This pattern is also seen in continuous methane concentration data (NEEM ice core, Greenland) showing a large increase by ~100 ppbv at the GS9 - GI8 transition. However, using additional proxies and a detailed inspection of the methane profile, GS9 can be divided into 3 phases. The first 600 years of GS9 (phase 1) are characterized by low CO2 and methane concentration, intermediate δD of CH4 (tracer of methane sources), high NEEM 17O-excess (proxy for vapor source relative humidity) and a progressive increase in EDML δ18O. The transition between phase 1

  18. Paleovegetation changes recorded by n-alkyl lipids bound in macromolecules of plant fossils and kerogens from the Cretaceous sediments in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyata, Y.; Sawada, K.; Nakamura, H.; Takashima, R.; Takahashi, M.

    2014-12-01

    Resistant macromolecules composing living plant tissues tend to be preserved through degradation and diagenesis, hence constituate major parts of sedimentary plant-derived organic matter (kerogen), and their monomer compositions vary widely among different plant taxa, organs and growth stages. Thus, analysis of such macromolecule may serve as new technique for paleobotanical evaluation distinctive from classical paleobotnical studies depends on morphological preservation of fossils. In the present study, we analyzed plant fossils and kerogens in sediments from the Cretaceous strata in Japan to examine chemotaxonomic characteristics of fossil macromolecules and to reconstruct paleovegetation change by kerogen analysis. The kerogens were separated from the powdered sediments of Cretaceous Yezo Group, Hokkaido, Japan. All kerogens have been confirmed to be mostly originated from land plant tissues by microscopic observation. Mummified angiosperm and gymnosperm fossil leaves were separated from carbonaceous sandstone of the Cretaceous Ashizawa Formation, Futaba Group. The kerogens and plant fossils were extracted with methanol and dichloromethane, and were subsequently refluxed under 110°C to remove free compounds completely. The residues are hydrolyzed by KOH/methanol under 110°C. These released compounds are analyzed by GC-MS. As main hydrolyzed products (ester-bound molecular units) from all kerogens, C10-C28 n-alkanoic acids and C10-C30 n-alkanols were detected. Recent studies on the hydrolysis products of plant tissues suggested the long chain (>C20) n-alkanols were predominantly abundant in deciduous broadleaved angiosperms. Correspondingly, the stratigraphic variation of the ratios of long chain (>C20) n-alkanols to fatty acids was concordant with the variation of angiosperm/gymnosperm ratios recorded by land plant-derived terpenoid biomarkers. In addition, we found that the long chain n-alkanols/fatty acids ratio in the angiosperm fossil leaf was

  19. The Origin and Early Evolution of Sauria: Reassessing the Permian Saurian Fossil Record and the Timing of the Crocodile-Lizard Divergence

    PubMed Central

    Ezcurra, Martín D.; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Butler, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    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 (30°N) and southern (55°S) parts of Pangea imply a wider paleobiogeographic distribution for the group during the Late Permian than previously appreciated. Early archosauromorph growth

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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 (30°N) and southern (55°S) parts of Pangea imply a wider paleobiogeographic distribution for the group during the Late Permian than previously appreciated. Early archosauromorph growth

  1. "Fossil" Forecasting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brody, Michael J.; deOnis, Ann

    2001-01-01

    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)

  2. Marquee Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2008-01-01

    Professors of an online graduate-level paleontology class developed the concept of marquee fossils--fossils that have one or more unique characteristics that capture the attention and direct observation of students. In the classroom, Marquee fossils integrate the geology, biology, and environmental science involved in the study of fossilized…

  3. 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)

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

    2011-12-01

    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 (ΩArag) of 2 and modern shallow water coral reefs are only found in ΩArag > 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 ΩArag 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 μmol/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 (ΩArag < 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.

  4. Correlations of climate and plant ecology to leaf size and shape: potential proxies for the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Royer, Dana L; Wilf, Peter; Janesko, David A; Kowalski, Elizabeth A; Dilcher, David L

    2005-07-01

    The sizes and shapes (physiognomy) of fossil leaves are widely applied as proxies for paleoclimatic and paleoecological variables. However, significant improvements to leaf-margin analysis, used for nearly a century to reconstruct mean annual temperature (MAT), have been elusive; also, relationships between physiognomy and many leaf ecological variables have not been quantified. Using the recently developed technique of digital leaf physiognomy, correlations of leaf physiognomy to MAT, leaf mass per area, and nitrogen content are quantified for a set of test sites from North and Central America. Many physiognomic variables correlate significantly with MAT, indicating a coordinated, convergent evolutionary response of fewer teeth, smaller tooth area, and lower degree of blade dissection in warmer environments. In addition, tooth area correlates negatively with leaf mass per area and positively with nitrogen content. Multiple linear regressions based on a subset of variables produce more accurate MAT estimates than leaf-margin analysis (standard errors of ±2 vs. ±3°C); improvements are greatest at sites with shallow water tables that are analogous to many fossil sites. The multivariate regressions remain robust even when based on one leaf per species, and the model most applicable to fossils shows no more signal degradation from leaf fragmentation than leaf-margin analysis. PMID:21646136

  5. A Record of Moisture History in Hawaii since the Arrival of Humans Inferred from Testate Amoebae and Cladocera Fossils Preserved in Bog Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, K.; Kim, S. H.; Hotchkiss, S.

    2015-12-01

    Around AD 800, Polynesians arrived on the Hawaiian Islands where they expanded and intensified distinct agricultural practices in the islands' wet and dry regions. Dryland farming productivity in particular would have been sensitive to atmospheric rearrangements of the ENSO and PDO systems that affect rainfall in Hawaii. The few detailed terrestrial paleoclimate records in Hawaii are mainly derived from vegetation proxies (e.g. pollen, seeds, fruits, and plant biomarkers) which are heavily influenced by widespread landscape modification following human arrival. Here we present initial results of an independent paleomoisture proxy: fossil remains of moisture-sensitive testate amoebae (Protozoa: Rhizopoda) and cladocera (water fleas) preserved in continuous bog sediments on Kohala Volcano uplsope of the ancient Kohala agricultural field system, one of the largest dryland field systems in Hawaii. Hydrologic conditions inferred from testate amoebae and cladoceran fossil assemblages correlate with observed decadal moisture regimes in Hawaii and state changes of the PDO system during the last century. Testate ameoabe and cladoceran fossils in older sediments reveal an alternating history of very wet, lake-forming conditions on the bog surface to periods when bog soils were much drier than today's, demonstrating that this method can be paired with vegetation proxies to provide a better understanding of hydroclimate variability in prehistoric Hawaii.

  6. Air-snow transfer of nitrate on the East Antarctic Plateau - Part 2: An isotopic model for the interpretation of deep ice-core records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbland, J.; Savarino, J.; Morin, S.; France, J. L.; Frey, M. M.; King, M. D.

    2015-10-01

    Unraveling the modern budget of reactive nitrogen on the Antarctic Plateau is critical for the interpretation of ice-core records of nitrate. This requires accounting for nitrate recycling processes occurring in near-surface snow and the overlying atmospheric boundary layer. Not only concentration measurements but also isotopic ratios of nitrogen and oxygen in nitrate provide constraints on the processes at play. However, due to the large number of intertwined chemical and physical phenomena involved, numerical modeling is required to test hypotheses in a quantitative manner. Here we introduce the model TRANSITS (TRansfer of Atmospheric Nitrate Stable Isotopes To the Snow), a novel conceptual, multi-layer and one-dimensional model representing the impact of processes operating on nitrate at the air-snow interface on the East Antarctic Plateau, in terms of concentrations (mass fraction) and nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen isotopic composition (17O excess, Δ17O) in nitrate. At the air-snow interface at Dome C (DC; 75° 06' S, 123° 19' E), the model reproduces well the values of δ15N in atmospheric and surface snow (skin layer) nitrate as well as in the δ15N profile in DC snow, including the observed extraordinary high positive values (around +300 ‰) below 2 cm. The model also captures the observed variability in nitrate mass fraction in the snow. While oxygen data are qualitatively reproduced at the air-snow interface at DC and in East Antarctica, the simulated Δ17O values underestimate the observed Δ17O values by several per mill. This is explained by the simplifications made in the description of the atmospheric cycling and oxidation of NO2 as well as by our lack of understanding of the NOx chemistry at Dome C. The model reproduces well the sensitivity of δ15N, Δ17O and the apparent fractionation constants (15ϵapp, 17Eapp) to the snow accumulation rate. Building on this development, we propose a framework for the interpretation of nitrate records

  7. Air-snow transfer of nitrate on the East Antarctic plateau - Part 2: An isotopic model for the interpretation of deep ice-core records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbland, J.; Savarino, J.; Morin, S.; France, J. L.; Frey, M. M.; King, M. D.

    2015-03-01

    Unraveling the modern budget of reactive nitrogen on the Antarctic plateau is critical for the interpretation of ice core records of nitrate. This requires accounting for nitrate recycling processes occurring in near surface snow and the overlying atmospheric boundary layer. Not only concentration measurements, but also isotopic ratios of nitrogen and oxygen in nitrate, provide constraints on the processes at play. However, due to the large number of intertwined chemical and physical phenomena involved, numerical modelling is required to test hypotheses in a quantitative manner. Here we introduce the model "TRansfer of Atmospheric Nitrate Stable Isotopes To the Snow" (TRANSITS), a novel conceptual, multi-layer and one-dimensional model representing the impact of processes operating on nitrate at the air-snow interface on the East Antarctic plateau, in terms of concentrations (mass fraction) and the nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen isotopic composition (17O}-excess, Δ17O) in nitrate. At the air-snow interface at Dome C (DC, 75°06' S, 123°19' E), the model reproduces well the values of δ15N in atmospheric and surface snow (skin layer) nitrate as well as in the δ15N profile in DC snow including the observed extraordinary high positive values (around +300 ‰) below 20 unit{cm}. The model also captures the observed variability in nitrate mass fraction in the snow. While oxygen data are qualitatively reproduced at the air-snow interface at DC and in East Antarctica, the simulated Δ17O values underestimate the observed Δ17O values by a few ‰. This is explained by the simplifications made in the description of the atmospheric cycling and oxidation of NO2. The model reproduces well the sensitivity of δ15N, Δ17O and the apparent fractionation constants (15ϵapp, 17Eapp) to the snow accumulation rate. Building on this development, we propose a framework for the interpretation of nitrate records measured from ice cores. Measurement of nitrate mass fractions

  8. Sequence stratigraphy of the ANDRILL Southern McMurdo Sound (SMS) project drillcore, Antarctica: an expanded, near-field record of Antarctic Early to Middle Miocene climate and relative sea-level change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fielding, C. R.; Browne, G. H.; Field, B.; Florindo, F.; Harwood, D. M.; Krissek, L. A.; Levy, R. H.; Panter, K.; Passchier, S.; Pekar, S. F.; SMS Science Team

    2008-12-01

    Present understanding of Antarctic climate change during the Early to Middle Miocene, including definition of major cycles of glacial expansion and contraction, relies in large part on stable isotope proxy records from Ocean Drilling Program cores. Here, we present a sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Southern McMurdo Sound drillcore (AND-2A), which was acquired during the Austral Spring of 2007. This core offers a hitherto unavailable ice-proximal stratigraphic archive of the Early to Middle Miocene from a high-accommodation Antarctic continental margin setting, and provides clear evidence of repeated fluctuations in climate, ice expansion/contraction and attendant sea-level change over the period 20-14 Ma, with a more fragmentary record of the post-14 Ma period. A succession of seventy sequences is recognized, each bounded by a significant facies dislocation (sequence boundary), composed internally of deposits of glacimarine to open shallow marine environments, and each typically dominated by the transgressive systems tract. From changes in facies abundances and sequence character, a series of long-term (m.y.) changes in climate and relative sea-level is identified. The lithostratigraphy can be correlated confidently to glacial events Mi1b and Mi2, to the Miocene Climatic Optimum, and to the global eustatic sea-level curve. SMS provides a detailed, direct, ice-proximal reference point from which to evaluate stable isotope proxy records for Neogene Antarctic paleoclimate.

  9. New Miocene Fossils and the History of Penguins in Australia.

    PubMed

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Gallagher, Stephen J; Tomkins, Ellyn; Allan, Tony

    2016-01-01

    Australia has a fossil record of penguins reaching back to the Eocene, yet today is inhabited by just one breeding species, the little penguin Eudyptula minor. The description of recently collected penguin fossils from the re-dated upper Miocene Port Campbell Limestone of Portland (Victoria), in addition to reanalysis of previously described material, has allowed the Cenozoic history of penguins in Australia to be placed into a global context for the first time. Australian pre-Quaternary fossil penguins represent stem taxa phylogenetically disparate from each other and E. minor, implying multiple dispersals and extinctions. Late Eocene penguins from Australia are closest to contemporaneous taxa in Antarctica, New Zealand and South America. Given current material, the Miocene Australian fossil penguin fauna is apparently unique in harbouring 'giant penguins' after they went extinct elsewhere; and including stem taxa until at least 6 Ma, by which time crown penguins dominated elsewhere in the southern hemisphere. Separation of Australia from Antarctica during the Palaeogene, and its subsequent drift north, appears to have been a major event in Australian penguin biogeography. Increasing isolation through the Cenozoic may have limited penguin dispersal to Australia from outside the Australasian region, until intensification of the eastwards-flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the mid-Miocene established a potential new dispersal vector to Australia. PMID:27115739

  10. New Miocene Fossils and the History of Penguins in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Park, Travis; Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Gallagher, Stephen J.; Tomkins, Ellyn; Allan, Tony

    2016-01-01

    Australia has a fossil record of penguins reaching back to the Eocene, yet today is inhabited by just one breeding species, the little penguin Eudyptula minor. The description of recently collected penguin fossils from the re-dated upper Miocene Port Campbell Limestone of Portland (Victoria), in addition to reanalysis of previously described material, has allowed the Cenozoic history of penguins in Australia to be placed into a global context for the first time. Australian pre-Quaternary fossil penguins represent stem taxa phylogenetically disparate from each other and E. minor, implying multiple dispersals and extinctions. Late Eocene penguins from Australia are closest to contemporaneous taxa in Antarctica, New Zealand and South America. Given current material, the Miocene Australian fossil penguin fauna is apparently unique in harbouring ‘giant penguins’ after they went extinct elsewhere; and including stem taxa until at least 6 Ma, by which time crown penguins dominated elsewhere in the southern hemisphere. Separation of Australia from Antarctica during the Palaeogene, and its subsequent drift north, appears to have been a major event in Australian penguin biogeography. Increasing isolation through the Cenozoic may have limited penguin dispersal to Australia from outside the Australasian region, until intensification of the eastwards-flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the mid-Miocene established a potential new dispersal vector to Australia. PMID:27115739

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courty, M.-A.; Le Tensorer, J.-M.; Boëda, E.; Muhesen, S.; Alsakhel, E.; Wegmüller, F.

    2012-04-01

    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

  12. The Homo habitat niche: using the avian fossil record to depict ecological characteristics of Palaeolithic Eurasian hominins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlayson, Clive; Carrión, José; Brown, Kimberly; Finlayson, Geraldine; Sánchez-Marco, Antonio; Fa, Darren; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Fernández, Santiago; Fierro, Elena; Bernal-Gómez, Marco; Giles-Pacheco, Francisco

    2011-06-01

    Although hardly applied to human palaeoecology, bird fossils offer a unique opportunity for quantitative studies of the hominin habitat. Here we reconstruct the Homo habitat niche across a large area of the Palaearctic, based on a database of avian fauna for Pleistocene sites. Our results reveal a striking association between Homo and habitat mosaics. A mix of open savannah-type woodland, wetlands and rocky habitats emerges as the predominant combination occupied by Homo across a wide geographical area, from the earliest populations of the Lower Palaeolithic to the latest hunter-gatherer communities of the Upper Palaeolithic. This observation is in keeping with the view that such landscapes have had long standing selective value for hominins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wake, Thomas A.; Roeder, Mark A.

    2009-11-01

    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.

  14. Antarctic science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summerhayes, Colin

    Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed Antarctica and swam in its seas. Since then, life evolved as the climate cooled into the ice ages. Life will no doubt continue to evolve there as the globe now warms. But nowadays, humans are having a profound and direct effect on life in Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic islands, and the surrounding Southern Ocean, which are being invaded by a wide range of alien species including microbes, algae, fungi, bryophytes, land plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, and mammals.

  15. Antarctic Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Andrew; Cockell, Charles S.; Convey, Peter; Detrich III, H. William; Fraser, Keiron P. P.; Johnston, Ian A.; Methe, Barbara A.; Murray, Alison E.; Peck, Lloyd S.; Römisch, Karin; Rogers, Alex D.

    2004-01-01

    With the development of genomic science and its battery of technologies, polar biology stands on the threshold of a revolution, one that will enable the investigation of important questions of unprecedented scope and with extraordinary depth and precision. The exotic organisms of polar ecosystems are ideal candidates for genomic analysis. Through such analyses, it will be possible to learn not only the novel features that enable polar organisms to survive, and indeed thrive, in their extreme environments, but also fundamental biological principles that are common to most, if not all, organisms. This article aims to review recent developments in Antarctic genomics and to demonstrate the global context of such studies. PMID:18629155

  16. A pervasive link between Antarctic ice core and subarctic Pacific sediment records over the past 800 kyrs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaccard, S. L.; Galbraith, E. D.; Sigman, D. M.; Haug, G. H.

    2010-01-01

    Recently developed XRF core-scanning methods permit paleoceanographic reconstructions on timescales similar to those of ice-core records. We have investigated the distribution of biogenic barium (Ba/Al), opal and carbonate (Ca/Al) in a sediment core retrieved from the abyssal subarctic Pacific (ODP 882, 50°N, 167°E, 3244 m) over an interval that spans the full length of the EPICA Dome C (EDC) ice-core record. Ba/Al and biogenic opal show a strong resemblance to the EDC δD and CO 2, with generally high concentrations during interglacials and lower values during ice ages of the past 800 kyrs. The sedimentary Ba/Al and biogenic opal are most easily interpreted as indicating a reduced sinking flux of organic matter from the surface ocean during cold periods. The Ba/Al maxima during peak interglacials are accompanied by transient Ca/Al peaks in these otherwise carbonate-devoid sediments, which are best explained by a deepening of the calcite lysocline, presumably due to reduced storage of respired CO 2 in the deep North Pacific. For most of the "luke-warm" interglacials noted between 420 and 750 ka in EDC, the Ba/Al peaks in ODP 882 are also lower, further strengthening the evidence for a simple physical link between global climate and the biogeochemistry of the subarctic Pacific.

  17. 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)

    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

    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.

  18. Ediacara Fossils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    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…

  19. Fossil Fuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    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…

  20. Long-Term Record of Arctic and Antarctic Sea and Ice Surface Temperatures from Thermal Infrared Satellite Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luis, Cristina; Dybkjær, Gorm; Eastwood, Steinar; Tonboe, Rasmus; Høyer, Jacob

    2015-04-01

    Surface temperature is among the most important variables in the surface energy balance equation and it significantly affects the atmospheric boundary layer structure, the turbulent heat exchange and, over ice, the ice growth rate. Here we measure the surface temperature using thermal infrared sensors from 10-12 µm wavelength, a method whose primary limitation over sea ice is the detection of clouds. However, in the Arctic and around Antarctica there are very few conventional observations of surface temperature from buoys, and it is sometimes difficult to determine if the temperature is measured at the surface or within the snowpack, the latter of which often results in a warm bias. To reduce this bias, much interest is being paid to alternative remote sensing methods for monitoring high latitude surface temperature. We used Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) global area coverage (GAC) data to produce a high latitude sea surface temperature (SST), ice surface temperature (IST) and ice cap skin temperature dataset spanning 27 years (1982-2009). This long-term climate record is the first of its kind for IST. In this project we used brightness temperatures from the infrared channels of AVHRR sensors aboard NOAA and Metop polar-orbiting satellites. Surface temperatures were calculated using separate split window algorithms for day SST, night SST, and IST. The snow surface emissivity across all angles of the swath were simulated specifically for all sensors using an emission model. Additionally, all algorithms were tuned to the Arctic using simulated brightness temperatures from a radiative transfer model with atmospheric profiles and skin temperatures from European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) re-analysis data (ERA-Interim). Here we present the results of product quality as compared to in situ measurements from buoys and infrared radiometers, as well as a preliminary analysis of climate trends revealed by the record.

  1. Calcium-phosphate biomineralization induced by alkaline phosphatase activity in Escherichia coli: localization, kinetics and potential signatures in the fossil record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosmidis, Julie; Benzerara, Karim; Guyot, François; Skouri-Panet, Fériel; Duprat, Elodie; Férard, Céline; Guigner, Jean-Michel; Babonneau, Florence; Coelho, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria are thought to play an important role in the formation of calcium-phosphate minerals composing marine phosphorites, as supported by the common occurrence of fossil microbes in these rocks. Phosphatase enzymes may play a key role in this process. Indeed, they may increase the supersaturation with respect to Ca-phosphates by releasing orthophosphate ions following hydrolysis of organic phosphorus. However, several questions remain unanswered about the cellular-level mechanisms involved in this model, and its potential signatures in the mineral products. We studied Ca-phosphate precipitation by different strains of Escherichia coli which were genetically modified to differ in the abundance and cellular localization of the alkaline phosphatase (PHO A) produced. The mineral precipitated by either E. coli or purified PHO A was invariably identified as a carbonate-free non-stoichiometric hydroxyapatite. However, the bacterial precipitates could be discriminated from the ones formed by purified PHO A at the nano-scale. PHO A localization was shown to influence the pattern of Ca-phosphate nucleation and growth. Finally, the rate of calcification was proved to be consistent with the PHO A enzyme kinetics. Overall, this study provides mechanistic keys to better understand phosphogenesis in the environment, and experimental references to better interpret the microbial fossil record in phosphorites.

  2. Antarctic micrometeorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurat, G.; Koeberl, C.; Presper, T.; Brandstaetter, F.; Maurette, Michel

    1994-01-01

    Micrometeoroids in the size range 50-500 micron dominate the flux onto the Earth. Contrary to theoretical predictions, many of them survive atmospheric entry almost unchanged. Such micrometeorites can be collected from the Antarctic ice sheet where they account for a surprisingly large proportion of the total dust content of the ice. Early studies of this important class of extraterrestrial material have revealed that some Antarctic micrometeorites are similar to CM chondrites in chemical bulk composition and mineral composition, and a few seem to resemble CI chondrites. However, none of the micrometeorites investigated so far match CM or CI chondrites exactly, nor is there a match between average bulk micrometeorite composition and that of any other chondrite class. Also, the micrometeorite mineral chemistry is different from that of carbonaceous chondrites. Several elements are depleted in micrometeorites as compared to carbonaceous chondrites and some are enriched. The question arises whether these differences are pristine or if some of them are of secondary origin. On the basis of our data we will attempt to answer these questions, some of which have been addressed by us before.

  3. A Prejudiced Review of Ancient Parasites and Their Host Echinoderms: CSI Fossil Record or Just an Excuse for Speculation?

    PubMed

    Donovan, Stephen K

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the presence of a parasite and identifying it is a relatively straightforward task for the twenty-first century parasitologist. Not so the pursuit of ancient parasites in fossil organisms, a much more difficult proposition. Herein, Boucot's seven-tiered scheme of reliability classes is applied as a measure of confidence of the recognition of putative parasitism in two echinoderm classes, Upper Palaeozoic crinoids and a Cretaceous echinoid (high confidence is 1, low confidence 7). Of the five examples, the parasitic(?) organism is preserved in only two of them. A zaphrentoid coral on the camerate crinoid Amphoracrinus may have robbed food from the arms (Category 1 or 2B). A pit in what appears to be a carefully selected site on the disparid crinoid Synbathocrinus is associated with a growth deformity of the cup (Category 4). Multiple pits in an Amphoracrinus theca are also associated with a deformed cup, but it is more difficult to interpret (Category 4 or 7). Some specimens of the camerate crinoid Neoplatycrinites have circular grooves or depressions posteriorly, presumably produced by coprophagic/parasitic platyceratid gastropods (Category 1). Site selectivity of pits in the echinoid Hemipneustes places them preferentially adjacent to respiratory tube feet (Category 4). From these examples it is deduced that sparse infestations of borings or epizoozoic organisms permit a more confident interpretation of organism/organism interactions; dense accumulations, possibly following multiple spatfalls, mask such patterns. PMID:26597070

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

    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

  5. Parasites in the Fossil Record: A Cretaceous Fauna with Isopod-Infested Decapod Crustaceans, Infestation Patterns through Time, and a New Ichnotaxon

    PubMed Central

    Klompmaker, Adiël A.; Artal, Pedro; van Bakel, Barry W. M.; Fraaije, René H. B.; Jagt, John W. M.

    2014-01-01

    Parasites are common in modern ecosystems and are also known from the fossil record. One of the best preserved and easily recognisable examples of parasitism in the fossil record concerns isopod-induced swellings in the branchial chamber of marine decapod crustaceans. However, very limited quantitative data on the variability of infestation percentages at the species, genus, and family levels are available. Here we provide this type of data for a mid-Cretaceous (upper Lower Cretaceous, upper Albian) reef setting at Koskobilo, northern Spain, on the basis of 874 specimens of anomurans and brachyurans. Thirty-seven specimens (4.2%), arranged in ten species, are infested. Anomurans are more heavily infested than brachyurans, variability can be high within genera, and a relationship may exist between the number of specimens and infestation percentage per taxon, possibly suggesting host-specificity. We have also investigated quantitative patterns of infestation through geological time based on 88 infested species (25 anomurans, 55 brachyurans, seven lobsters, and one shrimp), to show that the highest number of infested species can be found in the Late Jurassic, also when corrected for the unequal duration of epochs. The same Late Jurassic peak is observed for the percentage of infested decapod species per epoch. This acme is caused entirely by infested anomurans and brachyurans. Biases (taphonomic and otherwise) and causes of variability with regard to the Koskobilo assemblage and infestation patterns through time are discussed. Finally, a new ichnogenus and -species, Kanthyloma crusta, are erected to accommodate such swellings or embedment structures (bioclaustrations). PMID:24667587

  6. 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

    Miller, Ian M.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Anderson, R. Scott; Johnson, Kirk R.; Mahan, Shannon; 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.; Jiménez-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

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ian M. Miller; Mitchell A. Plummer; Various Others

    2014-10-01

    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

  8. The Late Pleistocene-Holocene community development in Central and SE-Europe in direct fossil record: scope of the approach, common patterns and inter-regional differences.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horacek, Ivan; Lozek, Vojen

    2010-05-01

    The information provided by modern instrumental approaches (molecular phylogeography, ancient DNA analyses, large scale radiocarbon datings etc.) refined the knowledge on Late Quaternary faunal development and range history of particular taxa in essential way. Nevertheless, the direct fossil record remains still an essential substrate in study of that topics, and to reveal all the information, that it may provide, and integrate it with the outputs of the other approaches presents one of the essential aim of the present meeting. Unfortunately, the immediate use of fossil record for the paleoecologic and paleobiogeographic inferences is often limited by its fragmentarity (both in temporal and spatial respects), taphonomic influences and/or locally specific post-sedimentary effects which all may bias it in a considerable degree. Hence, each particular record is to be carefully reexamined in respect to all factor which may bias it - unfortunately, often it is not too easy to respond that task, particularly when the record is retrived from secondary sources. It should also be remembered that the records representing narrow time slices without a robust lithostratigraphic context do not provide any information on the historical and contextual setting of the respective faunal situation. Such information that is essential for reconstructions of paleobiogeography of community development and similar locally-sensitive phenomena can only be retrived from the continuous sedimentary series which establish the sequence of particular faunal events by direct superposition. A sufficiently dense network of such series provides than a possibility of direct inter-regional comparisons and a high resolution information on the paleobiogeography of the Late Pleistocene-Holocene rearrangements of mammalian communities, local variation in history of particular species and its community context. We illustrate productivity of such approach on with aid of the fossil record obtained from

  9. First record of massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their association with megabenthic filter feeders on the shallow seafloor of an Antarctic Fjord: Does glacier melting fuel the bloom?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, In-Young; Moon, Hye-Won; Jeon, Misa; Kang, Sung-Ho

    2016-03-01

    We report a conspicuous benthic diatom bloom on an Antarctic fjord shallow seafloor, which has not been reported elsewhere in Antarctica. A thick and massive growth of benthic diatoms was covering or being entangled with a variety of common benthic megafauna such as stalked ascidians, sponges, tubedwelling polychaetes, gastropods, bryozoans, and others. This finding is an outcome of recent investigations on benthic communities in Marian Cove, King George Island, where glacier retreat has been proceeding quickly for the past several decades. Dominance of benthic diatoms during the austral summer has been frequently reported in shallow Antarctic nearshore waters, which in turn indicates their potential as a primary food item for secondary producers living in this harsh environment. However, previous blooming records of the benthic diatoms were primarily based on data from water column samples. We are the first to report observational evidence of shallow seafloor substrates, including the massive blooming of benthic diatoms and their associations with common benthic megafauna in an Antarctic fjord.

  10. The extinct river shark Glyphis pagoda from the Miocene of Myanmar and a review of the fossil record of the genus Glyphis (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae).

    PubMed

    Shimada, Kenshu; Egi, Naoko; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Maung-Maung, Maung-Maung; Thaung-Htike, Thaung-Htike; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein, Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Sonoda, Teppei; Takai, Masanaru

    2016-01-01

    We redescribe an extinct river shark, Glyphis pagoda (Noetling), on the basis of 20 teeth newly collected from three different Miocene localities in Myanmar. One locality is a nearshore marine deposit (Obogon Formation) whereas the other two localities represent terrestrial freshwater deposits (Irrawaddy sediments), suggesting that G. pagoda from the Irrawaddy sediments was capable of tolerating low salinity like the extant Glyphis. Glyphis pagoda likely reached up to at least 185 cm in total body length and was probably piscivorous. The fossil species occurs in rocks of Myanmar and eastern and western India and stratigraphically ranges at least from the Lower Miocene (Aquitanian) to the lower Upper Miocene (mid-Tortonian). It has been classified under at least eight other genera to date, along with numerous taxonomic synonyms largely stemming from the lack of understanding of the heterodonty in extant Glyphis in the original description. Our literature review suggests that known Miocene shark faunas, particularly those in India, are manifested with unreliable taxonomic identifications and outdated classifications that warrant the need for a comprehensive taxonomic review in order to evaluate the evolutionary history and diversity pattern of Miocene shark faunas. The genus Glyphis has a roughly 23-million-year-long history, and its success may be related to the evolution of its low salinity tolerance. While extant Glyphis spp. are considered to be particularly vulnerable to habitat degradation and overfishing, the fossil record of G. pagoda provides renewed perspective on the natural history of the genus that can be taken into further consideration for conservation biology of the extant forms. PMID:27615926

  11. New records of larval stages of the eel cod genus Muraenolepis Günther 1880 (Gadiformes: Muraenolepididae) from the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Konstantinidis, P; Hilton, E J; Matarese, A C

    2016-08-01

    Three newly discovered larval specimens of the genus Muraenolepis collected from the waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula are described. Knowledge of their natural history is sparse and information about their early life history is based on only a few larval stages. Here, the available literature on larval eel cods is reviewed, and the specimens placed in context. PMID:27354338

  12. Volcanic time-markers for Marine Isotopic Stages 6 and 5 in Southern Ocean sediments and Antarctic ice cores: implications for tephra correlations between palaeoclimatic records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillenbrand, C.-D.; Moreton, S. G.; Caburlotto, A.; Pudsey, C. J.; Lucchi, R. G.; Smellie, J. L.; Benetti, S.; Grobe, H.; Hunt, J. B.; Larter, R. D.

    2008-03-01

    Three megascopic and disseminated tephra layers (which we refer to as layers A, B, and C) occur in late Quaternary glaciomarine sediments deposited on the West Antarctic continental margin. The stratigraphical positions of the distal tephra layers in 28 of the 32 studied sediment cores suggest their deposition during latest Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 6 and MIS 5. One prominent tephra layer (layer B), which was deposited subsequent to the penultimate deglaciation (Termination II), is present in almost all of the cores. Geochemical analyses carried out on the glass shards of the layers reveal a uniform trachytic composition and indicate Marie Byrd Land (MBL), West Antarctica, as the common volcanic source. The geochemical composition of the marine tephra is compared to that of ash layers of similar age described from Mount Moulton and Mount Takahe in MBL and from ice cores drilled at Dome Fuji, Vostok and EPICA Dome C in East Antarctica. The three tephra layers in the marine sediments are chemically indistinguishable. Also five englacial ash layers from Mt. Moulton, which originated from highly explosive Plinian eruptions of the Mt. Berlin volcano in MBL between 142 and 92 ka ago, are chemically very similar, as are two tephra layers erupted from Mt. Takahe at ca 102 ka and ca 93 ka. Statistical analysis of the chemical composition of the glass shards indicates that the youngest tephra (layer A) in the marine cores matches the ash layer that erupted from Mt. Berlin at 92 ka, which was previously correlated with tephra layers in the EPICA Dome C and the Dome Fuji ice cores. A tephra erupted from Mt. Berlin at 136 ka seems to correspond to a tephra layer deposited at 1733 m in the EPICA Dome C ice core. Additionally, the oldest tephra (layer C) in the marine sediments resembles an ash layer deposited at Vostok around 142 ka, but statistical evidence for the validity of this correlation is inconclusive. Although our results underscore the potential of

  13. Evidence for tropical South Pacific climate change during the Younger Dryas and the Bølling-Allerød from geochemical records of fossil Tahiti corals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asami, Ryuji; Felis, Thomas; Deschamps, Pierre; Hanawa, Kimio; Iryu, Yasufumi; Bard, Edouard; Durand, Nicolas; Murayama, Masafumi

    2009-10-01

    We present monthly resolved records of strontium/calcium (Sr/Ca) and oxygen isotope ( δ18O) ratios from well-preserved fossil corals drilled during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 310 "Tahiti Sea Level" and reconstruct sea surface conditions in the central tropical South Pacific Ocean during two time windows of the last deglaciation. The two Tahiti corals examined here are uranium/thorium (U/Th)-dated at 12.4 and 14.2 ka, which correspond to the Younger Dryas (YD) cold reversal and the Bølling-Allerød (B-A) warming of the Northern Hemisphere, respectively. The coral Sr/Ca records indicate that annual average sea surface temperature (SST) was 2.6-3.1 °C lower at 12.4 ka and 1.0-1.6 °C lower at 14.2 ka relative to the present, with no significant changes in the amplitude of the seasonal SST cycle. These cooler conditions were accompanied by seawater δ18O ( δ18O sw) values higher by ~ 0.8‰ and ~ 0.6‰ relative to the present at 12.4 and 14.2 ka, respectively, implying more saline conditions in the surface waters. Along with previously published coral Sr/Ca records from the island [Cohen and Hart (2004), Deglacial sea surface temperatures of the western tropical Pacific: A new look at old coral. Paleoceanography 19, PA4031, doi:10.1029/2004PA001084], our new Tahiti coral records suggest that a shift toward lower SST by ~ 1.5 °C occurred from 13.1 to 12.4 ka, which was probably associated with a shift toward higher δ18O sw by ~ 0.2‰. Along with a previously published coral Sr/Ca record from Vanuatu [Corrège et al. (2004), Interdecadal variation in the extent of South Pacific tropical waters during the Younger Dyras event. Nature 428, 927-929], the Tahiti coral records provide new evidence for a pronounced cooling of the western to central tropical South Pacific during the Northern Hemisphere YD event.

  14. Antarctic, Sub-Antarctic and cold temperate echinoid database

    PubMed Central

    Pierrat, Benjamin; Saucède, Thomas; Festeau, Alain; David, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Abstract This database includes spatial data of Antarctic, Sub-Antarctic and cold temperate echinoid distribution (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) collected during many oceanographic campaigns led in the Southern Hemisphere from 1872 to 2010. The dataset lists occurrence data of echinoid distribution south of 35°S latitude, together with information on taxonomy (from species to genus level), sampling sources (cruise ID, sampling dates, ship names) and sampling sites (geographic coordinates and depth). Echinoid occurrence data were compiled from the Antarctic Echinoid Database (David et al. 2005a), which integrates records from oceanographic cruises led in the Southern Ocean until 2003. This database has been upgraded to take into account data from oceanographic cruises led after 2003. The dataset now reaches a total of 6160 occurrence data that have been checked for systematics reliability and consistency. It constitutes today the most complete database on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic echinoids. PMID:22787419

  15. Fossilization of feathers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Paul G.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    1995-09-01

    Scanning electron microscopy of feathers has revealed evidence that a bacterial glycocalyx (a network of exocellular polysaccharide fibers) played a role in promoting their fossilization in some cases. This mode of preservation has not been reported in other soft tissues. The majority of fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces. More rarely, bacteria on the surface are replicated by authigenic minerals (bacterial autolithification). The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved mainly by imprintation following early lithification of the substrate and decay of the feather. Lacustrine settings provide the most important taphonomic window for feather preservation. Preservation in terrestrial and normal-marine settings involves very different processes (in amber and in authigenically mineralized coprolites, respectively). Therefore, there may be a significant bias in the avian fossil record in favor of inland water habitats.

  16. Correlation of Plio Pleistocene Tephra in Ethiopian and Kenyan rift basins: Temporal calibration of geological features and hominid fossil records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Katoh, Shigehiro; Beyene, Yonas; Suwa, Gen

    2005-10-01

    The 200-m-thick fossiliferous Konso Formation and overlying terrace deposits, which crop out at the end of the southern sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), contain more than 30 distal tephra layers. Local and regional tephra correlations of more than 20 tephra units were established using major and trace element data of discrete and purified bulk glass samples within the Konso study area. Eleven correlative marker tuffs were recognized in stratigraphic sections of both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sediments in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The Turoha, Hope, Ivory, Bright White, and Boleshe Tuffs in the Konso Formation, and the Upper White Tuff in the overlying terrace deposits are securely correlated with the KBS, Akait, Lokapetamoi, Chari, Lower Nariokotome, and Silbo Tuffs of the Omo-Turkana Basin, using least mobile major elements (CaO, Fe 2O 3*, and TiO 2) and geochronology. Preliminary correlations are also suggested between the Konso Formation distal tephra and proximal units of the Quaternary caldera-forming silicic centers in the central sector of the MER. The strongly peralkaline tuffs of the Konso Formation are compositionally similar to proximal eruptions mostly located along the Quaternary axial rift zone of the southern, central, and northern sectors of the MER. The tephra correlation provides information about the temporal and spatial features of the volcanic and tectonic processes recorded in the evolving basins. Thickness and sedimentation rate were determined for both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sections, measured between the Turoha (=KBS; 1.91 ± 0.03 Ma) and the Bright White (=Chari; 1.40 ± 0.02 Ma) Tuffs. Although the lithostratigraphic sequence at the Konso study area is younger, sedimentation rate within the Konso Formation was comparable to that of the Koobi Fora Formation, higher in the Nachukui Formation, and lower in the Shungura Formation. Local and regional differences in thickness and

  17. Magnetic Properties of Sediments from IODP Expedition 311 - Cascadia Margin Gas Hydrates: Records of Fossil Sulphate Methane Interface?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enkin, R. J.; Baker, J.; Esteban, L.; Mullin, A. J.; Paterson, B.; Hamilton, T. S.; Michael, R.

    2006-12-01

    interpret type-B samples to hold iron sulphides produced diagenetically from iron oxides within the sediments at the sulphate-methane interface. We hypothesize that the two magnetic behaviors record a stratigraphic and geochemical interplay between the sedimentation rate and changes in methane flux, sulphate reduction and the gas hydrate stability field with time.

  18. Middle Pleistocene Climate Change Recorded in Fossil Mammal Teeth from Tarija, Bolivia, and Upper Limit of the Ensenadan Land-Mammal Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.

    2000-07-01

    Fossiliferous middle Pleistocene sediments of the Tarija basin of southern Bolivia contain a classic Ensenadan land-mammal fauna. New carbon isotopic data reported here for 50 specimens of the grazing mammals Equus (horse) and Cuvieronius (mastodon), documented from eight stratigraphic levels at Tarija, vary significantly in the δ13C values of their teeth. The pattern of variation appears to reflect the proportion of C3 and C4 grasses eaten during colder (more C3) and warmer (more C4) times. Within age limits set by associated magnetostratigraphy, the cold periods can be correlated with particular even-numbered stages in the marine oxygen-isotope record, and the warm periods can be correlated with odd-numbered stages. The oldest fossil teeth analyzed from the Tarija section can thereby be assigned to stage 29, and the youngest to stages 17 or 15, that is; the teeth range in age from about 1.1 myr to as young as 0.7 myr. Based on correlation of the upper part of the Tarija beds to the isotopic stages, the upper limit of the Ensenadan land-mammal age is between 0.7 and 0.6 myr, which is younger than stated in most previous studies.

  19. Darwin's Enigma: The Fossil Record.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sunderland, Luther D.

    In December of 1978 the New York State Board of Regents ordered the New York State Education Department to conduct a detailed study of the way in which the subject of origins should be treated in a revised version of the Regents Biology Syllabus. The author was invited to supply scientific information to the Bureau of Science Education, which was…

  20. Distributional records of Ross Sea (Antarctica) Tanaidacea from museum samples stored in the collections of the Italian National Antarctic Museum (MNA) and the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

    PubMed Central

    Piazza, Paola; Błażewicz-Paszkowycz, Magdalena; Ghiglione, Claudio; Alvaro, Maria Chiara; Schnabel, Kareen; Schiaparelli, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Here we present distributional records for Tanaidacea specimens collected during several Antarctic expeditions to the Ross Sea: the Italian PNRA expeditions (“V”, 1989/1990; “XI”, 1995/1996; “XIV”, 1998/1999; “XIX”, 2003/2004; “XXV”, 2009/2010) and the New Zealand historical (New Zealand Oceanographic Institute, NZOI, 1958-1961) and recent (“TAN0402 BIOROSS” voyage, 2004 and “TAN0802 IPY-CAML Oceans Survey 20/20” voyage, 2008) expeditions. Tanaidaceans were obtained from bottom samples collected at depths ranging from 16 to 3543 m by using a variety of sampling gears. On the whole, this contribution reports distributional data for a total of 2953 individuals belonging to 33 genera and 50 species. All vouchers are permanently stored in the Italian National Antarctic Museum collection (MNA), Section of Genoa (Italy) and at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA Invertebrate Collection), Wellington (New Zealand). PMID:25493047

  1. A rich fossil record yields calibrated phylogeny for Acanthaceae (Lamiales) and evidence for marked biases in timing and directionality of intercontinental disjunctions.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Erin A; McDade, Lucinda A

    2014-09-01

    More than a decade of phylogenetic research has yielded a well-sampled, strongly supported hypothesis of relationships within the large ( > 4000 species) plant family Acanthaceae. This hypothesis points to intriguing biogeographic patterns and asymmetries in sister clade diversity but, absent a time-calibrated estimate for this evolutionary history, these patterns have remained unexplored. Here, we reconstruct divergence times within Acanthaceae using fossils as calibration points and experimenting with both fossil selection and effects of invoking a maximum age prior related to the origin of Eudicots. Contrary to earlier reports of a paucity of fossils of Lamiales (an order of ∼ 23,000 species that includes Acanthaceae) and to the expectation that a largely herbaceous to soft-wooded and tropical lineage would have few fossils, we recovered 51 reports of fossil Acanthaceae. Rigorous evaluation of these for accurate identification, quality of age assessment and utility in dating yielded eight fossils judged to merit inclusion in analyses. With nearly 10 kb of DNA sequence data, we used two sets of fossils as constraints to reconstruct divergence times. We demonstrate differences in age estimates depending on fossil selection and that enforcement of maximum age priors substantially alters estimated clade ages, especially in analyses that utilize a smaller rather than larger set of fossils. Our results suggest that long-distance dispersal events explain present-day distributions better than do Gondwanan or northern land bridge hypotheses. This biogeographical conclusion is for the most part robust to alternative calibration schemes. Our data support a minimum of 13 Old World (OW) to New World (NW) dispersal events but, intriguingly, only one in the reverse direction. Eleven of these 13 were among Acanthaceae s.s., which comprises > 90% of species diversity in the family. Remarkably, if minimum age estimates approximate true history, these 11 events occurred within

  2. A review of early gadiform evolution and diversification: first record of a rattail fish skull (Gadiformes, Macrouridae) from the Eocene of Antarctica, with otoliths preserved in situ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Hecht, Thomas

    2008-10-01

    Codfishes, the Gadiformes, are quite abundant in modern temperate and polar waters with a fossil record ranging back into the Palaeogene. The oldest records are from the Danian and Selandian of Europe and South Australia. The bipolar distribution early in their evolutionary history implies that their origin must have occurred quite early in the Palaeocene, or even in the Late Cretaceous with subsequent rapid diversification. By the Eocene, gadiforms were highly abundant and widespread. With the exception of gadiforms, no Eocene Antarctic teleostean group is present in the modern Antarctic fauna. Here, we review the early evolution and diversification of gadiforms in general and of macrouroids in particular. We also describe the undoubtedly oldest skeletal macrourid specimen with otoliths preserved in situ. It is the first definitive record of this group from the Eocene of Antarctica filling a gap in its stratigraphic distribution. The fossil record of gadiforms in general and macrouroids in particular indicates that the origin of both was in shallow shelf environments but with adaptations to deep-water settings early in their evolution. While gadoids seemingly originated in the earliest Palaeogene and rapidly experienced a first major radiation event in the eastern North Atlantic and/or North Sea Basin, macrouroids evolved in the Southern Ocean and migrated northwards into the South Atlantic before the establishment of the circum-Antarctic current and subsequent isolation of the Antarctic fish fauna. These two timely and regional separated adaptive radiation events in the Palaeogene gave rise to their modern taxonomic diversity and global distribution.

  3. The Antarctic Ice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radok, Uwe

    1985-01-01

    The International Antarctic Glaciological Project has collected information on the East Antarctic ice sheet since 1969. Analysis of ice cores revealed climatic history, and radar soundings helped map bedrock of the continent. Computer models of the ice sheet and its changes over time will aid in predicting the future. (DH)

  4. The Antarctic Ozone Hole.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stolarski, Richard S.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (1987) and the findings of the British Antarctic Survey (1985). Proposes two theories for the appearance of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica which appears each spring; air pollution and natural atmospheric shifts. Illustrates the mechanics of both. Supports worldwide chlorofluorocarbon…

  5. Antarctic Meteorology and Climatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, J. C.; Turner, J.

    1997-07-01

    This book is a comprehensive survey of the climatology and meteorology of Antarctica. The first section of the book reviews the methods by which we can observe the Antarctic atmosphere and presents a synthesis of climatological measurements. In the second section, the authors consider the processes that maintain the observed climate, from large-scale atmospheric circulation to small-scale processes. The final section reviews our current knowledge of the variability of Antarctic climate and the possible effects of "greenhouse" warming. The authors stress links among the Antarctic atmosphere, other elements of the Antarctic climate system (oceans, sea ice and ice sheets), and the global climate system. This volume will be of greatest interest to meteorologists and climatologists with a specialized interest in Antarctica, but it will also appeal to researchers in Antarctic glaciology, oceanography and biology. Graduates and undergraduates studying physical geography, and the earth, atmospheric and environmental sciences will find much useful background material in the book.

  6. Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1976-01-01

    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.

  7. Biomineralization and biosignatures of coralloid-type speleothems from lava tubes of Galapagos Islands: evidences on the fossil record of prokaryotes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Ana Z.; Garcia-Sanchez, Angela M.; Pereira, Manuel F. C.; Gazquez, Fernando; Calaforra, José M.; Forti, Paolo; Toulkeridis, Theofilos; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2016-04-01

    , whereas the final stage mainly consists of low crystalline calcite. FESEM-EDS analysis revealed mineralized bacterial filaments rich in Si on the coralloid samples, as well as minerals precipitation associated with extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which serve as nuclei for preferential precipitation on the extracellular sheaths. This suggests that biological activity played a major role in the development of these speleothems. In addition, imprints of filamentous cells and microboring readily preserved on siliceous minerals were observed on the coralloid speleothems. These features are recognized as biosignatures valuable for astrobiology and may represent modern analogs of the fossil record of prokaryotes. DNA-based analyses showed that bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria (31%) Gemmatimonadetes (25%) and Proteobacteria (24%) phyla dominated in this cave ecosystem, followed by Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospirae. Most of the identified phylotypes were affiliated to chemoautotrophs, including thermophilic bacteria such as Ferrithrix thermotolerans, and other mineral utilizing microorganisms like Aciditerrimonas ferrireducens, Desulfuromonas sp. and Desulfovibrio sp., indicating that Galapagos lava tubes host highly specialized subsurface biosphere dominated by microorganisms able to interact with minerals and promote biomineralization. Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the project PC-65-14 from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. AZM acknowledges the support from the Marie Curie Fellowship of the 7th EC Framework Programme (PIEF-GA-2012-328689-DECAVE). The authors acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (project CGL2013-41674-P) and FEDER funds for financial support.

  8. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco; SMS Science Team; Acton, Gary; Askin, Rosemary; Atkins, Clifford; Bassett, Kari; Beu, Alan; Blackstone, Brian; Browne, Gregory; Ceregato, Alessandro; Cody, Rosemary; Cornamusini, Gianluca; Corrado, Sveva; DeConto, Robert; Del Carlo, Paola; Di Vincenzo, Gianfranco; Dunbar, Gavin; Falk, Candice; Field, Brad; Fielding, Christopher; Florindo, Fabio; Frank, Tracy; Giorgetti, Giovanna; Grelle, Thomas; Gui, Zi; Handwerger, David; Hannah, Michael; Harwood, David M.; Hauptvogel, Dan; Hayden, Travis; Henrys, Stuart; Hoffmann, Stefan; Iacoviello, Francesco; Ishman, Scott; Jarrard, Richard; Johnson, Katherine; Jovane, Luigi; Judge, Shelley; Kominz, Michelle; Konfirst, Matthew; Krissek, Lawrence; Kuhn, Gerhard; Lacy, Laura; Levy, Richard; Maffioli, Paola; Magens, Diana; Marcano, Maria C.; Millan, Cristina; Mohr, Barbara; Montone, Paola; Mukasa, Samuel; Naish, Timothy; Niessen, Frank; Ohneiser, Christian; Olney, Mathew; Panter, Kurt; Passchier, Sandra; Patterson, Molly; Paulsen, Timothy; Pekar, Stephen; Pierdominici, Simona; Pollard, David; Raine, Ian; Reed, Joshua; Reichelt, Lucia; Riesselman, Christina; Rocchi, Sergio; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Sandroni, Sonia; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Schmitt, Douglas; Speece, Marvin; Storey, Bryan; Strada, Eleonora; Talarico, Franco; Taviani, Marco; Tuzzi, Eva; Verosub, Kenneth; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Warny, Sophie; Wilson, Gary; Wilson, Terry; Wonik, Thomas; Zattin, Massimiliano

    2016-03-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (˜280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (˜500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene.

  9. Climate Change Influences on Antarctic Bird Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korczak-Abshire, Małgorzata

    2010-01-01

    Rapid changes in the major environmental variables like: temperature, wind and precipitation have occurred in the Antarctic region during the last 50 years. In this very sensitive region, even small changes can potentially lead to major environmental perturbations. Then the climate change poses a new challenge to the survival of Antarctic wildlife. As important bioindicators of changes in the ecosystem seabirds and their response to the climate perturbations have been recorded. Atmospheric warming and consequent changes in sea ice conditions have been hypothesized to differentially affect predator populations due to different predator life-history strategies and substantially altered krill recruitment dynamics.

  10. Will My Fossil Float?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riesser, Sharon; Airey, Linda

    1993-01-01

    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)

  11. Detection of small earthquakes along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge from T-waves recorded by abyssal ocean-bottom observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Aki; Sugioka, Hiroko; Suetsugu, Daisuke; Shiobara, Hajime; Kanazawa, Toshihiko; Fukao, Yoshio

    2012-09-01

    A number of seismoacoustic T-wave events were observed between January 2003 and January 2004 by broadband ocean-bottom seismometers installed on the French Polynesia seafloor at depths of 4,000-5,000 m, well below the conjugate depth of the SOFAR channel. Using T-wave arrival times, we located 89 T-wave events along the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. Among these, 63 events were not detected by land-based seismic observations of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which was nearly twice the number of earthquakes reported by the USGS in the area during the observation period. We used a simple method to estimate earthquake magnitude from T-wave energy. The magnitudes of the events unidentified by the USGS ranged from 2.3 to 5.5, whereas magnitudes of the earthquakes reported by the USGS ranged from 4.1 to 6.2. Our study suggests that T-wave observations with abyssal ocean-bottom seismometers can improve the detection of small earthquakes and help our understanding of the seismotectonics of remote oceanic areas.

  12. Novel Application of Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and 3D Volume Rendering toward Improving the Resolution of the Fossil Record of Charcoal

    PubMed Central

    Belcher, Claire M.; Punyasena, Surangi W.; Sivaguru, Mayandi

    2013-01-01

    Variations in the abundance of fossil charcoals between rocks and sediments are assumed to reflect changes in fire activity in Earth’s past. These variations in fire activity are often considered to be in response to environmental, ecological or climatic changes. The role that fire plays in feedbacks to such changes is becoming increasingly important to understand and highlights the need to create robust estimates of variations in fossil charcoal abundance. The majority of charcoal based fire reconstructions quantify the abundance of charcoal particles and do not consider the changes in the morphology of the individual particles that may have occurred due to fragmentation as part of their transport history. We have developed a novel application of confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to image processing that enables the 3-dimensional reconstruction of individual charcoal particles. This method is able to measure the volume of both microfossil and mesofossil charcoal particles and allows the abundance of charcoal in a sample to be expressed as total volume of charcoal. The method further measures particle surface area and shape allowing both relationships between different size and shape metrics to be analysed and full consideration of variations in particle size and size sorting between different samples to be studied. We believe application of this new imaging approach could allow significant improvement in our ability to estimate variations in past fire activity using fossil charcoals. PMID:23977267

  13. The Antarctic Master Directory -- the Electronic Card Catalog of Antarctic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharfen, G.; Bauer, R.

    2003-12-01

    The Antarctic Master Directory (AMD) is a Web-based, searchable record of thousands of Antarctic data descriptions. These data descriptions contain information about what data were collected, where they were collected, when they were collected, who the scientists are, who the point of contact is, how to get the data, and information about the format of the data and what documentation and bibliographic information exists. With this basic descriptive information about content and access for thousands of Antarctic scientific data sets, the AMD is a resource for scientists to advertise the data they have collected and to search for data they need. The AMD has been created by more than twenty nations which conduct research in the Antarctic under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaty. It is a part of the International Directory Network/Global Change Master Directory (IDN/GCMD). Using the AMD is easy. Users can search on subject matter key words, data types, geographic place-names, temporal or spatial ranges, or conduct free-text searches. To search the AMD go to: http://gcmd.nasa.gov/Data/portals/amd/. Contributing your own data descriptions for Antarctic data that you have collected is also easy. Scientists can start by submitting a short data description first (as a placeholder in the AMD, and to satisfy National Science Foundation (NSF) reporting requirements), and then add to, modify or update their record whenever it is appropriate. An easy to use on-line tool and a simple tutorial are available at: http://nsidc.org/usadcc. With NSF Office of Polar Programs (OPP) funding, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) operates the U.S. Antarctic Data Coordination Center (USADCC), partly to assist scientists in using and contributing to the AMD. The USADCC website is at http://nsidc.org/usadcc.

  14. The Antarctic Submillimetre Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minier, V.; Olmi, L.; Durand, G.; Daddi, E.; Israel, F.; Kramer, C.; Lagage, P.-O.; de Petris, M.; Sabbatini, L.; Spinoglio, L.; Schneider, N.; Tothill, N.; Tremblin, P.; Valenziano, L.; Veyssière, C.

    This report aims to provide a summary of the status of our Antarctic Submillimetre Telescope (AST) project up to date. It is a very new project for Antarctic astronomy. Necessary prerequisites for a future deployment of a large size telescope infrastructure have been tested in years 2007 and 2008. The knowledge of the transmission, frost formation and temperature gradient were fundamental parameters before starting a feasibility study. The telescope specifications and requirements are currently discussed with the industrial partnership.

  15. Submarine and subaerial lavas in the West Antarctic Rift System: Temporal record of shifting magma source components from the lithosphere and asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviado, Kimberly B.; Rilling-Hall, Sarah; Bryce, Julia G.; Mukasa, Samuel B.

    2015-12-01

    The petrogenesis of Cenozoic alkaline magmas in the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) remains controversial, with competing models highlighting the roles of decompression melting due to passive rifting, active plume upwelling in the asthenosphere, and flux melting of a lithospheric mantle metasomatized by subduction. In this study, seamounts sampled in the Terror Rift region of the Ross Sea provide the first geochemical information from submarine lavas in the Ross Embayment in order to evaluate melting models. Together with subaerial samples from Franklin Island, Beaufort Island, and Mt. Melbourne in Northern Victoria Land (NVL), these Ross Sea lavas exhibit ocean island basalt (OIB)-like trace element signatures and isotopic affinities for the C or FOZO mantle endmember. Major-oxide compositions are consistent with the presence of multiple recycled lithologies in the mantle source region(s), including pyroxenite and volatile-rich lithologies such as amphibole-bearing, metasomatized peridotite. We interpret these observations as evidence that ongoing tectonomagmatic activity in the WARS is facilitated by melting of subduction-modified mantle generated during 550-100 Ma subduction along the paleo-Pacific margin of Gondwana. Following ingrowth of radiogenic daughter isotopes in high-µ (U/Pb) domains, Cenozoic extension triggered decompression melting of easily fusible, hydrated metasomes. This multistage magma generation model attempts to reconcile geochemical observations with increasing geophysical evidence that the broad seismic low-velocity anomaly imaged beneath West Antarctica and most of the Southern Ocean may be in part a compositional structure inherited from previous active margin tectonics.

  16. Mid-Miocene to Pleistocene Radiolarian fossil record from IODP Expedition 346: Faunal response to the global climatic changes and local/regional tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itaki, T.; Motoyama, I.; Kamikuri, S.; Tada, R.; Murray, R. W.; Alvarez Zarikian, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that radiolarian fossils can be used as a geological tool for the age assignment and paleoceanographic reconstruction. In this study, we analyzed radiolarian fossils for seven drilled sites of IODP Exp. 346 from the Japan, Yamato and Ulleung (JYU) basins in a marginal sea of the mid-latitude NW Pacific. Significant variations of the well-preserved fossil assemblage imply that the unique oceanic circulation changes in the basins through Mid-Miocene to Pleistocene might be controlled by global climatic changes and topographic changes with local/regional tectonics. Warm water radiolarians Dictyocoryne spp. and Tetrapyle spp. characterized in the Tsushima Current water occurred commonly since 1.7 Ma suggesting a beginning of the warm water inflow from the southern strait of the basins. It might be coincident with an opening of the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea. On the other hand, during the Pliocene period, sporadic occurrence of the warm water species was recognized in southern part of the examined area. This implies that a minor influence of the warm water was present in the southern coastal area of the Yamato Basin. Typical deep dwelling species such as Cornutella profunda and Peripyramis circumtexta is absent in the present JYU basins, however they occurred frequently during Pliocene and Miocene. This suggests the deep-water exchange between the JYU basins and the North Pacific via the deeper strait, which might be present in the northern part of the sea. These deep-water radiolarians disappeared from the JYU basins at the early Pleistocene (~2.7 Ma to 1.7 Ma), which is almost coincident with the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation.

  17. "Small size" in the Philippine human fossil record: is it meaningful for a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the negritos?

    PubMed

    Détroit, Florent; Corny, Julien; Dizon, Eusebio Z; Mijares, Armand S

    2013-01-01

    "Pygmy populations" are recognized in several places over the world, especially in Western Africa and in Southeast Asia (Philippine "negritos," for instance). Broadly defined as "small-bodied Homo sapiens" (compared with neighboring populations), their origins and the nature of the processes involved in the maintenance of their phenotype over time are highly debated. Major results have been recently obtained from population genetics on present-day negrito populations, but their evolutionary history remains largely unresolved. We present and discuss the Upper Pleistocene human remains recovered from Tabon Cave and Callao Cave in the Philippines, which are potentially highly relevant to these research questions. Human fossils have been recovered in large numbers from Tabon Cave (Palawan Island) but mainly from reworked and mixed sediments from several archaeological layers. We review and synthesize the long and meticulous collaborative work done on the archives left from the 1960s excavations and on the field. The results demonstrate the long history of human occupations in the cave, since at least ~30,000 BP. The examination of the Tabon human remains shows a large variability: large and robust for one part of the sample, and small and gracile for the other part. The latter would fit quite comfortably within the range of variation of Philippine negritos. Farther north, on Luzon Island, the human third metatarsal recently recovered from Callao Cave and dated to ~66,000 BP is now the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines. Previous data show that, compared with H. sapiens (including Philippine negritos), this bone presents a very small size and several unusual morphological characteristics. We present a new analytical approach using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics for comparing the Callao fossil to a wide array of extant Asian mammals, including nonhuman primates and H. sapiens. The results demonstrate that the shape of the Callao

  18. Antarctic Ozone Hole, 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Each spring the ozone layer over Antarctica nearly disappears, forming a 'hole' over the entire continent. The hole is created by the interaction of some man-made chemicals-freon, for example-with Antarctica's unique weather patterns and extremely cold temperatures. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun, thereby protecting living things. Since the ozone hole was discovered many of the chemicals that destroy ozone have been banned, but they will remain in the atmosphere for decades. In 2000, the ozone hole grew quicker than usual and exceptionally large. By the first week in September the hole was the largest ever-11.4 million square miles. The top image shows the average total column ozone values over Antarctica for September 2000. (Total column ozone is the amount of ozone from the ground to the top of the atmosphere. A relatively typical measurement of 300 Dobson Units is equivalent to a layer of ozone 0.12 inches thick on the Earth's surface. Levels below 220 Dobson Units are considered to be significant ozone depletion.) The record-breaking hole is likely the result of lower than average ozone levels during the Antarctic fall and winter, and exceptionally cold temperatures. In October, however (bottom image), the hole shrank dramatically, much more quickly than usual. By the end of October, the hole was only one-third of it's previous size. In a typical year, the ozone hole does not collapse until the end of November. NASA scientists were surprised by this early shrinking and speculate it is related to the region's weather. Global ozone levels are measured by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). For more information about ozone, read the Earth Observatory's ozone fact sheet, view global ozone data and see these ozone images. Images by Greg Shirah, NASA GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

  19. Sugars in Antarctic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbaro, Elena; Kirchgeorg, Torben; Zangrando, Roberta; Vecchiato, Marco; Piazza, Rossano; Barbante, Carlo; Gambaro, Andrea

    2015-10-01

    The processes and transformations occurring in the Antarctic aerosol during atmospheric transport were described using selected sugars as source tracers. Monosaccharides (arabinose, fructose, galactose, glucose, mannose, ribose, xylose), disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose, lactulose), alcohol-sugars (erythritol, mannitol, ribitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, galactitol) and anhydrosugars (levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan) were measured in the Antarctic aerosol collected during four different sampling campaigns. For quantification, a sensitive high-pressure anion exchange chromatography was coupled with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. The method was validated, showing good accuracy and low method quantification limits. This study describes the first determination of sugars in the Antarctic aerosol. The total mean concentration of sugars in the aerosol collected at the "Mario Zucchelli" coastal station was 140 pg m-3; as for the aerosol collected over the Antarctic plateau during two consecutive sampling campaigns, the concentration amounted to 440 and 438 pg m-3. The study of particle-size distribution allowed us to identify the natural emission from spores or from sea-spray as the main sources of sugars in the coastal area. The enrichment of sugars in the fine fraction of the aerosol collected on the Antarctic plateau is due to the degradation of particles during long-range atmospheric transport. The composition of sugars in the coarse fraction was also investigated in the aerosol collected during the oceanographic cruise.

  20. Consequences of elevated temperature and pCO2 on insect folivory at the ecosystem level: perspectives from the fossil record.

    PubMed

    Currano, Ellen D; Laker, Rachel; Flynn, Andrew G; Fogt, Kari K; Stradtman, Hillary; Wing, Scott L

    2016-07-01

    Paleoecological studies document the net effects of atmospheric and climate change in a natural laboratory over timescales not accessible to laboratory or ecological studies. Insect feeding damage is visible on well-preserved fossil leaves, and changes in leaf damage through time can be compared to environmental changes. We measured percent leaf area damaged on four fossil leaf assemblages from the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, that range in age from 56.1 to 52.65 million years (Ma). We also include similar published data from three US sites 49.4 to ~45 Ma in our analyses. Regional climate was subtropical or warmer throughout this period, and the second oldest assemblage (56 Ma) was deposited during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a geologically abrupt global warming event caused by massive release of carbon into the atmosphere. Total and leaf-chewing damage are highest during the PETM, whether considering percent area damaged on the bulk flora, the average of individual host plants, or a single plant host that occurs at multiple sites. Another fossil assemblage in our study, the 52.65 Ma Fifteenmile Creek paleoflora, also lived during a period of globally high temperature and pCO 2, but does not have elevated herbivory. Comparison of these two sites, as well as regression analyses conducted on the entire dataset, demonstrates that, over long timescales, temperature and pCO 2 are uncorrelated with total insect consumption at the ecosystem level. Rather, the most important factor affecting herbivory is the relative abundance of plants with nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Legumes dominate the PETM site; their prevalence would have decreased nitrogen limitation across the ecosystem, buffering generalist herbivore populations against decreased leaf nutritional quality that commonly occurs at high pCO 2. We hypothesize that nitrogen concentration regulates the opposing effects of elevated temperature and CO 2 on insect abundance and thereby total insect consumption

  1. A data bank of Antarctic surface temperature and pressure data

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, P.D.; Limbert, D.W.S.

    1987-06-01

    A data bank of monthly-mean surface air temperature and sea-level or station-level pressures is presented for 29 stations over the Antarctic region south of 60/sup 0/S. Considerable attempts have been made to locate missing data in nationally published sources and in World Weather Records. By cross-checking neighboring station data, suspect values have been either verified or corrected. At four sites in the Antarctic Peninsula region, composite records were produced by amalgamating records from a number of short and longer length records at or near the key sites. The four sites were Bellingshausen, Faraday, Esperenza and Rothera. The mean Antarctic temperature series produced by Raper et al. (1984) is updated using the same method of calculation.

  2. First fossil record of Discocephalinae (Insecta, Pentatomidae): a new genus from the middle Eocene of Río Pichileufú, Patagonia, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Petrulevičius, Julián F.; Popov, Yuri A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of Discocephalini, Acanthocephalonotum martinsnetoi gen. n. et sp. n. is described from Río Pichileufú, middle Eocene of Patagonia, Argentina at palaeolatitude ~ 46°S. The new species is the first fossil representative of the Discocephalinae. This taxon is extant in equatorial to subtropical America, and some species reach warm temperate latitudes (Buenos Aires province). The new genus is distinguished from the other genera of Discocephalini by the combination of these characters: interocular width greater than head length; head massive and quadrangular with the anterior margin almost straight; juga touching each other; labrum thick and curved; triangular ante-ocular process extending beyond the eye; broad spine-like antero-lateral process of the pronotum; pronotum explanate and bean shaped; scutellum triangular with a circular tongue reaching the anterior side of abdominal segment 7; and wings well developed with membrane just surpassing end of abdomen. PMID:25061387

  3. Rebound of Antarctic ozone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salby, Murry; Titova, Evgenia; Deschamps, Lilia

    2011-05-01

    Restrictions on CFCs have led to a gradual decline of Equivalent Effective Stratospheric Chlorine (EESC). A rebound of Antarctic ozone, however, has remained elusive, masked by large interannual changes that dominate its current evolution. A positive response of ozone is not expected to emerge for at least 1-2 decades, possibly not for half a century. We show that interannual changes of the Antarctic ozone hole are accounted for almost perfectly by changes in dynamical forcing of the stratosphere. The close relationship enables dynamically-induced changes of ozone to be removed, unmasking the climate signal associated with CFCs. The component independent of dynamically-induced changes exhibits a clear upward trend over the last decade - the first signature of a rebound in Antarctic ozone. It enables ozone to be tracked relative to CFCs and other changes of climate.

  4. Fossil Shorelines Record Multiple Sea Level Highstands and Surface Deformation on Million Year Timescales at Cape Range National Park, Northwestern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandstrom, R. M.; O'Leary, M.; Barham, M.; Cai, Y.; Jacome, A. P.; Raymo, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Correcting fossil shorelines for vertical displacement subsequent to deposition is a vital consideration in estimating sea level and ice volume during past warm periods. Field observations of paleo-sea level indicators must be adjusted for local tectonic deformation, subsequent sediment loading, dynamic topography (DT), and glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Dynamic topography is often the most difficult of these corrections to determine, especially on million year timescales, but is essential when providing constraints on sea level and ice volume changes. GIA effects from high latitude ice sheets minimally impact northwestern Australia, making this region well suited for observing surface displacement due to mantle and tectonic processes. This study presents centimeter accuracy paleo-shoreline data from four distinct marine terraces in the Cape Range National Park, Australia, which document vertical displacement history along 100 kilometers of coastline. The mapped region has an anticlinal structure in the center that has been slowly uplifting the three older reef complexes over the Neogene, constraining the timing of deformation. These neotectonics are probably caused by reactivation of ancient fault zones normal to the principal horizontal compressive stress, resulting in the warping of overlaying units. The elevation data also suggests minimal vertical displacement since the last interglacial highstand. Well-preserved fossil coral were collected from each terrace and will be geochemically dated using Sr isotope and U-series dating methods. This dataset provides a better understanding of DT and neotectonic deformation in this region (useful for improving mantle viscosity models), and offers a means for improving past sea level reconstructions in northwestern Australia.

  5. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurbatov, A.; Dunbar, N. W.; Iverson, N. A.; Gerbi, C. C.; Yates, M. G.; Kalteyer, D.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleoclimate research is heavily dependent on establishing accurate timing related to rapid shifts in Earth's climate system. The ability to correlate these events at local, and ideally at the intercontinental scales, allows assessment, for example, of phasing or changes in atmospheric circulation. Tephra-producing volcanic eruptions are geologically instantaneous events that are largely independent of climate. We have developed a tephrochronological framework for paleoclimate research in Antarctic in a user friendly, freely accessible online Antarctic tephra (AntT) database (http://cci.um.maine.edu/AntT/). Information about volcanic events, including physical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic products collected from multiple data sources, are integrated into the AntT database.The AntT project establishes a new centralized data repository for Antarctic tephrochronology, which is needed for precise correlation of records between Antarctic ice cores (e.g. WAIS Divide, RICE, Talos Dome, ITASE) and global paleoclimate archives. The AntT will help climatologists, paleoclimatologists, atmospheric chemists, geochemists, climate modelers synchronize paleoclimate archives using volcanic products that establishing timing of climate events in different geographic areas, climate-forcing mechanisms, natural threshold levels in the climate system. All these disciplines will benefit from accurate reconstructions of the temporal and spatial distribution of past rapid climate change events in continental, atmospheric, marine and polar realms. Research is funded by NSF grants: ANT-1142007 and 1142069.

  6. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  7. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    PubMed

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'. PMID:27325828

  8. Tectonic, Climatic, and Cryospheric Evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-06-01

    For millennia, Antarctica has been a frozen continent, a land of ice and snow where complex life persists rather than thrives. But Antarctica has not always been this way. Millions of years ago the southern continent was teeming with life. Changing oceans and a plummeting atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration drove a dramatic evolution of the Antarctic continent. To provide a record of these ancient climatic shifts, the 2005-2006 SHALDRIL drilling program collected sediment cores from the bed of the iceberg-filled seas off the Antarctic Peninsula. In the AGU book Tectonic, Climatic, and Cryospheric Evolution of the Antarctic Peninsula, editors John B. Anderson and Julia S. Wellner draw on the findings garnered from SHALDRIL to explore the changing Antarctic Peninsula. In this interview, Eos talks to John B. Anderson.

  9. Rayleigh-wave group velocity distribution in the Antarctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Reiji; Zhao, Dapeng

    2004-03-01

    We determined 2D group velocity distribution of Rayleigh waves at periods of 20-150 s in the Antarctic region using a tomographic inversion technique. The data are recorded by both permanent networks and temporary arrays. In East Antarctica the velocities are high at periods of 90-150 s, suggesting that the root of East Antarctica is very deep. The velocities in West Antarctica are low at all periods, which may be related to the volcanic activity and the West Antarctic Rift System. Low velocity anomalies appear at periods of 40-140 s along the Southeastern Indian Ridge and the western part of the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. The velocities are only slightly low around the Atlantic Indian Ridge, Southwestern Indian Ridge, and the eastern part of the Pacific Antarctic Ridge, where the spreading rates are small. Around two hotspots, the Mount Erebus and Balleny Islands, the velocity is low at periods of 50-150 s.

  10. Antarctic role in multi-centennial climate variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakker, Pepijn; Clark, Peter U.; Golledge, Nicolas R.; Schmittner, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Proxy-based reconstructions have revealed an important lack of multi-centennial climate variability in global climate models. Here we use a high-resolution ice-sheet model in combination with global climate simulations to show that internal variability in discharge of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a potentially important driver of multi-centennial climate variability. Variations in discharge impact the formation of Antarctic Bottom Water, that in turn impacts the climate at the earth's surface and in the deep ocean, in both near-field and far-field regions, through variations in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. If indeed interactions between the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the climate on multi-centennial timescales are important, studying them in high resolution climate records has good potential to provide constraints on the dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its contribution to future sea-level rise.

  11. Carbonate Deposition on Antarctic Shelves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, T. D.; James, N. P.; Malcolm, I.

    2011-12-01

    Limestones associated with glaciomarine deposits occur throughout the geologic record but remain poorly understood. The best-described examples formed during major ice ages of the Neoproterozoic and Late Paleozoic. Quaternary analogs on Antarctic shelves have received comparatively little study. Here, we report on the composition, spatial distribution, and stratigraphic context of carbonate sediments contained in piston cores from the Ross Sea. The goals of this work are to (1) document the nature and distribution of carbonate sediments on the Ross Sea continental shelf and (2) examine temporal relationships to Quaternary glaciation. Results will be used to develop criteria that will improve understanding of analogous deposits in the ancient record. All carbonate-rich intervals in piston cores from the Ross Rea, now housed at the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility at Florida State University, were examined and described in detail. Sediment samples were disaggregated and sieved into size fractions before description with paleontological analysis carried out on the coarsest size fraction (>250 microns). Carbonate-rich sediments are concentrated in the northwestern Ross Sea, along the distal margins of Mawson and Pennell Banks. Calcareous facies include a spectrum of lithologies that range from fossiliferous mud, sand, and gravel to skeletal floatstone-rudstone and bafflestone. Floatstone-rudstone and bafflestone is most abundant along western-facing slopes in areas protected from the Antarctic Coastal Current. Sand-prone facies dominate the tops of banks and mud-prone, often spicultic, facies occur in deeper areas. The carbonate factory is characterized by a low-diversity, heterozoan assemblage that is dominated by stylasterine hydrocorals, barnacles, and bryozoans. Molluscs and echinoids are present but not abundant. Planktic and benthic foraminifera are ubiquitous components of the sediment matrix, which is locally very rich in sponge spicules. Biota rarely

  12. Diagnosing Antarctic Fog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazzara, M. A.

    2010-07-01

    Fog affects aviation and other logistical operations in the Antarctic; nevertheless limited studies have been conducted to understand fog behavior in this part of the world. A study has been conducted in the Ross Island region of Antarctica, the location of McMurdo Station and Scott Base - the main stations of the United States and New Zealand Antarctic programs, respectively. Using tools such as multi-channel satellites observations and supported by in situ radiosonde and ground-based automatic weather station observations, combined with back trajectory and mesoscale numerical models, discover that austral summer fog events are "advective" in temperament. The diagnosis finds a primary source region from the southeast over the Ross Ice Shelf (over 72% of the cases studied) while a minority of cases point toward a secondary fog source region to the north along the Scott Coast of the Ross Sea with influences from the East Antarctic Plateau. Part of this examination confirms existing anecdotes from forecasters and weather observers, while refuting others about fog and its behavior in this environment. This effort marks the beginning of our understanding of Antarctic fog behavior.

  13. Mid-Burdigalian Paratethyan alkenone record reveals link between orbital forcing, Antarctic ice-sheet dynamics and European climate at the verge to Miocene Climate Optimum

    PubMed Central

    Grunert, Patrick; Tzanova, Alexandrina; Harzhauser, Mathias; Piller, Werner E.

    2014-01-01

    The Early Ottnangian Cooling (EOC), a distinct cold-spell in European climate at ~ 18 Ma preceding the Miocene Climate Optimum, is frequently reported in Paratethys records; however, the duration, magnitude, and underlying causes are poorly understood. A new palaeoclimatic data-set provides unexpected insights into this event. UK'37-based sea-surface temperatures > 24 °C between ~ 18.1 and 17.7 Myrs substantially exceed existing estimates, and indicate a significantly warmer European climate than previously assumed for this usually poorly recovered time interval. The EOC is expressed as an average drop of 2–3 °C in Paratethyan water temperatures between ~ 18.1 and 17.8 Myrs with two distinct cold snaps at ~ 17.86 Ma and ~ 17.81 Ma. The short duration of the EOC excludes Tethyan Seaway closure as its underlying cause, although the enhanced palaeoclimatic sensitivity of the Paratethys due to this palaeogeographic configuration potentially contributed to the magnitude of SST deterioration during the EOC. The revealed palaeoclimatic pattern shows a strong correlation with isotope event Mi-1b in deep-sea δ18O records, and we propose a tight palaeoclimatic link between the Southern Ocean and the Paratethys/Mediterranean realm as an alternative hypothesis. The interplay of modulations in the long-term (~ 400 kyrs) and short-term (~ 100 kyrs) eccentricity cycles most likely acted as pacemaker of this palaeoclimatic interaction. PMID:25844022

  14. Year-round records of sea salt, gaseous, and particulate inorganic bromine in the atmospheric boundary layer at coastal (Dumont d'Urville) and central (Concordia) East Antarctic sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legrand, Michel; Yang, Xin; Preunkert, Susanne; Theys, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Multiple year-round records of bulk and size-segregated compositions of aerosol were obtained at the coastal Dumont d'Urville (DDU) and inland Concordia sites located in East Antarctica. They document the sea-salt aerosol load and composition including, for the first time in Antarctica, the bromide depletion of sea-salt aerosol relative to sodium with respect to seawater. In parallel, measurements of bromide trapped in mist chambers and denuder tubes were done to investigate the concentrations of gaseous inorganic bromine species. These data are compared to simulations done with an off-line chemistry transport model, coupled with a full tropospheric bromine chemistry scheme and a process-based sea-salt production module that includes both sea-ice-sourced and open-ocean-sourced aerosol emissions. Observed and simulated sea-salt concentrations sometime differ by up to a factor of 2 to 3, particularly at DDU possibly due to local wind pattern. In spite of these discrepancies, both at coastal and inland Antarctica, the dominance of sea-ice-related processes with respect to open ocean emissions for the sea-salt aerosol load in winter is confirmed. For summer, observations and simulations point out sea salt as the main source of gaseous inorganic bromine species. Investigations of bromide in snow pit samples do not support the importance of snowpack bromine emissions over the Antarctic Plateau. To evaluate the overall importance of the bromine chemistry over East Antarctica, BrO simulations were also discussed with respect data derived from GOME-2 satellite observations over Antarctica.

  15. Deciphering influences of temperature, moisture sources, post-deposition effects and stratospheric inputs in records of stable isotopes in East Antarctic snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Touzeau, Alexandra; Fourré, Elise; Baroni, Mélanie; Curran, Mark; Ekaykin, Alexey; Magand, Olivier; Moy, Andrew; McConnell, Joe; Landais, Amaelle

    2015-04-01

    The oxygen and deuterium isotopic composition of ice represent a prodigal source of information for the reconstruction of past climate. Their widespread use relies upon the straightforward relationship between the oxygen or deuterium isotopic composition in the snow precipitated and the inversion temperature (or the local temperature). However, between the precipitation of the snow and the solidification of ice, several mechanisms may affect the initial composition of the snow, thereby rendering the climatic signal less perceptible. During deposition or shortly after deposition, the wind may blow away and redeposit the uncompact snow, and therefore affect the chronology of the record. Various origins of the moisture source, including possible stratospheric inputs in very low accumulation sites, may also affect water isotopic composition. Finally, after deposition, the isotopic signal is also modified by diffusion of isotopes in the solid phase, local sublimation and condensation with associated fractionation, and water vapor transport between snow layers. In order to assess the effect of these mechanisms on the snow isotopic composition, we compare the results of the analysis of five snow pits from the East Antarctica plateau: two from Vostok, one from Dome C, one from S2 and one from Aurora Basin (ABN). For each snow pit, snow was sampled every three cm over a depth of about three meters. The ratios of 18O/16O, 17O/16O and D/H were determined for each sample and additional 10Be profiles were obtained for some profiles. Because the different water isotopes are affected differently by equilibrium and diffusive processes and because stratospheric inputs are expected to leave a significant signature in 10Be and 17Oexcess, the combination of the different isotopic profiles is a useful tool for inferring the origin of δ18O or δD variations in the top 3 m of the ice sheet. Using the relationships observed between δ18O, d-excess, 17O-excess and 10Be, we are able to

  16. Modelling the Isotopic Response to Antarctic Ice Sheet Change During the Last Interglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, Max; Sime, Louise; Singarayer, Joy; Tindall, Julia; Valdes, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Ice sheet changes can exert major control over spatial water isotope variations in Antarctic surface snow. Consequently a significant mass loss or gain of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would be expected to cause changes in the water isotope record across Antarctic ice core sites. Analysis of sea level indicators for the last interglacial (LIG), around 125 to 128 ka, suggest a global sea level peak 6 to 9 m higher than present. Recent NEEM Greenland ice core results imply that Greenland likely provided a modest ~2m contribution towards this global sea level rise. This implies that a WAIS contribution is necessary to explain the LIG sea level maxima. In addition, Antarctic ice core records suggest that Antarctic air temperatures during the LIG were up to 6°C warmer than present. Climate models have been unable to recreate such warmth when only orbital and greenhouse gas forcing are considered. Thus changes to the Antarctic ice sheet and ocean circulation may be required to reconcile model simulations with ice core data. Here we model the isotopic response to differing WAIS deglaciation scenarios, freshwater hosing, and sea ice configurations using a fully coupled General Circulation Model (GCM) to help interpret Antarctic ice core records over the LIG. This approach can help isolate the contribution of individual processes and feedbacks to final isotopic signals recorded in Antarctic ice cores.

  17. 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)

    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.; Jiménez-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

    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.

  18. Synchronous change of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature during the last deglacial warming.

    PubMed

    Parrenin, F; Masson-Delmotte, V; Köhler, P; Raynaud, D; Paillard, D; Schwander, J; Barbante, C; Landais, A; Wegner, A; Jouzel, J

    2013-03-01

    Understanding the role of atmospheric CO2 during past climate changes requires clear knowledge of how it varies in time relative to temperature. Antarctic ice cores preserve highly resolved records of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the past 800,000 years. Here we propose a revised relative age scale for the concentration of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature for the last deglacial warming, using data from five Antarctic ice cores. We infer the phasing between CO2 concentration and Antarctic temperature at four times when their trends change abruptly. We find no significant asynchrony between them, indicating that Antarctic temperature did not begin to rise hundreds of years before the concentration of atmospheric CO2, as has been suggested by earlier studies. PMID:23449589

  19. Identifying and directly dating Plio-Pleistocene geomagnetic reversals and events from speleothems at South African archaeological and fossil bearing palaeocaves: implications for extending archaeomagnetic records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herries, A. I.; Pickering, R.; Kappen, P.

    2013-05-01

    In the last 10 years palaeomagnetic research on speleothems from archaeological and fossil bearing palaeokarst in northern South Africa has led to the identification of apparent short geomagnetic field events that were initially thought to represent one or both of the Réunion events. More recently the development of uranium-lead dating techniques for speleothem in the 5 Ma to 500 ka time range has allowed us to directly date these events for the first time, as well as date more recently discovered events and reversals. This work now indicates that the same reversals events are often found in speleothems in different caves throughout the region. An event has been directly dated at two sites to between 2.047 and 2.0005 Ma and likely represents what has been termed the 'Huckleberry Ridge' event at other localities. Another event sometime between 2.33 and 2.15 Ma likely represents the Réunion event while another between 1.111 to 1.087 Ma is thought to represent the Punaruu event. X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy work at the Australian Synchrotron has been used to map the iron distribution in the speleothems and in tandem with the demagnetisation spectra has enabled the mineralogy and mode of acquisition of remanence to be determined and the potential effects of recrystalisation on the palaeomagnetic signal to be accessed. Further work on speleothem sequences in the caves has the potential to refine the ages of geomagnetic field reversals, events and excursions over almost any time range for which speleothems exist, if certain conditions are met. Given the rapid lock-in time of the remanence and low alteration rates and effects of speleothems they provide a powerful new medium for reconstructing Plio-Pleistocene geomagnetic field variation.

  20. Clinal morphological variation along a depth gradient in the living scleractinian reef coral Favia pallida: Effects on perceived evolutionary tempos in the fossil record

    SciTech Connect

    Cuffey, R.J. ); Pachut, J.F. )

    1990-12-01

    The Holocene reef-building coral Favia pallida was sampled at 4.5 m depth increments (to 40 m) from two reefs on Enewetak Atoll to examine intraspecific environmental effects. An exposed outer reef was massive and wall-like, whereas a sheltered lagoonal reef grew as a slender pinnacle. Corallite diameter and growth rate, two attributes retrievable in fossil corals, were measured with data partitioned into shallow (<20 m), intermediate (20 to 29 m), and deep-water (>29 m) subsets. Highly significant differences between depth zone populations were found for both corallite diameters and growth rates in analyses of individual and combined reef data sets. Canonical variates analyses (CVA) separated populations from depth zones along single, highly significant, functions. Centroids and 95% confidence intervals, calculated from CVA scores of colonies in each population, are widely separated for the lagoon reef and combined data sets. Conversely, populations from shallow and intermediate depths on the outer reef display overlapping confidence bars indicative of more gradational morphologic changes. When CV's were used to classify specimens to groups, misassignments of intermediate depth specimens to shallow or deep-water populations underscored the gradational nature of the environment. Completely intergrading populations of Favia pallida collected from different depths can be morphologically separated into statistically distinct groupings. A stratigraphic succession of such morphotypes might be interpreted as abruptly appearing separate species if sampling were not as uniform, systematic, and detailed as was possible on modern reefs. Analyses of evolutionary patterns must carefully assess potential effects of clinal variation if past evolutionary patterns are to be interpreted correctly.

  1. Fossilized bioelectric wire - the trace fossil Trichichnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kędzierski, M.; Uchman, A.; Sawlowicz, Z.; Briguglio, A.

    2015-04-01

    The trace fossil Trichichnus is proposed as an indicator of fossil bioelectric bacterial activity at the oxic-anoxic interface 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 it is produced by modern large, mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, belonging mostly to Thioploca-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".

  2. Late Quaternary vegetation and environments in the Verkhoyansk Mountains region (NE Asia) reconstructed from a 50-kyr fossil pollen record from Lake Billyakh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Stefanie; Tarasov, Pavel E.; Andreev, Andrei A.; Tütken, Thomas; Gartz, Steffi; Diekmann, Bernhard

    2010-08-01

    Here we present a detailed radiocarbon-dated 936 cm long pollen record from Lake Billyakh (65°17'N, 126°47'E; 340 m a.s.l.) situated in the western part of the Verkhoyansk Mountains, about 140 km south of the Arctic Circle. A set of 53 surface pollen samples representing tundra, cold deciduous forest and taiga was collected in northern and central Yakutia communities to verify the accuracy of the quantitative biome reconstruction method and to obtain a more precise attribution of the identified pollen taxa to the main regional biomes. The adjusted method is then applied to the pollen record from Lake Billyakh to gain a reconstruction of vegetation and environments since about 50.7 kyr BP. The results of the pollen analysis and pollen-based biome reconstruction suggest that herbaceous tundra and steppe communities dominated the area from 50.7 to 13.5 kyr BP. Relatively low pollen concentrations and high percentages of herbaceous pollen taxa (mainly Cyperaceae, Poaceae and Artemisia) likely indicate a reduced vegetation cover and/or lower pollen production. On the other hand, extremely low percentages of drought-tolerant taxa, such as Chenopodiaceae and Ephedra, and the constant presence of various mesophyllous herbaceous ( Thalictrum, Rosaceae, Asteraceae) and shrubby taxa ( Betula sect. Nanae/Fruticosae, Duschekia fruticosa, Salix) in the pollen assemblages prevent an interpretation of the last glacial environments around Lake Billyakh as extremely arid. The lowest pollen percentages of woody taxa and the highest values of Artemisia pollen attest that the 31-15 kyr BP period as the driest and coldest interval of the entire record. A relative high content of taxa representing shrub tundra communities and the presence of larch pollen recorded prior to 31 kyr and after 13.5 kyr BP likely indicate interstadial climate amelioration associated with the middle and latest parts of the last glacial. An increase in pollen percentages of herbaceous taxa around 12 kyr BP

  3. First record of the fossil snakefly genus Mesoraphidia (Insecta: Raphidioptera: Mesoraphidiidae) from the Middle Jurassic of China, with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Lü, Ya-Nan; Liu, Xingyue; Dong, Ren

    2015-01-01

    Mesoraphidia daohugouensis sp. nov. is described from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of Inner Mongolia, China. It is diagnosed by the following character states: subquadrate pronotum, narrowly elliptical forewing, distally darkened pterostigma closed respectively by a proximal costal crossvein and a distal radial veinlet, absence of pterostigmal crossvein. The new species represents the first record of Mesoraphidiinae from the Middle Jurassic of China. PMID:26623595

  4. Differences between Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites: An assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Koeberl, C. ); Cassidy, W.A. )

    1991-01-01

    The discovery of a statistically significant number of meteorites in Antarctica over the past 20 years has posed many questions. One of the most intriguing suggestions that came up during the study of the Antarctic samples was that there might be a difference between the parent populations of Antarctic and non-Antarctic samples was that there might be a difference between the parent populations of Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites. This interpretation was put forward after the detection of a significant difference in the abundances of volatile and mobile trace elements in H, L, and C chondrites and achondrites. Other major differences include the occurrence of previously rare or unknown meteorites, different meteorite-type frequencies, petrographic characteristics, oxygen isotopic compositions, and smaller average masses. Not all differences between the Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorite populations can be explained by weathering, pairing, or different collection procedures. Variable trace element abundances and distinct differences in the thermal history and thermoluminescence characteristics have to be interpreted as being pre-terrestrial in origin. Such differences imply the existence of meteoroid streams, whose existence poses problems in the framework of our current knowledge of celestial mechanics. In this paper we summarize the contributions in this series and provide a review of the current state of the question for the reality and cause of differences between Antarctic and non-Antarctic meteorites.

  5. The tidal spectrum underneath Antarctic Ice Shelves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedley, M.; Paren, J. G.; Potter, J. R.

    1986-11-01

    A year-long tidal record has been obtained from beneath the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica. An unusual feature of the record is a significant response in tidal species 3 to 7. These harmonics are practically absent from records further north on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula but are present in all tidal height records from George VI Sound. A strong ter-diurnal signal also exists in the tidal currents under the ice shelf. Nonlinearity also occurs in the tidal motion of the Ronne and Ekström ice shelves but has not been reported from the Ross Ice Shelf. The tidal dynamics of several Antarctic ice shelves have therefore been modified by a region of strong nonlinear response to tidal forcing. If nonlinear tides in the semidiurnal band are present on the Ross Ice Shelf, they could account for difficulties in modeling the area's weak semidiurnal tides. An anelastic component in the deformation of the ice at the grounding line is tentatively proposed as the mechanism responsible. The positioning of recording pressure sensors in pairs on the seafloor and at the ice shelf base will allow this hypothesis to be tested and also provide a value for the power dissipated by tidally induced flexure at the grounding line.

  6. Viruses in Antarctic lakes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kepner, R. L. Jr; Wharton, R. A. Jr; Suttle, C. A.; Wharton RA, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Water samples collected from four perennially ice-covered Antarctic lakes during the austral summer of 1996-1997 contained high densities of extracellular viruses. Many of these viruses were found to be morphologically similar to double-stranded DNA viruses that are known to infect algae and protozoa. These constitute the first observations of viruses in perennially ice-covered polar lakes. The abundance of planktonic viruses and data suggesting substantial production potential (relative to bacteria] secondary and photosynthetic primary production) indicate that viral lysis may be a major factor in the regulation of microbial populations in these extreme environments. Furthermore, we suggest that Antarctic lakes may be a reservoir of previously undescribed viruses that possess novel biological and biochemical characteristics.

  7. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23–14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3–4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2. These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene. PMID:26903644

  8. Antarctic ice sheet sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 variations in the early to mid-Miocene.

    PubMed

    Levy, Richard; Harwood, David; Florindo, Fabio; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Tripati, Robert; von Eynatten, Hilmar; Gasson, Edward; Kuhn, Gerhard; Tripati, Aradhna; DeConto, Robert; Fielding, Christopher; Field, Brad; Golledge, Nicholas; McKay, Robert; Naish, Timothy; Olney, Matthew; Pollard, David; Schouten, Stefan; Talarico, Franco; Warny, Sophie; Willmott, Veronica; Acton, Gary; Panter, Kurt; Paulsen, Timothy; Taviani, Marco

    2016-03-29

    Geological records from the Antarctic margin offer direct evidence of environmental variability at high southern latitudes and provide insight regarding ice sheet sensitivity to past climate change. The early to mid-Miocene (23-14 Mya) is a compelling interval to study as global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations were similar to those projected for coming centuries. Importantly, this time interval includes the Miocene Climatic Optimum, a period of global warmth during which average surface temperatures were 3-4 °C higher than today. Miocene sediments in the ANDRILL-2A drill core from the Western Ross Sea, Antarctica, indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) was highly variable through this key time interval. A multiproxy dataset derived from the core identifies four distinct environmental motifs based on changes in sedimentary facies, fossil assemblages, geochemistry, and paleotemperature. Four major disconformities in the drill core coincide with regional seismic discontinuities and reflect transient expansion of grounded ice across the Ross Sea. They correlate with major positive shifts in benthic oxygen isotope records and generally coincide with intervals when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were at or below preindustrial levels (∼280 ppm). Five intervals reflect ice sheet minima and air temperatures warm enough for substantial ice mass loss during episodes of high (∼500 ppm) atmospheric CO2 These new drill core data and associated ice sheet modeling experiments indicate that polar climate and the AIS were highly sensitive to relatively small changes in atmospheric CO2 during the early to mid-Miocene. PMID:26903644

  9. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn

    2000-01-01

    This newsletter contains something for everyone! It lists classifications of about 440 meteorites mostly from the 1997 and 1998 ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) seasons. It also gives descriptions of about 45 meteorites of special petrologic type. These include 1 iron, 17 chondrites (7 CC, 1 EC, 9 OC) and 27 achondrites (25 HED, UR). Most notable are an acapoloite (GRA98028) and an olivine diogenite (GRA98108).

  10. 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)

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

    1980-01-01

    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.

  11. Ancient sun: fossil record in the earth, moon and meteorites. Proceedings of the Conference, Boulder, CO, October 16-19, 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Pepin, R.O.; Eddy, J.A.; Merrill, R.B.

    1980-01-01

    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.

  12. Antarctic Photochemistry: Uncertainty Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, Richard W.; McConnell, Joseph R.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the photochemistry of the Antarctic region is important for several reasons. Analysis of ice cores provides historical information on several species such as hydrogen peroxide and sulfur-bearing compounds. The former can potentially provide information on the history of oxidants in the troposphere and the latter may shed light on DMS-climate relationships. Extracting such information requires that we be able to model the photochemistry of the Antarctic troposphere and relate atmospheric concentrations to deposition rates and sequestration in the polar ice. This paper deals with one aspect of the uncertainty inherent in photochemical models of the high latitude troposphere: that arising from imprecision in the kinetic data used in the calculations. Such uncertainties in Antarctic models tend to be larger than those in models of mid to low latitude clean air. One reason is the lower temperatures which result in increased imprecision in kinetic data, assumed to be best characterized at 298K. Another is the inclusion of a DMS oxidation scheme in the present model. Many of the rates in this scheme are less precisely known than are rates in the standard chemistry used in many stratospheric and tropospheric models.

  13. Thermoluminescence and Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sears, D. W. G.; Hasan, F. A.

    1986-01-01

    The level of natural thermoluminescence (TL) in meteorites is the result of competition between build-up, due to exposure to cosmic radiation, and thermal decay. Antarctic meteorites tend to have lower natural TL than non-Antarctic meteorites because of their generally larger terrestrial ages. However, since a few observed falls have low TL due to a recent heating event, such as passage within approximately 0.7 astronomical units of the Sun, this could also be the case for some Antarctic meteorites. Dose rate variations due to shielding, heating during atmospheric passage, and anomalous fading also cause natural TL variations, but the effects are either relatively small, occur infrequently, or can be experimentally circumvented. The TL sensitivity of meteorites reflects the abundance and nature of the feldspar. Thus intense shock, which destroys feldspar, causes the TL sensitivity to decrease by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude, while metamorphism, which generates feldspar through the devitrification of glass, causes TL sensitivity to increase by a factor of approximately 10000. The TL-metamorphism relationship is particularly strong for the lowest levels of metamorphism. The order-disorder transformation in feldspar also affect the TL emission characteristics and thus TL provides a means of paleothermometry.

  14. Modes of fossil preservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    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.

  15. Microfossils in the Antarctic cold desert: Possible implications for Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedmann, E. I.; Ocampo-Friedmann, R.

    1986-01-01

    In the Ross Desert of Antarctica, the principal life form is the cryptoendolithic microbial community in the near-surface layers of porous sandstone rocks. Biological, geological, and climatic factors interact in a complex and precarious balance, making life possible in an otherwise hostile environment. Once this balance is tipped, fossilization sets in. In the reverse case, new colonization of the rock surface may be initiated. As a result, fossilization is contemporary with modern life and both may be simultaneously present in a mosaic pattern. Also, different stages of fossilization are present. The process of fossilization takes place in a nonaquatic environment. If primitive life ever appeared on Mars, it is possible that with increasing aridity, life withdrew into an endolithic niche similar to that in the Antarctic desert. Fossilization in a nonaquatic environment may have set in with the result that traces of past life could be preserved. If such was the case, the study of the fossilization process in Antarctica may hold useful information for the analysis of Martian samples for microfossils.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

    The first recorded decline of the Malvinokaffric Devonian fauna in the Paraná 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 Paraná Basin invertebrates 4 classes, 25 families, 41 genera, and 54 species become extinct. The Emsian sedimentation in the Paraná 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 ParanáBasin 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.

  17. Plant Carbonate Fossils from the Ephemeral Pond Domain in South Texas/NE Mexico Yield a Record of Tropical Cyclone Activity: Oxygen Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, J. R.; Maddocks, R.; Slowey, N. C.; Roark, E.

    2013-05-01

    Tropical cyclones produce rain with anomalously low oxygen isotope ratios. When dry ponds suddenly receive a large influx of this rainwater, algal plants known as "Charo" grow rapidly and produce desiccation resistant seeds covered by a carbonate coating. The oxygen isotopic composition of the carbonate reflects the presence of tropical cyclone water. A sediment core was taken in 2010 and pond waters were collected. Three tropical cyclones flooded the pond that year. The pond waters exhibited low isotope ratios that gradually rose as evaporation took place over the following days. Carbonate coated seeds "Charo" were separated from the top centimeter of the core. Two of the analyzed samples exhibited distinctly low isotope ratios indicating that the pond had been flooded with water from tropical cyclones at least twice. Additional isotopic analyses of carbonate coating from the seeds deeper in the core are in progress. The quantity of carbonate coating the seeds is more than adequate for obtaining lead 210 and carbon 14 dates. The main objective of our study is to produce a longterm record of tropical cyclone activity in the South Texas / Northeast Mexico region.

  18. Contribution of enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water formation to Antarctic warm events and millennial-scale atmospheric CO2 increase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menviel, L.; Spence, P.; England, M. H.

    2015-03-01

    During Marine Isotope Stage 3, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) weakened significantly on a millennial time-scale leading to Greenland stadials. Ice core records reveal that each Greenland stadial is associated with a warming over Antarctica, so-called Antarctic Isotope Maximum (AIM), and that atmospheric CO2 increases with Antarctic temperature during the long Greenland stadials. Here we perform transient simulations spanning the period 50-34 ka B.P. with two Earth System Models (LOVECLIM and the UVic ESCM) to understand the possible link between changes in the AMOC, changes in high latitude Southern Hemispheric climate and evolution of atmospheric CO2. We find that oceanic carbon releases due to the AMOC resumption during stadial/interstadial transitions lead to an atmospheric CO2 increase. However, the atmospheric CO2 increases observed during the first parts of AIM12 (∼47.6 ka B.P.) and AIM8 (∼39.8 ka B.P.) occur during periods of weak AMOC (HS5 and HS4 respectively) and could instead be explained by enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water transport. Enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water formation is shown to effectively ventilate the deep Pacific carbon and lead to CO2 outgassing into the atmosphere. In addition, changes in the AMOC alone are not sufficient to explain the largest Antarctic Isotope Maxima (namely AIM12 and AIM8). Stronger formation of Antarctic Bottom Water during AIM12 and AIM8 would enhance the southern high latitude warming and lead to a better agreement with high southern latitude paleoproxy records. The robustness of this southern warming response is tested using an eddy-permitting coupled ocean sea-ice model. We show that stronger Antarctic Bottom Water formation contributes to Southern Ocean surface warming by increasing the Southern Ocean meridional heat transport.

  19. A review of early gadiform evolution and diversification: first record of a rattail fish skull (Gadiformes, Macrouridae) from the Eocene of Antarctica, with otoliths preserved in situ.

    PubMed

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Hecht, Thomas

    2008-10-01

    Codfishes, the Gadiformes, are quite abundant in modern temperate and polar waters with a fossil record ranging back into the Palaeogene. The oldest records are from the Danian and Selandian of Europe and South Australia. The bipolar distribution early in their evolutionary history implies that their origin must have occurred quite early in the Palaeocene, or even in the Late Cretaceous with subsequent rapid diversification. By the Eocene, gadiforms were highly abundant and widespread. With the exception of gadiforms, no Eocene Antarctic teleostean group is present in the modern Antarctic fauna. Here, we review the early evolution and diversification of gadiforms in general and of macrouroids in particular. We also describe the undoubtedly oldest skeletal macrourid specimen with otoliths preserved in situ. It is the first definitive record of this group from the Eocene of Antarctica filling a gap in its stratigraphic distribution. The fossil record of gadiforms in general and macrouroids in particular indicates that the origin of both was in shallow shelf environments but with adaptations to deep-water settings early in their evolution. While gadoids seemingly originated in the earliest Palaeogene and rapidly experienced a first major radiation event in the eastern North Atlantic and/or North Sea Basin, macrouroids evolved in the Southern Ocean and migrated northwards into the South Atlantic before the establishment of the circum-Antarctic current and subsequent isolation of the Antarctic fish fauna. These two timely and regional separated adaptive radiation events in the Palaeogene gave rise to their modern taxonomic diversity and global distribution. PMID:18542900

  20. Restoring Fossil Creek

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

    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…

  1. Long-range transport of pollutants to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica: evidence from lake sediment fly ash particle records.

    PubMed

    Rose, Neil L; Jones, Vivienne J; Noon, Philippa E; Hodgson, Dominic A; Flower, Roger J; Appleby, Peter G

    2012-09-18

    (210)Pb-dated sediment cores taken from lakes on the Falkland Islands, the South Orkney Islands, and the Larsemann Hills in Antarctica were analyzed for fly ash particles to assess the temporal record of contamination from high temperature fossil-fuel combustion sources. Very low, but detectable, levels were observed in the Antarctic lakes. In the Falkland Island lakes, the record of fly ash extended back to the late-19th century and the scale of contamination was considerably higher. These data, in combination with meteorological, modeling, and fossil-fuel consumption data, indicate most likely sources are in South America, probably Chile and Brazil. Other southern hemisphere sources, notably from Australia, contribute to a background contamination and were more important historically. Comparing southern polar data with the equivalent from the northern hemisphere emphasizes the difference in contamination of the two circumpolar regions, with the Falkland Island sites only having a level of contamination similar to that of northern Svalbard. PMID:22891669

  2. Challenges to antarctic science in a changing social order

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The November, 1992 report of the Commission on the Future of the NSF recommends that NSF should be guided by two goals: supporting first rate research, on the frontier of knowledge, which has been identified and defined by the best scientists; balancing resources among fields and research activities in response to expanding opportunities for science to contribute to national goals. The US Antarctic Program (USAP) has improved the ability to provide state of the art support to researchers and worked to ensure that the results of antarctic research are of the highest quality. Science highlights from 1992 are summarized in this editorial; they include the following: discovery of a fossilized deciduous forest, of global climate change interest; balloon-borne and lidar probes to examine ozone related chemistry of the stratosphere; work in the Weddell Sea changing understandings of ocean circulation and global climatic change;studies of El Nino; and unique educational opportunities for students from several discipines.

  3. Biodiversity and biogeography of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic mollusca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linse, Katrin; Griffiths, Huw J.; Barnes, David K. A.; Clarke, Andrew

    2006-04-01

    For many decades molluscan data have been critical to the establishment of the concept of a global-scale increase in species richness from the poles to the equator. Low polar diversity is key to this latitudinal cline in diversity. Here we investigate richness patterns in the two largest classes of molluscs at both local and regional scales throughout the Southern Ocean. We show that biodiversity is very patchy in the Southern Ocean (at the 1000-km scale) and test the validity of historical biogeographic sub-regions and provinces. We used multivariate analysis of biodiversity patterns at species, genus and family levels to define richness hotspots within the Southern Ocean and transition areas. This process identified the following distinct sub-regions in the Southern Ocean: Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, East Antarctic—Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctic—Enderby Land, East Antarctic—Wilkes Land, Ross Sea, and the independent Scotia arc and sub Antarctic islands. Patterns of endemism were very different between the bivalves and gastropods. On the basis of distributional ranges and radiation centres of evolutionarily successful families and genera we define three biogeographic provinces in the Southern Ocean: (1) the continental high Antarctic province excluding the Antarctic Peninsula, (2) the Scotia Sea province including the Antarctic Peninsula, and (3) the sub Antarctic province comprising the islands in the vicinity of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

  4. Dynamic Antarctic ice-sheet response to deglacial meltwater pulses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Michael; Clark, Peter U.; Timmermann, Axel; Lohmann, Gerrit; Kuhn, Gerhard; Sprenk, Daniela; Gladstone, Rupert

    2013-04-01

    Reconstruction of the last global sea level rise faces uncertainties because only a few robust data evidences are available for Antarctic ice sheets. Deglacial dynamics have mostly been inferred from shallow-water cores on the shelf, where decisive changes are either erased by grounding ice or occur in condensed, lithologically complex successions with partially reversed and generally unreliable 14C ages. Previous modeling studies reconstruct a late ice-sheet retreat starting around 12 ka BP and ending around 7 ka BP with a large impact of an unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and a small impact of a stable East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS). However, new findings from two deepwater cores from the Scotia Sea challenge these reconstructions and call for a principal revision of the Antarctic deglacial history. The well-dated sites (Weber et al., 2012, Quaternary Science Reviews) provide the first integrative and representative record of Antarctic Ice Sheet instability. They are located in the central transport route of virtually all Antarctic icebergs, the so-called Iceberg Alley, and demonstrate a highly dynamic Antarctic Ice Sheet during the last deglaciation with eight distinct phases of enhanced iceberg routing, dubbed Antarctic Ice Sheet Events (AIE), in contrast to existing models of a late and monotonous ice-sheet retreat which implied only little contribution to the last, natural, sea-level rise 19,000 to 9,000 years ago. We found the first direct evidence for an Antarctic contribution to Meltwater Pulse 1A in the flux rates of ice-rafted debris. Using an ensemble of transient deglacial model simulations we could show that increased export of warmer Circumpolar Deep Water towards Antarctica contributed to Antarctic Ice Sheet melt by ocean thermal forcing (Weber et al., Science, in review). These new findings hold the potential to substantially revise and improve our understanding of the transient response of the ice sheet to external and internal forcings

  5. Terrestrial and exposure histories of Antarctic meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.

    1986-01-01

    Records of cosmogenic effects were studied in a large suite of Antarctic meteorites. The cosmogenic nuclide measurements together with cosmic ray track measurements on Antartic meteorites provide information such as exposure age, terrestrial age, size and depth in meteoroid or parent body, influx rate in the past, and pairing. The terrestrail age is the time period between the fall of the meteorite on the Earth and the present. To define terrestrial age, two or more nuclides with different half-lives and possibly noble gases are required. The cosmogenic radionuclides used are C-14, Kr-81, Cl-36, Al-26, Be-10, Mn-53, and K-40.

  6. The 1991 Antarctic ozone hole - TOMS observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krueger, Arlin; Schoeberl, Mark; Newman, Paul; Stolarski, Richard

    1992-01-01

    The 1991 Antarctic springtime ozone decline, as measured by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), was similar to those of earlier deep ozone hole years, 1987, 1989, and 1990. The minimum total ozone value was recorded on October 5, 1991 at 108 Dobson units near the South Pole. This was 8 DU lower than in any of the earlier years. Four of the last five years have exhibited an extensive, deep ozone hole. The area of the hole was about the same as in 1987, 1989, and 1990. The recovery of the low total ozone values occurred in mid-November as the polar vortex broke up.

  7. Fossil fuels -- future fuels

    SciTech Connect

    1998-03-01

    Fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- built America`s historic economic strength. Today, coal supplies more than 55% of the electricity, oil more than 97% of the transportation needs, and natural gas 24% of the primary energy used in the US. Even taking into account increased use of renewable fuels and vastly improved powerplant efficiencies, 90% of national energy needs will still be met by fossil fuels in 2020. If advanced technologies that boost efficiency and environmental performance can be successfully developed and deployed, the US can continue to depend upon its rich resources of fossil fuels.

  8. Gazetteer of the Antarctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Board on Geographic Names; Defense Mapping Agency; U.S. Geological Survey; National Science Foundation

    1989-01-01

    This gazetteer lists antarctic names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names and by the Secretary of the Interior. The Board is the interagency body created by law to standardize and promulgate geographic names for official purposes. As the official standard for names in Antarctica, the gazetteer assures accuracy and uniformity for the specialist and the general user alike. Unlike the last (1981) edition, now out of print, the book contains neither historical notes nor textual descriptions of features. The gazetteer contains names of features in Antarctica and the area extending northward to the Antarctic Convergence that have been approved by the Board as recently as mid-1989. It supersedes previous Board gazetteers for the area. For each geographic feature, the book contains the name, cross references if any, and latitude and longitude. Coverage corresponds to that of maps at the scale of 1:250,000 or larger for islands, coastal Antarctica, and mountains and ranges of the continent. Much of the interior of Antarctica, an ice plateau, has been mapped at a smaller scale and is nearly devoid of features and toponyms. All of the names are for natural features; scientific stations are not listed. For the names of submarine features, reference should be made to the Gazetteer of Undersea Features, U.S. Board on Geographic Names (1981).

  9. Revisiting Antarctic Ozone Depletion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grooß, Jens-Uwe; Tritscher, Ines; Müller, Rolf

    2015-04-01

    Antarctic ozone depletion is known for almost three decades and it has been well settled that it is caused by chlorine catalysed ozone depletion inside the polar vortex. However, there are still some details, which need to be clarified. In particular, there is a current debate on the relative importance of liquid aerosol and crystalline NAT and ice particles for chlorine activation. Particles have a threefold impact on polar chlorine chemistry, temporary removal of HNO3 from the gas-phase (uptake), permanent removal of HNO3 from the atmosphere (denitrification), and chlorine activation through heterogeneous reactions. We have performed simulations with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS) employing a recently developed algorithm for saturation-dependent NAT nucleation for the Antarctic winters 2011 and 2012. The simulation results are compared with different satellite observations. With the help of these simulations, we investigate the role of the different processes responsible for chlorine activation and ozone depletion. Especially the sensitivity with respect to the particle type has been investigated. If temperatures are artificially forced to only allow cold binary liquid aerosol, the simulation still shows significant chlorine activation and ozone depletion. The results of the 3-D Chemical Transport Model CLaMS simulations differ from purely Lagrangian longtime trajectory box model simulations which indicates the importance of mixing processes.

  10. 'unlocking the Archive': Using Digital Photogrammetry of Modern Airborne Aerial Photography for Analysis of Historic Aerial Photographs to Extend the Record of Glacier Mass Balance Change on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, L. E.; Miller, P.; Fox, A. J.; Mills, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Changes to glacier fronts and ice shelves and glacier acceleration are well documented, but there are almost no data on mass changes for the more than 400 glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. Satellite data have been used to calculate change over the last 3 decades, but methods to quantify this over longer timescales have eluded researchers. However there is an archive of aerial photography dating back to the 1940s, this has been largely ignored due to the range of technical problems associated with deriving quantitative data from historic imagery and the lack of ground control data. This presentation demonstrates how advances in photogrammetric processing and capture of modern aerial photography has allowed this archive to be 'unlocked'. Accurate photogrammetric reconstruction from aerial photographs traditionally requires known ground control points acquired in the field; however, in remote and inaccessible areas, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, this is often impossible. A method for providing control for historic photos without fieldwork, by linking them to a newly acquired, highly accurate photogrammetric model adjusted through direct kinematic GPS positioning of the camera has been applied to a number of glaciers across the Antarctic Peninsula. This presentation will outline the photogrammetric workflow and associated errors to highlight the suitability of this technique and demonstrate the data that can be obtained. Accurate measurements of surface elevation change on glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula over a 70 year time span have enabled quantification of spatial and temporal patterns of change. The results show a general trend of glacier retreat, but with thinning of the glacier terminus marginally offset by accumulation in the upper areas of the glacier. The use of this technique opens up possibilities for 'unlocking the archive' in other remote glacial areas where historic aerial photography exists but the collection of ground control points is limited.

  11. Antarctic surface temperature and pressure data

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, P.D.; Limbert, D.W.S.; Boden, T.A. . Climatic Research Unit; British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge; Oak Ridge National Lab., TN )

    1989-09-01

    This document presents monthly mean surface temperature and pressure data from 30 Antarctic stations. These data were assembled primarily from World Weather Records volumes for 1951--1960 and 1961--1979 and from Monthly Climatic Data for the World records since 1961. The periods of record vary by station. The earliest data are from 1903, and the most recent data are from 1988. All the assembled data were assessed for quality and for long-term homogeneity through the use of interstation comparison techniques. These data are available free of charge as a numeric data package (NDP) from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. The NDP consists of this document and a magnetic tape containing machine-readable data files. This document provides tabular listings of the temperature and pressure data, describes how the data were processed, defines limitations and restrictions of the data, and provides reprints of pertinent literature. 25 refs., 3 figs., 11 tabs.

  12. 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)

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

    2011-12-01

    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

  13. Contribution of enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water formation to Antarctic warm events and millennial-scale atmospheric CO2 increase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menviel, L.; Spence, P.; England, M. H.

    2014-12-01

    During Marine Isotope Stage 3, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) weakened significantly on a millennial time-scale leading to Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) and Heinrich stadials. Ice core records reveal that each Northern Hemisphere stadial is associated with a warming over Antarctica, so-called Antarctic Isotope Maximum (AIM), and that atmospheric CO2 varies in phase with Antarctic temperature. Here we perform transient simulations spanning the period 50-34 ka B.P. with two Earth System Models (LOVECLIM and the UVic ESCM) to understand the link between changes in the AMOC, changes in high latitude Southern Hemispheric climate and evolution of atmospheric CO2. Given the latest Antarctic ice core chronology, we find that part of the atmospheric CO2 increase occurring during AIM12 (DO12, ~48 ka B.P.) and at the end of AIM8 (DO8, 38 ka B.P.) can be attributed to the AMOC resumption. In contrast, the atmospheric CO2 increase observed at the beginning of AIM8 (~39.6 ka B.P.) occurs during a period of weak AMOC and can instead be explained by enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water production. Enhanced Antarctic Bottom Water formation is shown to effectively ventilate the deep Pacific carbon and thus lead to CO2 outgassing into the atmosphere. In addition, changes in the AMOC alone are not sufficient to explain the largest Antarctic Isotope Maxima (namely AIM12 and AIM8). Stronger formation of Antarctic Bottom Water during AIM12 and AIM8 enhances the southern high latitude warming and leads to a better agreement with high southern latitude paleoproxy records. The robustness of this southern warming response is tested using an eddy-permitting coupled ocean sea-ice model. We show that stronger Antarctic Bottom Water formation contributes to Southern Ocean surface warming by increasing the Southern Ocean meridional heat transport. Finally, our simulations also suggest that the Antarctic cooling should be in phase, or lag by a maximum of ~200 years, the North Atlantic

  14. The spatial extent and dynamics of the Antarctic Cold Reversal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedro, Joel B.; Bostock, Helen C.; Bitz, Cecilia M.; He, Feng; Vandergoes, Marcus J.; Steig, Eric J.; Chase, Brian M.; Krause, Claire E.; Rasmussen, Sune O.; Markle, Bradley R.; Cortese, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Antarctic ice cores show that a millennial-scale cooling event, the Antarctic Cold Reversal (14,700 to 13,000 years ago), interrupted the last deglaciation. The Antarctic Cold Reversal coincides with the Bølling-Allerød warm stage in the North Atlantic, providing an example of the inter-hemispheric coupling of abrupt climate change generally referred to as the bipolar seesaw. However, the ocean-atmosphere dynamics governing this coupling are debated. Here we examine the extent and expression of the Antarctic Cold Reversal in the Southern Hemisphere using a synthesis of 84 palaeoclimate records. We find that the cooling is strongest in the South Atlantic and all regions south of 40° S. At the same time, the terrestrial tropics and subtropics show abrupt hydrologic variations that are significantly correlated with North Atlantic climate changes. Our transient global climate model simulations indicate that the observed extent of Antarctic Cold Reversal cooling can be explained by enhanced northward ocean heat transport from the South to North Atlantic, amplified by the expansion and thickening of sea ice in the Southern Ocean. The hydrologic variations at lower latitudes result from an opposing enhancement of southward heat transport in the atmosphere mediated by the Hadley circulation. Our findings reconcile previous arguments about the relative dominance of ocean and atmospheric heat transports in inter-hemispheric coupling, demonstrating that the spatial pattern of past millennial-scale climate change reflects the superposition of both.

  15. Health aspects of Antarctic tourism.

    PubMed

    Prociv, P

    1998-12-01

    Increasing numbers of seaborne tourists are visiting Antarctica, with most coming from the United States (3503 in 1996-97), Germany (777), and Australia (680; cf. 356 in 1994-95 and 410 in 1995-96). The impression among travel medicine clinicians is that, each year, more prospective travelers seek advice about the health demands of this type of adventure, mostly relating to fitness for travel, exposure to extreme cold, hazards in ice and snow, and other potential health risks. This is a recent phenomenon. While a regular shipping service had been established between the Falklands and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and the South Shetlands by 1924, the first documented tourists accompanied an Argentine expedition to the South Orkneys in 1933.1 Commercial airline flights over these islands and the Antarctic Peninsula began in 1956, from Chile, and recreational cruises to the Peninsula began in 1958. Tourist numbers subsequently grew slowly, for what was clearly an exclusive and very expensive undertaking, with few ships available for these hazardous voyages. From 1957 to 1993, 37,000 tourists visited by sea, most seeing only the Peninsula.2 The dramatic recent growth in numbers is a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The small fleet of ice-strengthened research vessels and working icebreakers, which was made redundant by withdrawal of central government support from isolated communities and military activities along the northern coast of Siberia (and from Antarctic research bases), now accounts for the bulk of charter-cruise tourism to Antarctica, at competitive prices. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators,3 7322 people traveled to Antarctica on commercially organized voyages in the 1996-97 season, and a record 10,000 shipborne visitors were expected for the 1997-98 season (November-March), traveling mainly from South America to the Peninsula on 15 ice-reinforced vessels, each carrying between 36 and 180

  16. RADARSAT: The Antarctic Mapping Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jezek, Kenneth C.; Lindstrom, E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The first Antarctic Imaging Campaign (AIC) occurred during the period September 9, 1997 through October 20, 1997. The AIC utilized the unique attributes of the Canadian RADARSAT-1 to acquire the first, high-resolution, synthetic aperture imagery covering the entire Antarctic Continent. Although the primary goal of the mission was the acquisition of image data, the nearly flawless execution of the mission enabled additional collections of exact repeat orbit data. These data, covering an extensive portion of the interior Antarctic, potentially are suitable for interferometric analysis of topography and surface velocity. This document summarizes the Project through completion with delivery of products to the NASA DAACs.

  17. Psychological factors in the antarctic.

    PubMed

    Rothblum, E D

    1990-05-01

    For the people who live and work in the Antarctic, isolation and extreme physical conditions cause considerable stress. This article reviews psychological research on Antarctic residents, focusing on factors related to the isolation (effective personnel selection, positive adjustment, conflict, and reintegration into the home environment) and factors related to the physical environment (the extreme cold, high altitude, increased radiation, sensory deprivation, and seasonal changes in activity level). Finally, Antarctic research has been applied to the study of future space travel and space station habitation. PMID:2189993

  18. Fossil Record of Precambrian Life on Land

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knauth, Paul

    2000-01-01

    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.

  19. Globular cluster formation - The fossil record

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    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.

  20. Antarctic stratospheric ice crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, J. ); Toon, O.B.; Pueschel, R.F.; Snetsinger, K.G. ) Verma, S. )

    1989-11-30

    Ice crystals were replicated over the Palmer Peninsula at approximately 72{degree}S on six occasions during the 1987 Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment. The sampling altitude was between 12.5 and 18.5 km (45-65 thousand ft pressure altitude) with the temperature between 190 and 201 K. The atmosphere was subsaturated with respect to ice in all cases. The collected crystals were predominantly solid and hollow columns. The largest crystals were sampled at lower altitudes where the potential temperature was below 400 K. While the crystals were larger than anticipated, their low concentration results in a total surface area that is less than one tenth of the total aerosol surface area. The large ice crystals may play an important role in the observed stratospheric dehydration processes through sedimentation. Evidence of scavenging of submicron particles further suggests that the ice crystals may be effective in the removal of stratospheric chemicals.

  1. Antarctic Meteorite Location Map Series

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutt, John (Editor); Fessler, Brian (Editor); Cassidy, William (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    Antarctica has been a prolific source of meteorites since meteorite concentrations were discovered in 1969. The Antarctic Search For Meteorites (ANSMET) project has been active over much of the Trans-Antarctic Mountain Range. The first ANSMET expedition (a joint U.S.-Japanese effort) discovered what turned out to be a significant concentration of meteorites at the Allan Hills in Victoria Land. Later reconnaissance in this region resulted in the discovery of meteorite concentrations on icefields to the west of the Allan Hills, at Reckling Moraine, and Elephant Moraine. Antarctic meteorite location maps (reduced versions) of the Allan Hills main, near western, middle western, and far western icefields and the Elephant Moraine icefield are presented. Other Antarctic meteorite location maps for the specimens found by the ANSMET project are being prepared.

  2. Fossil Simulation in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoehn, Robert G.

    1977-01-01

    Describes classroom science demonstrations and experiments that simulate the process of fossil formation. Lists materials, procedures and suggestions for successful activities. Includes ten student activities (coral fossils, leaf fossils, leaf scars, carbonization, etc.). Describes a fossil game in which students work in pairs. (CS)

  3. The Antarctic region as a marine biodiversity hotspot for echinoderms: Diversity and diversification of sea cucumbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark O'Loughlin, P.; Paulay, Gustav; Davey, Niki; Michonneau, François

    2011-03-01

    The Antarctic region is renowned for its isolated, unusual, diverse, and disharmonic marine fauna. Holothuroids are especially diverse, with 187 species (including 51 that are undescribed) recorded south of the Antarctic Convergence. This represents ˜4% of the documented Antarctic marine biota, and ˜10% of the world's holothuroid diversity. We present evidence that both inter-regional speciation with southern cold-temperate regions and intra-regional diversification has contributed to species richness. The Antarctic fauna is isolated, with few shallow-water Antarctic species known from north of the Convergence, yet several species show recent transgression of this boundary followed by genetic divergence. Interchange at longer time scales is evidenced by the scarcity of endemic genera (10 of 55) and occurrence of all six holothuroid orders within the region. While most Antarctic holothuroid morphospecies have circum-polar distributions, mtDNA sequence data demonstrate substantial geographic differentiation in many of these. Thus, most of the 37 holothuroid species recorded from shelf/slope depths in the Weddell Sea have also been found in collections from Prydz Bay and the Ross Sea. Yet 17 of 28 morphospecies and complexes studied show allopatric differentiation around the continent, on average into three divergent lineages each, suggesting that morphological data fails to reflect the level of differentiation. Interchange and local radiation of colonizers appear to have rapidly built diversity in the Antarctic, despite the potential of cold temperatures (and associated long generation times) to slow the rate of evolution.

  4. Miocene Antarctic Terrestrial Realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashworth, A. C.; Lewis, A.; Marchant, D. R.

    2009-12-01

    The discovery of several locations in the Transantarctic Mountains that contain macrofossils and pollen is transforming our understanding of late Cenozoic Antarctica. The most southerly location is on the Beardmore Glacier (85.1°S) about 500 km from the South Pole. The environment was an active glacial margin in which plants, insects and freshwater mollusks inhabited the sand and gravel bars and small lakes on an outwash plain. In addition to leaves and wood of dwarf Nothofagus (Southern Beech) shrubs, achenes of Ranunculus (Buttercup), in situ cushion growth forms of mosses and a vascular plant, the assemblages contains various exoskeletal parts of carabid and curculionid beetles and a cyclorrhaphan fly, the shells of freshwater bivalve and gastropod species and a fish tooth. Initially the deposits were assigned a Pliocene age (3.5 Ma) but a mid- to early Miocene age is more probable (c. 14 - 25 Ma) based on correlation of fossil pollen from the deposits with 39Ar/40Ar dated pollen assemblages from the McMurdo Dry Valleys locations. The oldest location within the Dry Valleys also involved an active ice margin but was part of a valley system that was completely deglaciated for intervals long enough for thick paleosols to develop. The Friis Hills fossil deposits of the Taylor Valley region (77.8°S) are at least 19.76 Ma based on the 39Ar/40Ar age of a volcanic ash bed. The valley floor during the non-glacial phases had poorly-drained soils and the extensive development of mossy mires. Wood and leaves of Nothofagus are abundant in lacustrine deposits. The silts of shallow fluvial channels contain abundant megaspores and spiky leaves of the aquatic lycopod Isoetes (Quillwort). Fossils of beetles are also present in these deposits. During the glacial phases, proglacial lakes were surrounded by dwarfed, deciduous Nothofagus shrubs. The youngest fossils recovered from the Dry Valleys are from the Olympus Range (77.5°S) with an age of 14.07 Ma. The environment was an

  5. The Antarctic Master Directory -- a resource for Antarctic Scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scharfen, G.; Bauer, R.

    2002-12-01

    Under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaty, a group of nations conducting Antarctic scientific research have created the Antarctic Master Directory (AMD), a resource for Antarctic scientists. The AMD is a Web-based, searchable directory containing data descriptions (metadata in the form of DIF entries) of Antarctic scientific data, and is a node of the International Directory Network/Global Change Master Directory (IDN/GCMD). The data descriptions in the AMD, essentially a data catalog of Antarctic scientific data, include information about what data were collected, where they were collected, when they were collected, who the scientists are, who the point of contact is, and information about the format of the data and what documentation and bibliographic information exists. As part of the AMD effort, the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs (OPP) funds the National Snow and Ice Data Center to operate the U.S. Antarctic Data Coordination Center (USADCC), the US focal point for the AMD. The USADCC assists PIs as they meet the requirements of the OPP "Guidelines and Award Conditions for Scientific Data", which identify the conditions for awards and responsibilities of PIs regarding the archival of data, and submission of metadata, resulting from their NSF OPP grants. The USADCC offers access to free, easy-to-use online tools that PIs can use to create the data descriptions that the NSF policy data requires. We provide advice to PIs on how to meet the data policy requirements, and can answer specific questions on related issues. Scientists can access data set descriptions submitted to the AMD, by thousands of scientists around the world, from the USADCC web pages.

  6. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    PubMed

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-01

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage. PMID:26766238

  7. Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stringer, C. B.; Andrews, P.

    1988-01-01

    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)

  8. Phylogenetic position of Antarctic Scalpelliformes (Crustacea: Cirripedia: Thoracica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linse, Katrin; Jackson, Jennifer A.; Fitzcharles, Elaine; Sands, Chester J.; Buckeridge, John S.

    2013-03-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of seven Antarctic barnacle species, one verrucomorph and six scalpelliforms from the Scotia, Weddell and Ross seas were investigated using DNA sequences from two nuclear genes (18 S and 28 S) and one mitochondrial gene (COI), with a combined total length of 3,151 base pairs. Analyses of these new sequences, together with those of previously published ibliform, lepadiform, scalpelliform, balanomorph and verrucomorph species, confirm that the Scalpelliformes are not monophyletic. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses consistently recovered a monophyletic group which comprised Ornatoscalpellum stroemii (Sars) and the Southern Ocean scalpellomorphs; Arcoscalpellum sp. from the Weddell Sea, Arcoscalpellum africanum from Elephant Island, A. bouveti from Bouvet Island, the circum-Antarctic Litoscalpellum discoveryi, Litoscalpellum sp. from Shag Rocks and Scalpellum sp. from the Falkland Trough. We also used multiple fossil constraints in a relaxed clock Bayesian framework to estimate divergence times for the 18 S+28 S phylogeny. Our results indicate a mid Cretaceous divergence for the Weddell Sea Arcoscalpellum sp, followed by a late Cretaceous divergence from the North Atlantic O. stroemii. Subsequent to this, the Antarctic scalpellomorphs began to radiate at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Monophyly within the scalpellid genera Arcoscalpellum, Litoscalpellum and Scalpellum was strongly rejected by all loci. Our results show incongruence between taxonomy and molecular systematics and highlight the need for more species to be sequenced as well as taxonomic revisions to resolve uncertainties in the phylogenetic relationships of the stalked barnacles.

  9. Antarctic Data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitzell, K.; Bohlander, J. A.; Bauer, R. J.; Scambos, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) archives and distributes data related to the Earth’s cryosphere. The center has a unique and extensive archive of data related to Antarctica, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs, and various NASA projects. This poster will highlight some of our newest and most significant data holdings for Antarctic ice and climate research. Antarctic data at NSIDC include: -New P.I.-contributed data sets from the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), an NSF-funded data archive facility at NSIDC. AGDC has been active for 12 years, and houses data sets from over 150 researchers, spanning all types of research in the Antarctic. -MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) 2009 was released in fall of 2010. This is a 125 meter, resolution-enhanced seamless mosaic of Antarctica, compiled from over 250 MODIS images acquired between 20 November 2008 and 01 March 2009. It provides a uniquely clear and detailed view of the continent's subtle ice flow and surface features. The new version offers the opportunity for change detection (ice flow, iceberg calving events, changes in ice flow and wind features) in the five years between early 2009 and an identically processed mosaic assembled in 2004. -NASA’s “Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments” (MEaSUREs) provides ice velocity data for all of Antarctica, derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture radar (InSAR) analysis. We will show the access and browse software to be used for MEaSURES/Antarctic Ice Velocity, called the Antarctic Cryosphere Access Portal (A-CAP).

  10. Numerical model of circumpolar Antarctic ice shelves

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, R.C.

    1985-01-01

    Extensive floating ice shelves in the Antarctic have been proposed to explain the discrepancies between Pleistocene high sea levels shown by dated coral reefs and coeval low sea levels inferred from glacial ice volumes calculated from oxygen isotope ratios in deep sea cores. A numerical model using the floating shelf creep analysis of Weertman (1957) has provided a plausible basis for the acceptance of such shelves. Shelf outer limits were set at 55/sup 0/S in East Antarctica and 58/sup 0/S in West Antarctica, based in part on diatom-deficient deep sea sediments deposited prior to the Holocene. Precipitation varied from 10 gm cm/sup -2/yr/sup -1/ at 75/sup 0/S to 80 gm cm/sup -2/yr/sup -1/ at 55/sup 0/S. Mean air temperatures varied from -35/sup 0/C at the 75/sup 0/S coast to -17/sup 0/C at the outer limits. Isotope ratios were those of present Antarctic precipitation at corresponding model shelf temperatures. In the calculation, a steady state is assumed. Integration begins at the coast with summation over successive years as creep and continental ice discharge move the integration element to the outer limits. The oceanic oxygen isotope ratio change required by the discrepancies in the record is 0.40 to 0.50 ppmil. Using the flow law constant of 4.2 and a creep activation energy of 134 kjoules mol/sup -1/, the resulting change is 0.44 ppmil. Difference results reflect the uncertainties associated with the critical creep constants used in the modeling. Nevertheless, the results suggest that a quantity of Antarctic shelf ice comparable to ice volumes in major Northern glacial areas existed at times during the Pleistocene.

  11. Environmental contamination in Antarctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bargagli, R

    2008-08-01

    Although the remote continent of Antarctica is perceived as the symbol of the last great wilderness, the human presence in the Southern Ocean and the continent began in the early 1900s for hunting, fishing and exploration, and many invasive plant and animal species have been deliberately introduced in several sub-Antarctic islands. Over the last 50 years, the development of research and tourism have locally affected terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems through fuel combustion (for transportation and energy production), accidental oil spills, waste incineration and sewage. Although natural "barriers" such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation protect Antarctica from lower latitude water and air masses, available data on concentrations of metals, pesticides and other persistent pollutants in air, snow, mosses, lichens and marine organisms show that most persistent contaminants in the Antarctic environment are transported from other continents in the Southern Hemisphere. At present, levels of most contaminants in Antarctic organisms are lower than those in related species from other remote regions, except for the natural accumulation of Cd and Hg in several marine organisms and especially in albatrosses and petrels. The concentrations of organic pollutants in the eggs of an opportunistic top predator such as the south polar skua are close to those that may cause adverse health effects. Population growth and industrial development in several countries of the Southern Hemisphere are changing the global pattern of persistent anthropogenic contaminants and new classes of chemicals have already been detected in the Antarctic environment. Although the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty provides strict guidelines for the protection of the Antarctic environment and establishes obligations for all human activity in the continent and the Southern Ocean, global warming, population growth and industrial development in countries of the Southern

  12. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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

  13. Antarctic Meteorite Classification and Petrographic Database Enhancements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, N. S.; Satterwhite, C. E.; Righter, K.

    2012-03-01

    Describes the Antarctic Meteorite Classification Database and the latest enhancements made to the data acquisition process used to provide updated meteorite data concurrent with the publication of the Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter twice a year.

  14. Dental development in living and fossil orangutans.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tanya M

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies have investigated molar development in extant and fossil hominoids, yet relatively little is known about orangutans, the only great ape with an extensive fossil record. This study characterizes aspects of dental development, including cuspal enamel daily secretion rate, long-period line periodicities, cusp-specific molar crown formation times and extension rates, and initiation and completion ages in living and fossil orangutan postcanine teeth. Daily secretion rate and periodicities in living orangutans are similar to previous reports, while crown formation times often exceed published values, although direct comparisons are limited. One wild Bornean individual died at 4.5 years of age with fully erupted first molars (M1s), while a captive individual and a wild Sumatran individual likely erupted their M1s around five or six years of age. These data underscore the need for additional samples of orangutans of known sex, species, and developmental environment to explore potential sources of variation in molar emergence and their relationship to life history variables. Fossil orangutans possess larger crowns than living orangutans, show similarities in periodicities, and have faster daily secretion rate, longer crown formation times, and slower extension rates. Molar crown formation times exceed reported values for other fossil apes, including Gigantopithecus blacki. When compared to African apes, both living and fossil orangutans show greater cuspal enamel thickness values and periodicities, resulting in longer crown formation times and slower extension rates. Several of these variables are similar to modern humans, representing examples of convergent evolution. Molar crown formation does not appear to be equivalent among extant great apes or consistent within living and fossil members of Pongo or Homo. PMID:27178461

  15. Trace Fossil Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasiotis, Stephen T.

    2009-05-01

    Today, the study of trace fossils—ichnology—is an important subdiscipline of geology at the interface of paleontology and sedimentology, mostly because of the efforts of Adolf Seilacher. His ability to synthesize various aspects of ichnology and produce a hierarchy of marine ichna and sedimentary facies has made ichnology useful worldwide in interpreting paleodiversity, rates of sedimentation, oxygenation of bottom water and sediment pore water, and depositional energy. Seilacher's book Trace Fossil Analysis provides a glimpse into the mind, methodology, and insights of the father of modern ichnology, generated from his course notes as a professor and a guest lecturer. The title sounds misleading—readers looking for up-to-date principles and approaches to trace fossil analysis in marine and continental strata will be disappointed. In his preface, however, Seilacher clearly gives direction for the use of his text: “This is a course book—meaning that it is intended to confer not knowledge, but skill.” Thus, it is not meant as a total compilation of all trace fossils, ichnotaxonomy, ichnological interpretations, applications, or the most relevant and up-to-date references. Rather, it takes the reader on a personal journey, explaining how trace fossils are understood in the context of their three-dimensional (3-D) morphology and sedimentary facies.

  16. Fossil-Fired Boilers

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1993-09-23

    Boiler Performance Model (BPM 3.0S) is a set of computer programs developed to analyze the performance of fossil-fired utility boilers. The programs can model a wide variety of boiler designs, and can model coal, oil, or natural gas firing. The programs are intended for use by engineers performing analyses of alternative fuels, alternative operating modes, or boiler modifications.

  17. Fossil-energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1981-08-01

    Progress in the following areas of fossil energy is reported: physiochemical cleaning and recovery of fine coal; a systematic investigation of the organosulfur components in coal; microstructures of coal; rapid analysis of mineral content in coal; coal blending experiments; performance characteristics of heavy media cyclones using fly ash derived heavy media; briquetting solvent treated coal; and coal preparation and testing.

  18. Advanced fossil energy utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Shekhawat, D.; Berry, D.; Spivey, J.; Pennline, H.; Granite, E.

    2010-01-01

    This special issue of Fuel is a selection of papers presented at the symposium ‘Advanced Fossil Energy Utilization’ co-sponsored by the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division and Research and New Technology Committee in the 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Spring National Meeting Tampa, FL, on April 26–30, 2009.

  19. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization. PMID:26250386

  20. Correlation of Windspeed and Antarctic Surface Roughness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockham, Mark; Anita Collaboration

    2015-04-01

    When electromagnetic waves interact with a media interface the transmitted and reflected portions of the incoming wave depend on the incident angle of the wave and wavelength (as well as the material properties of the media). The roughness of the surface of Antarctica affects the radio frequency signals received by airborne experiments, such as the balloon-borne experiment ANITA (ANtarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna) which observes the reflected radio waves from cosmic ray-induced extensive air showers (EAS). Roughness of a given scale can cause decoherence of the reflected signal and is an important effect to understand when estimating the amplitude of the incoming wave based on the reflected wave. It is challenging to get a survey of surface roughness over many of the areas that these experiments are likely to pass over. Correlating historical wind speed records with statistical roughness as observed by the backscatter of satellite [Rémy F, Parouty S. Remote Sensing. 2009] and airborne experiments operating at different frequencies can possibly be used to predict time-dependent surface roughness with surface wind speed as the input. These correlations will be presented for a variety of areas on the Antarctic ice shelf. NASA Grant NNX11AC47G.

  1. Magnetostratigraphic Dating of Paleogene Sediments in the Seymour Island (Antarctic Peninsula): A Preliminary Chronostratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beamud, E.; Montes, M. J.; Santillana, S.; Nozal, F.; Marenssi, S.

    2015-12-01

    Seymour Island is located at 64 º S, close to the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This glacier-free island contains the southernmost exposures of the K/Pg boundary and it has the most complete record of the Paleogene in Antarctica. The base of the Paleogene is represented by the Early Paleocene shallow marine shelf deposits of the Marambio Group; which are unconformably overlain by the Late Paleocene to Late Eocene Seymour Island Group. The Marambio Group is divided into the quartz-rich silty sandstones and mudstones of the López de Bertodano Fm and the mudstones to quartz-rich sandstones of the Sobral Fm. The overlaying Seymour Island Group records the erosion and filling of incised valleys. This group is made up by the Cross Valley-Wiman, La Meseta and the uppermost new Submeseta Formations. Main regressive periods are evidenced by the erosional unconformities and their related time gaps at the base of these three Formations. The La Meseta and Submeseta Formations are composed by poorly consolidated marine sandstones and siltstones deposited in a shallow coastal (possibly estuarine) environment. Several biostratigraphic and isotopic studies have been conducted in the Seymour Island due to its extremely rich fossil record, and the age of the López de Bertodano Fm has been recently refined by magnetostratigraphy. However, the overlying Paleogene formations lack a reliable absolute continuous dating. To solve this problem, a composite magnetostratigraphic section spanning more than 1300 m from the K/Pg boundary up to the top of the Submeseta Fm was conducted, with an average sampling resolution of 3 m per site. Although many samples yielded weak results, a local magnetostratigraphy was obtained which has been correlated to the GPTS. The new derived ages range from Danian (~ 66 Ma) up to Priabonian (~ 34 Ma). These results have been integrated with previous litho-, bio- and isotopic data to build a new Paleogene chronostratigraphy for the Seymour

  2. Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Numerous icebergs are breaking out of the sea ice in the Southern Ocean surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula. This true-color MODIS image from November 13, 2001, shows several icebergs drifting out of the Weddell Sea. The Antarctic Peninsula (left) reaches out into the Drake Passage, which separates the southern tip of South America from Antarctica. Warmer temperatures have cleared a tiny patch of bare ground at the Peninsula's tip. The predominant ocean current in the area is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current ('circum' meaning 'around'), which is also the 'West Wind Drift.' The current is the largest permanent current in the world, and water is moved eastward by westerly winds. Icebergs leaving the Weddell Sea are likely to be moved north and east by the current. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  3. Multidecadal warming of Antarctic waters.

    PubMed

    Schmidtko, Sunke; Heywood, Karen J; Thompson, Andrew F; Aoki, Shigeru

    2014-12-01

    Decadal trends in the properties of seawater adjacent to Antarctica are poorly known, and the mechanisms responsible for such changes are uncertain. Antarctic ice sheet mass loss is largely driven by ice shelf basal melt, which is influenced by ocean-ice interactions and has been correlated with Antarctic Continental Shelf Bottom Water (ASBW) temperature. We document the spatial distribution of long-term large-scale trends in temperature, salinity, and core depth over the Antarctic continental shelf and slope. Warming at the seabed in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas is linked to increased heat content and to a shoaling of the mid-depth temperature maximum over the continental slope, allowing warmer, saltier water greater access to the shelf in recent years. Regions of ASBW warming are those exhibiting increased ice shelf melt. PMID:25477461

  4. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    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

  5. Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet evolution during the Cenozoic Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Bethan J.; Hambrey, Michael J.; Smellie, John L.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Glasser, Neil F.

    2012-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula region is currently undergoing rapid environmental change, resulting in the thinning, acceleration and recession of glaciers and the sequential collapse of ice shelves. It is important to view these changes in the context of long-term palaeoenvironmental complexity and to understand the key processes controlling ice sheet growth and recession. In addition, numerical ice sheet models require detailed geological data for tuning and testing. Therefore, this paper systematically and holistically reviews published geological evidence for Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet variability for each key locality throughout the Cenozoic, and brings together the prevailing consensus of the extent, character and behaviour of the glaciations of the Antarctic Peninsula region. Major contributions include a downloadable database of 186 terrestrial and marine calibrated dates; an original reconstruction of the LGM ice sheet; and a new series of isochrones detailing ice sheet retreat following the LGM. Glaciation of Antarctica was initiated around the Eocene/Oligocene transition in East Antarctica. Palaeogene records of Antarctic Peninsula glaciation are primarily restricted to King George Island, where glacigenic sediments provide a record of early East Antarctic glaciations, but with modification of far-travelled erratics by local South Shetland Island ice caps. Evidence for Neogene glaciation is derived primarily from King George Island and James Ross Island, where glaciovolcanic strata indicate that ice thicknesses reached 500-850 m during glacials. This suggests that the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet draped, rather than drowned, the topography. Marine geophysical investigations indicate multiple ice sheet advances during this time. Seismic profiling of continental shelf-slope deposits indicates up to ten large advances of the Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet during the Early Pleistocene, when the ice sheet was dominated by 40 kyr cycles. Glacials became more

  6. Uncertainties in the Modelled CO2 Threshold for Antarctic Glaciation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gasson, E.; Lunt, D. J.; DeConto, R.; Goldner, A.; Heinemann, M.; Huber, M.; LeGrande, A. N.; Pollard, D.; Sagoo, N.; Siddall, M.; Winguth, A.; Valdes, P. J.

    2014-01-01

    frequently cited atmospheric CO2 threshold for the onset of Antarctic glaciation of approximately780 parts per million by volume is based on the study of DeConto and Pollard (2003) using an ice sheet model and the GENESIS climate model. Proxy records suggest that atmospheric CO2 concentrations passed through this threshold across the Eocene-Oligocene transition approximately 34 million years. However, atmospheric CO2 concentrations may have been close to this threshold earlier than this transition, which is used by some to suggest the possibility of Antarctic ice sheets during the Eocene. Here we investigate the climate model dependency of the threshold for Antarctic glaciation by performing offline ice sheet model simulations using the climate from 7 different climate models with Eocene boundary conditions (HadCM3L, CCSM3, CESM1.0, GENESIS, FAMOUS, ECHAM5 and GISS_ER). These climate simulations are sourced from a number of independent studies, and as such the boundary conditions, which are poorly constrained during the Eocene, are not identical between simulations. The results of this study suggest that the atmospheric CO2 threshold for Antarctic glaciation is highly dependent on the climate model used and the climate model configuration. A large discrepancy between the climate model and ice sheet model grids for some simulations leads to a strong sensitivity to the lapse rate parameter.

  7. Antarctic glacial history from numerical models and continental margin sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barker, P.F.; Barrett, P.J.; Cooper, A. K.; Huybrechts, P.

    1999-01-01

    The climate record of glacially transported sediments in prograded wedges around the Antarctic outer continental shelf, and their derivatives in continental rise drifts, may be combined to produce an Antarctic ice sheet history, using numerical models of ice sheet response to temperature and sea-level change. Examination of published models suggests several preliminary conclusions about ice sheet history. The ice sheet's present high sensitivity to sea-level change at short (orbital) periods was developed gradually as its size increased, replacing a declining sensitivity to temperature. Models suggest that the ice sheet grew abruptly to 40% (or possibly more) of its present size at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, mainly as a result of its own temperature sensitivity. A large but more gradual middle Miocene change was externally driven, probably by development of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and Polar Front, provided that a few million years' delay can be explained. The Oligocene ice sheet varied considerably in size and areal extent, but the late Miocene ice sheet was more stable, though significantly warmer than today's. This difference probably relates to the confining effect of the Antarctic continental margin. Present-day numerical models of ice sheet development are sufficient to guide current sampling plans, but sea-ice formation, polar wander, basal topography and ice streaming can be identified as factors meriting additional modelling effort in the future.

  8. Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughan, D. G.; Marshall, G. J.; Connolley, W. M.; Parkinson, C.; Mulvaney, R.; Hodgson, D. A.; King, J. C.; Pudsey, C. J.; Turner, J.

    2002-12-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming was 0.6 ñ 0.2 degrees C during the 20th Century and cited increases in greenhouse gases as a likely contributor. But this average conceals the complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally biased, decadally variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming ? substantially more rapid than the global mean. We discuss the spatial and temporal significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. New analyses of station records show no ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming but significant RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. We investigate the likelihood that this could be amplification of a global warming, and use climate-proxy data to indicate that this RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia and unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. We can show a strong connection between RRR warming and reduced sea-ice duration in an area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process causes the RRR warming, and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining it is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  9. Antarctic warming driven by internal Southern Ocean deep convection oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Torge; Pedro, Joel B.; Steig, Eric J.; Jochum, Markus; Park, Wonsun; Rasmussen, Sune O.

    2016-04-01

    Simulations with the free-running, complex coupled Kiel Climate Model (KCM) show that heat release associated with recurring Southern Ocean deep convection can drive centennial-scale Antarctic temperature variations of 0.5-2.0 °C. We propose a mechanism connecting the intrinsic ocean variability with Antarctic warming that involves the following three steps: Preconditioning: heat supplied by the lower branch of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) accumulates at depth in the Southern Ocean, trapped by the Weddell Gyre circulation; Convection onset: wind and/or sea-ice changes tip the preconditioned, thermally unstable system into the convective state; Antarctic warming: fast sea-ice-albedo feedbacks (on annual to decadal timescales) and slower Southern Ocean frontal and sea-surface temperature adjustments to the convective heat release (on multi-decadal to centennial timescales), drive an increase in atmospheric heat and moisture transport towards Antarctica resulting in warming over the continent. Further, we discuss the potential role of this mechanism to explain climate variability observed in Antarctic ice-core records.

  10. Depletion in Antarctic ozone and associated climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Lal, M.

    1992-03-01

    Perhaps the most significant discovery in the atmospheric sciences in the last decade has been the observation of large decreases in ozone. These losses in ozone occur during austral spring, and from 1979 the severity of the depletion increased non-monotonically until September of 1987 when the lowest column ozone amounts ever recorded were observed in Antarctica. While the surprising ozone hole in the remote icy continent of Antarctica emphasizes the potential importance and complexity of processes in the high latitude stratosphere, it also motivated this study on the nature of greenhouse effect on polar climate due to perturbations in column ozone amount in association with observed increases in other trace gases in the Antarctic atmosphere. The authors have examined the potential climatic effects of changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases on thermal structure of the Antarctic atmosphere using both steady-state and time-dependent climate models. When they incorporate the greenhouse effect of increases in methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons in association with decrease in ozone at the levels of maximum concentration in the radiative flux computations for the Antarctic region, the net result is a surface warming which is in fair agreement with that inferred from mean Antarctic temperature series.

  11. Advance of East Antarctic outlet glaciers during the Hypsithermal: Implications for the volume state of the Antarctic ice sheet under global warming

    SciTech Connect

    Domack, E.W. ); Jull, A.J.T. ); Nakao, Seizo )

    1991-11-01

    The authors present the first circum-East Antarctic chronology for the Holocene, based on 17 radiocarbon dates generated by the accelerator method. Marine sediments form around East Antarctica contain a consistent, high-resolution record of terrigenous (ice-proximal) and biogenic (open-marine) sedimentation during Holocene time. This record demonstrates that biogenic sedimentation beneath the open-marine environment on the continental shelf has been restricted to approximately the past 4 ka, whereas a period of terrigenous sedimentation related to grounding line advance of ice tongues and ice shelves took place between 7 and 4 ka. An earlier period of open-marine (biogenic sedimentation) conditions following the late Pleistocene glacial maximum is recognized from the Prydz Bay (Ocean Drilling Program) record between 10.7 and 7.3 ka. Clearly, the response of outlet systems along the periphery of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the mid-Holocene was expansion. This may have been a direct consequence of climate warming during an Antarctic Hypsithermal. Temperature-accumulation relations for the Antarctic indicate that warming will cause a significant increase in accumulation rather than in ablation. Models that predict a positive mass balance (growth) of the Antarctic ice sheet under global warming are supported by the mid-Holocene data presented herein.

  12. Antarctic analogs for Enceladus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, A. E.; Andersen, D. T.; McKay, C. P.

    2014-12-01

    Enceladus is a new world for Astrobiology. The Cassini discovery of the icy plume emanating from the South Polar region indicates an active world, where detection of water, organics, sodium, and nano-particle silica in the plume strongly suggests that the source is a subsurface salty ocean reservoir. Recent gravity data from Cassini confirms the presence of a regional sea extending north to 50°S. An ocean habitat under a thick ice cover is perhaps a recurring theme in the Outer Solar System, but what makes Enceladus unique is that the plume jetting out into space is carrying samples of this ocean. Therefore, through the study of Enceladus' plumes we can gain new insights not only of a possible habitable world in the Solar Systems, but also about the formation and evolution of other icy-satellites. Cassini has been able to fly through this plume - effectively sampling the ocean. It is time to plan for future missions that do more detailed analyses, possibly return samples back to Earth and search for evidence of life. To help prepare for such missions, the need for earth-based analog environments is essential for logistical, methodological (life detection) and theoretical development. We have undertaken studies of two terrestrial environments that are close analogs to Enceladus' ocean: Lake Vida and Lake Untersee - two ice-sealed Antarctic lakes that represent physical, chemical and possibly biological analogs for Enceladus. By studying the diverse biology and physical and chemical constraints to life in these two unique lakes we will begin to understand the potential habitability of Enceladus and other icy moons, including possible sources of nutrients and energy, which together with liquid water are the key ingredients for life. Analog research such as this will also enable us to develop and test new strategies to search for evidence of life on Enceladus.

  13. Fossil fish teeth as proxies for seawater Sr and Nd isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, E. E.; Haley, B. A.

    2000-03-01

    We analyzed Nd and Sr isotopic compositions of Neogene fossil fish teeth from two sites in the Pacific in order to determine the effect of cleaning protocols and burial diagenesis on the preservation of seawater isotopic values. Sr is incorporated into the teeth at the time of growth; thus Sr isotopes are potentially valuable for chemostratigraphy. Nd isotopes are potential conservative tracers of paleocirculation; however, Nd is incorporated post-mortem, and may record diagenetic pore waters rather than seawater. We evaluated samples from two sites (site 807A, Ontong Java Plateau and site 786A, Izu-Bonin Arc) that were exposed to similar bottom waters, but have distinct lithologies and pore water chemistries. The Sr isotopic values of the fish teeth appear to accurately reflect contemporaneous seawater at both sites. The excellent correlation between the Nd isotopic values of teeth from the two sites suggests that the Nd is incorporated while the teeth are in chemical equilibrium with seawater, and that the signal is preserved over geologic timescales and subsequent burial. These data also corroborate paleoseawater Nd isotopic compositions derived from Pacific ferromanganese crusts that were recovered from similar water depths (Ling et al., 1997). This corroboration strongly suggests that both materials preserve seawater Nd isotope values. Variations in Pacific deepwater ɛ Nd values are consistent with predictions for the shoaling of the Isthmus of Panama and the subsequent initiation of nonradiogenic North Atlantic Deep Water that entered the Pacific via the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

  14. Life hung by a thread: endurance of Antarctic fauna in glacial periods.

    PubMed

    Thatje, Sven; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Mackensen, Andreas; Larter, Rob

    2008-03-01

    Today, Antarctica exhibits some of the harshest environmental conditions for life on Earth. During the last glacial period, Antarctic terrestrial and marine life was challenged by even more extreme environmental conditions. During the present interglacial period, polar life in the Southern Ocean is sustained mainly by large-scale primary production. We argue that during the last glacial period, faunal populations in the Antarctic were limited to very few areas of local marine productivity (polynyas), because complete, multiannual sea-ice and ice shelf coverage shut down most of the Southern Ocean productivity within today's seasonal sea-ice zone. Both marine sediments containing significant numbers of planktonic and benthic foraminifera and fossil bird stomach oil deposits in the adjacent Antarctic hinterland provide indirect evidence for the existence of polynyas during the last glacial period. We advocate that the existence of productive oases in the form of polynyas during glacial periods was essential for the survival of marine and most higher-trophic terrestrial fauna. Reduced to such refuges, much of today's life in the high Antarctic realm might have hung by a thread during the last glacial period, because limited resources available to the food web restricted the abundance and productivity of both Antarctic terrestrial and marine life. PMID:18459332

  15. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    PubMed

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. PMID:27040775

  16. Detection of HOCl in the Antarctic stratosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toon, G. C.; Farmer, C. B.

    1989-01-01

    An integrated vertical column abundance of 1.5 + or - 0.4 x 10 to the 14th molec/sq cm of HOCl has been inferred from high resolution infrared solar spectra measured by the JPL MkIV interferometer from the NASA DC-8 aircraft during flights over Antarctica in September 1987. This result was obtained by averaging spectra recorded at different times, dates, and locations, but may be considered a mid-morning measurement at a solar zenith angle of 88.2 degrees from 79 deg S, 83 deg E on September 20. This result poses an important constraint on the amount of HO(x) inside the Antarctic winter vortex and on the contribution of the HOCl catalytic cycle to the observed springtime ozone depletion.

  17. Detection of HOCl in the Antarctic stratosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Toon, G.C.; Farmer, C.B. )

    1989-12-01

    An integrated vertical column abundance of 1.5 {plus minus} 0.4 {times} {sup +14} molec.cm{sup {minus}2} of HOCl has been inferred from high resolution infrared solar spectra measured by the JPL MkIV interferometer from the NASA DC-8 aircraft during flights over Antarctica in September 1987. This result was obtained by averaging spectra recorded at different times, dates and locations, but may be considered a mid-morning measurement at a solar zenith angle of 88.2 degrees from 79{degree}S, 83{degree}E on September 20. This result poses an important constraint on the amount of HO{sub x} inside the Antarctic winter vortex and on the contribution of the HOCl catalytic cycle to the observed spring-time ozone depletion.

  18. Feeding repellence in Antarctic bryozoans.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Blanca; Núñez-Pons, Laura; Moles, Juan; Avila, Conxita

    2013-11-01

    The Antarctic sea star Odontaster validus and the amphipod Cheirimedon femoratus are important predators in benthic communities. Some bryozoans are part of the diet of the asteroid and represent both potential host biosubstrata and prey for this omnivorous lysianassid amphipod. In response to such ecological pressure, bryozoans are expected to develop strategies to deter potential predators, ranging from physical to chemical mechanisms. However, the chemical ecology of Antarctic bryozoans has been scarcely studied. In this study we evaluated the presence of defenses against predation in selected species of Antarctic bryozoans. The sympatric omnivorous consumers O. validus and C. femoratus were selected to perform feeding assays with 16 ether extracts (EE) and 16 butanol extracts (BE) obtained from 16 samples that belonged to 13 different bryozoan species. Most species (9) were active (12 EE and 1 BE) in sea star bioassays. Only 1 BE displayed repellence, indicating that repellents against the sea star are mainly lipophilic. Repellence toward C. femoratus was found in all species in different extracts (10 EE and 12 BE), suggesting that defenses against the amphipod might be both lipophilic and hydrophilic. Interspecific and intraspecific variability of bioactivity was occasionally detected, suggesting possible environmental inductive responses, symbiotic associations, and/or genetic variability. Multivariate analysis revealed similarities among species in relation to bioactivities of EE and/or BE. These findings support the hypothesis that, while in some cases alternative chemical or physical mechanisms may also provide protection, repellent compounds play an important role in Antarctic bryozoans as defenses against predators. PMID:24221581

  19. Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history.

    PubMed

    Mulvaney, Robert; Abram, Nerilie J; Hindmarsh, Richard C A; Arrowsmith, Carol; Fleet, Louise; Triest, Jack; Sime, Louise C; Alemany, Olivier; Foord, Susan

    2012-09-01

    Rapid warming over the past 50 years on the Antarctic Peninsula is associated with the collapse of a number of ice shelves and accelerating glacier mass loss. In contrast, warming has been comparatively modest over West Antarctica and significant changes have not been observed over most of East Antarctica, suggesting that the ice-core palaeoclimate records available from these areas may not be representative of the climate history of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here we show that the Antarctic Peninsula experienced an early-Holocene warm period followed by stable temperatures, from about 9,200 to 2,500 years ago, that were similar to modern-day levels. Our temperature estimates are based on an ice-core record of deuterium variations from James Ross Island, off the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. We find that the late-Holocene development of ice shelves near James Ross Island was coincident with pronounced cooling from 2,500 to 600 years ago. This cooling was part of a millennial-scale climate excursion with opposing anomalies on the eastern and western sides of the Antarctic Peninsula. Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia. The connection shown here between past temperature and ice-shelf stability suggests that warming for several centuries rendered ice shelves on the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula vulnerable to collapse. Continued warming to temperatures that now exceed the stable conditions of most of the Holocene epoch is likely to cause ice-shelf instability to encroach farther southward along the Antarctic Peninsula. PMID:22914090

  20. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

    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

  1. Fossil diatoms and neogene paleolimnology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Platt, Bradbury J.

    1988-01-01

    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

  2. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    PubMed

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. PMID:26597067

  3. Cycles in fossil diversity

    SciTech Connect

    Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.

    2004-10-20

    It is well-known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 Ma). Using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36380 marine genera, we report a strong 62 {+-} 3 Myr cycle, which is particularly strong in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance, we also consider contributing environmental factors and possible causes.

  4. Organic preservation of fossil musculature with ultracellular detail

    PubMed Central

    McNamara, Maria; Orr, Patrick J.; Kearns, Stuart L.; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The very labile (decay-prone), non-biomineralized, tissues of organisms are rarely fossilized. Occurrences thereof are invaluable supplements to a body fossil record dominated by biomineralized tissues, which alone are extremely unrepresentative of diversity in modern and ancient ecosystems. Fossil examples of extremely labile tissues (e.g. muscle) that exhibit a high degree of morphological fidelity are almost invariably replicated by inorganic compounds such as calcium phosphate. There is no consensus as to whether such tissues can be preserved with similar morphological fidelity as organic remains, except when enclosed inside amber. Here, we report fossilized musculature from an approximately 18 Myr old salamander from lacustrine sediments of Ribesalbes, Spain. The muscle is preserved organically, in three dimensions, and with the highest fidelity of morphological preservation yet documented from the fossil record. Preserved ultrastructural details include myofilaments, endomysium, layering within the sarcolemma, and endomysial circulatory vessels infilled with blood. Slight differences between the fossil tissues and their counterparts in extant amphibians reflect limited degradation during fossilization. Our results provide unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely labile tissues is not only feasible, but likely to be common. This is supported by the discovery of similarly preserved tissues in the Eocene Grube Messel biota. PMID:19828545

  5. Antarctic Zone nutrient conditions during the last two glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studer, Anja S.; Sigman, Daniel M.; Martínez-García, Alfredo; Benz, Verena; Winckler, Gisela; Kuhn, Gerhard; Esper, Oliver; Lamy, Frank; Jaccard, Samuel L.; Wacker, Lukas; Oleynik, Sergey; Gersonde, Rainer; Haug, Gerald H.

    2015-07-01

    In a sediment core from the Pacific sector of the Antarctic Zone (AZ) of the Southern Ocean, we report diatom-bound N isotope (δ15Ndb) records for total recoverable diatoms and two distinct diatom assemblages (pennate and centric rich). These data indicate tight coupling between the degree of nitrate consumption and Antarctic climate across the last two glacial cycles, with δ15Ndb (and thus the degree of nitrate consumption) increasing at each major Antarctic cooling event. Coupled with evidence from opal- and barium-based proxies for reduced export production during ice ages, the δ15Ndb increases point to ice age reductions in the supply of deep ocean-sourced nitrate to the AZ surface. The two diatom assemblages and species abundance data indicate that the δ15Ndb changes are not the result of changing species composition. The pennate and centric assemblage δ15Ndb records indicate similar changes but with a significant decline in their difference during peak ice ages. A tentative seasonality-based interpretation of the centric-to-pennate δ15Ndb difference suggests that late summer surface waters became nitrate free during the peak glacials.

  6. The 1988 Antarctic ozone depletion - Comparison with previous year depletions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeberl, Mark R.; Stolarski, Richard S.; Krueger, Arlin J.

    1989-01-01

    The 1988 spring Antarctic ozone depletion was observed by TOMS to be substantially smaller than in recent years. The minimum polar total ozone values declined only 15 percent during September 1988, compared to nearly 50 percent during September 1987. At southern midlatitudes, exceptionally high total ozone values were recorded beginning in July 1988. The total integrated southern hemispheric ozone increased rapidly during the Austral spring, approaching 1980 levels during October. The high midlatitude total ozone values were associated with a substantial increase in eddy activity as indicated by the standard deviation in total ozone in the zonal band 30-60 deg S. Mechanisms through which the increased midlatitude eddy activity could disrupt the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole are briefly discussed.

  7. Entanglement of Antarctic fur seals at Bird Island, South Georgia.

    PubMed

    Waluda, Claire M; Staniland, Iain J

    2013-09-15

    Between November 1989 and March 2013, 1033 Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella were observed entangled in marine debris at Bird Island, South Georgia. The majority of entanglements involved plastic packaging bands (43%), synthetic line (25%) or fishing net (17%). Juvenile male seals were the most commonly entangled (44%). A piecewise regression analysis showed that a single breakpoint at 1994 gave the best description of inter-annual variability in the data, with higher levels of entanglements prior to 1994 (mean=110±28) followed by persistent lower levels (mean=28±4). Records of entanglements from other sites monitored in the Scotia Sea are also presented. Legislation imposed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has, to a certain extent, been effective, but persistent low levels of seal entanglements are still a cause for concern at South Georgia. PMID:23915979

  8. The 1988 Antarctic ozone depletion: Comparison with previous year depletions

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeberl, M.R.; Stolarski, R.S.; Krueger, A.J. )

    1989-05-01

    The 1988 spring Antarctic ozone depletion was observed by TOMS to be substantially smaller than in recent years. The minimum polar total ozone values declined only 15% during September 1988 compared to nearly 50% during September 1987. At southern midlatitudes, exceptionally high total ozone values were recorded beginning in July 1988. The total integrated southern hemispheric ozone increased rapidly during the Austral spring, approaching 1980 levels during October. The high midlatitude total ozone values were associated with a substantial increase in eddy activity as indicated by the standard deviation in total ozone in the zonal band 30{degree}-60{degree}S. The standard deviation also correlates with the QBO cycling of the tropical winds. Mechanisms through which the increased midlatitude eddy activity could disrupt the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole are briefly discussed.

  9. Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project: Antarctic Imaging Campaign 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project is a collaboration between NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to map Antarctica using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The first Antarctic Mapping Mission (AMM-1) was successfully completed in October 1997. Data from the acquisition phase of the 1997 campaign have been used to achieve the primary goal of producing the first, high-resolution SAR image map of Antarctica. The limited amount of data suitable for interferometric analysis have also been used to produce remarkably detailed maps of surface velocity for a few selected regions. Most importantly, the results from AMM-1 are now available to the general science community in the form of various resolution, radiometrically calibrated and geometrically accurate image mosaics. The second Antarctic imaging campaign occurred during the fall of 2000. Modified from AMM-1, the satellite remained in north looking mode during AMM-2 restricting coverage to regions north of about -80 degrees latitude. But AMM-2 utilized for the first time RADARSAT-1 fine beams providing an unprecedented opportunity to image many of Antarctica's fast glaciers whose extent was revealed through AMM-1 data. AMM-2 also captured extensive data suitable for interferometric analysis of the surface velocity field. This report summarizes the science goals, mission objectives, and project status through the acquisition phase and the start of the processing phase. The reports describes the efforts of team members including Alaska SAR Facility, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Vexcel Corporation, Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility, Ohio State University, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, White Sands Facility, Canadian Space Agency Mission Planning and Operations Groups, and the Antarctic Mapping Planning Group.

  10. Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

    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.

  11. Chemical studies of differentiated meteorites. I - Labile trace elements in Antarctic and non-Antarctic eucrites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paul, Rick L.; Lipschutz, Michael E.

    1990-01-01

    Element contents of Ag, Au, Bi, Cd, Co, Cs, Ga, In, Rb, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, U, and Zn were analyzed, using RNAA, in 25 Antarctic and nine non-Antarctic eucrites to determine whether these two populations differ significantly in thermal history and derive from the same or different eucrite parent body. Data for these 15 elements indicate that basaltic Antarctic and non-Antarctic eucrite populations reflect the same genetic processes and, hence, come from the same parent asteroid.

  12. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; Deconto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Läufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-03-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the `warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (~5-3Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, ~40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ~3°C warmer than today and atmospheric CO2 concentration was as high as ~400p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO2.

  13. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naish, T.; Powell, R.; Levy, R.; Wilson, G.; Scherer, R.; Talarico, F.; Krissek, L.; Niessen, F.; Pompilio, M.; Wilson, T.; Carter, L.; DeConto, R.; Huybers, P.; McKay, R.; Pollard, D.; Ross, J.; Winter, D.; Barrett, P.; Browne, G.; Cody, R.; Cowan, E.; Crampton, J.; Dunbar, G.; Dunbar, N.; Florindo, F.; Gebhardt, C.; Graham, I.; Hannah, M.; Hansaraj, D.; Harwood, D.; Helling, D.; Henrys, S.; Hinnov, L.; Kuhn, G.; Kyle, P.; Laufer, A.; Maffioli, P.; Magens, D.; Mandernack, K.; McIntosh, W.; Millan, C.; Morin, R.; Ohneiser, C.; Paulsen, T.; Persico, D.; Raine, I.; Reed, J.; Riesselman, C.; Sagnotti, L.; Schmitt, D.; Sjunneskog, C.; Strong, P.; Taviani, M.; Vogel, S.; Wilch, T.; Williams, T.

    2009-01-01

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch (???5-3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, ???40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to ???3??C warmer than today and atmospheric CO 2 concentration was as high as ???400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO2. ??2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  14. Obliquity-paced Pliocene West Antarctic ice sheet oscillations.

    PubMed

    Naish, T; Powell, R; Levy, R; Wilson, G; Scherer, R; Talarico, F; Krissek, L; Niessen, F; Pompilio, M; Wilson, T; Carter, L; DeConto, R; Huybers, P; McKay, R; Pollard, D; Ross, J; Winter, D; Barrett, P; Browne, G; Cody, R; Cowan, E; Crampton, J; Dunbar, G; Dunbar, N; Florindo, F; Gebhardt, C; Graham, I; Hannah, M; Hansaraj, D; Harwood, D; Helling, D; Henrys, S; Hinnov, L; Kuhn, G; Kyle, P; Läufer, A; Maffioli, P; Magens, D; Mandernack, K; McIntosh, W; Millan, C; Morin, R; Ohneiser, C; Paulsen, T; Persico, D; Raine, I; Reed, J; Riesselman, C; Sagnotti, L; Schmitt, D; Sjunneskog, C; Strong, P; Taviani, M; Vogel, S; Wilch, T; Williams, T

    2009-03-19

    Thirty years after oxygen isotope records from microfossils deposited in ocean sediments confirmed the hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbital geometry control the ice ages, fundamental questions remain over the response of the Antarctic ice sheets to orbital cycles. Furthermore, an understanding of the behaviour of the marine-based West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) during the 'warmer-than-present' early-Pliocene epoch ( approximately 5-3 Myr ago) is needed to better constrain the possible range of ice-sheet behaviour in the context of future global warming. Here we present a marine glacial record from the upper 600 m of the AND-1B sediment core recovered from beneath the northwest part of the Ross ice shelf by the ANDRILL programme and demonstrate well-dated, approximately 40-kyr cyclic variations in ice-sheet extent linked to cycles in insolation influenced by changes in the Earth's axial tilt (obliquity) during the Pliocene. Our data provide direct evidence for orbitally induced oscillations in the WAIS, which periodically collapsed, resulting in a switch from grounded ice, or ice shelves, to open waters in the Ross embayment when planetary temperatures were up to approximately 3 degrees C warmer than today and atmospheric CO(2) concentration was as high as approximately 400 p.p.m.v. (refs 5, 6). The evidence is consistent with a new ice-sheet/ice-shelf model that simulates fluctuations in Antarctic ice volume of up to +7 m in equivalent sea level associated with the loss of the WAIS and up to +3 m in equivalent sea level from the East Antarctic ice sheet, in response to ocean-induced melting paced by obliquity. During interglacial times, diatomaceous sediments indicate high surface-water productivity, minimal summer sea ice and air temperatures above freezing, suggesting an additional influence of surface melt under conditions of elevated CO(2). PMID:19295607

  15. New Visualizations Highlight New Information on the Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Trends Since the Late 1970s

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2016-01-01

    Month-by-month ranking of 37 years (1979-2015) of satellite-derived sea-ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic reveals interesting new details in the overall trends toward decreasing sea-ice coverage in the Arctic and increasing sea-ice coverage in the Antarctic. The Arctic decreases are so definitive that there has not been a monthly record high in Arctic sea-ice extents in any month since 1986, a time period during which there have been 75 monthly record lows. The Antarctic, with the opposite but weaker trend toward increased ice extents, experienced monthly record lows in 5 months of 1986, then 6 later monthly record lows scattered through the dataset, with the last two occurring in 2006, versus 45 record highs since 1986. However, in the last three years of the 1979-2015 dataset, the downward trends in Arctic sea-ice extents eased up, with no new record lows in any month of 2013 or 2014 and only one record low in 2015,while the upward trends in Antarctic ice extents notably strengthened, with new record high ice extents in 4 months (August-November) of 2013, in 6 months (April- September) of 2014, and in 3 months (January, April, and May) of 2015. Globally, there have been only 3 monthly record highs since 1986 (only one since 1988), whereas there have been 43 record lows, although the last record lows (in the 1979-2015 dataset) occurred in 2012.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    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

  17. Antarctic skuas recognize individual humans.

    PubMed

    Lee, Won Young; Han, Yeong-Deok; Lee, Sang-Im; Jablonski, Piotr G; Jung, Jin-Woo; Kim, Jeong-Hoon

    2016-07-01

    Recent findings report that wild animals can recognize individual humans. To explain how the animals distinguish humans, two hypotheses are proposed. The high cognitive abilities hypothesis implies that pre-existing high intelligence enabled animals to acquire such abilities. The pre-exposure to stimuli hypothesis suggests that frequent encounters with humans promote the acquisition of discriminatory abilities in these species. Here, we examine individual human recognition abilities in a wild Antarctic species, the brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus), which lives away from typical human settlements and was only recently exposed to humans due to activities at Antarctic stations. We found that, as nest visits were repeated, the skua parents responded at further distances and were more likely to attack the nest intruder. Also, we demonstrated that seven out of seven breeding pairs of skuas selectively responded to a human nest intruder with aggression and ignored a neutral human who had not previously approached the nest. The results indicate that Antarctic skuas, a species that typically inhabited in human-free areas, are able to recognize individual humans who disturbed their nests. Our findings generally support the high cognitive abilities hypothesis, but this ability can be acquired during a relatively short period in the life of an individual as a result of interactions between individual birds and humans. PMID:26939544

  18. Heavy metals in Antarctic organisms

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, J.E.A. de; Moreno, V.J.; Gerpe, M.S.; Vodopivez, C.

    1997-02-01

    To evaluate levels of essential (zinc and copper) and non-essential (mercury and cadmium) heavy metals, 34 species of organisms from different areas close to the Antarctic Peninsula were analysed. These included algae, filter-feeders, omnivorous invertebrates and vertebrates. Mercury was not detected, while cadmium was found in the majority of organisms analysed (detection limit was 0.05 ppm for both metals). The highest cadmium concentration was observed in the starfish Odontaster validus. Anthozoans, sipunculids and nudibranchs showed maximum levels of zinc, while the highest copper level was found in the gastropod Trophon brevispira. Mercury and cadmium levels in fishes were below the detection limit. Concentrations of essential and non-essential metals in birds were highest in liver followed by muscle and eggs. Cadmium and mercury levels in muscle of southern elephant seals were above the detection limit, whereas in Antarctic fur seals they were below it. The objective of the study was to gather baseline information for metals in Antarctic Ocean biota that may be needed to detect, measure and monitor future environmental changes. 46 refs., 7 figs., 8 tabs.

  19. Geographic names of the Antarctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Board on Geographic Names; U.S. Geological Survey; Defense Mapping Agency; National Science Foundation

    1995-01-01

    This gazetteer contains 12,710 names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names and the Secretary of the Interior for features in Antarctica and the area extending northward to the Antarctic Convergence. Included in this geographic area, the Antarctic region, are the off-lying South Shetland Islands, the South Orkney Islands, the South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, Bouvetøya, Heard Island, and the Balleny Islands. These names have been approved for use by U.S. Government agencies. Their use by the Antarctic specialist and the public is highly recommended for the sake of accuracy and uniformity. This publication, which supersedes previous Board gazetteers or lists for the area, contains names approved as recently as December 1994. The basic name coverage of this gazetteer corresponds to that of maps at the scale of 1:250,000 or larger for coastal Antarctica, the off-lying islands, and isolated mountains and ranges of the continent. Much of the interior of Antarctica is a featureless ice plateau. That area has been mapped at a smaller scale and is nearly devoid of toponyms. All of the names are for natural features, such as mountains, glaciers, peninsulas, capes, bays, islands, and subglacial entities. The names of scientific stations have not been listed alphabetically, but they may appear in the texts of some decisions. For the names of submarine features, reference should be made to the Gazetteer of Undersea Features, 4th edition, U.S. Board on Geographic Names, 1990.

  20. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). PMID:18442873

  1. Extreme late chronotypes and social jetlag challenged by Antarctic conditions in a population of university students from Uruguay

    PubMed Central

    Tassino, Bettina; Horta, Stefany; Santana, Noelia; Levandovski, Rosa; Silva, Ana

    2016-01-01

    In humans, a person’s chronotype depends on environmental cues and on individual characteristics, with late chronotypes prevailing in youth. Social jetlag (SJL), the misalignment between an individual׳s biological clock and social time, is higher in late chronotypes. Strong SJL is expected in Uruguayan university students with morning class schedules and very late entertainment activities. Sleep disorders have been reported in Antarctic inhabitants, that might be a response to the extreme environment or to the strictness of Antarctic life. We evaluated, for the first time in Uruguay, the chronotypes and SJL of 17 undergraduate students of the First Uruguayan Summer School on Antarctic Research, using Munich Chronotype Questionnaire (MCTQ) and sleep logs (SL) recorded during 3 phases: pre-Antarctic, Antarctic, and post-Antarctic. The midsleep point of free days corrected for sleep debt on work days (MSFsc,) was used as proxy of individuals’ chronotype, whose values (around 6 a.m.) are the latest ever reported. We found a SJL of around 2 h in average, which correlated positively with MSFsc, confirming that late chronotypes generate a higher sleep debt during weekdays. Midsleep point and sleep duration significantly decreased between pre-Antarctic and Antarctic phases, and sleep duration rebounded to significant higher values in the post-Antarctic phase. Waking time, but not sleep onset time, significantly varied among phases. This evidence suggests that sleep schedules more likely depended on the social agenda than on the environmental light–dark shifts. High motivation of students towards Antarctic activities likely induced a subjective perception of welfare non-dependent on sleep duration. PMID:27226819

  2. Extreme late chronotypes and social jetlag challenged by Antarctic conditions in a population of university students from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Tassino, Bettina; Horta, Stefany; Santana, Noelia; Levandovski, Rosa; Silva, Ana

    2016-01-01

    In humans, a person's chronotype depends on environmental cues and on individual characteristics, with late chronotypes prevailing in youth. Social jetlag (SJL), the misalignment between an individual׳s biological clock and social time, is higher in late chronotypes. Strong SJL is expected in Uruguayan university students with morning class schedules and very late entertainment activities. Sleep disorders have been reported in Antarctic inhabitants, that might be a response to the extreme environment or to the strictness of Antarctic life. We evaluated, for the first time in Uruguay, the chronotypes and SJL of 17 undergraduate students of the First Uruguayan Summer School on Antarctic Research, using Munich Chronotype Questionnaire (MCTQ) and sleep logs (SL) recorded during 3 phases: pre-Antarctic, Antarctic, and post-Antarctic. The midsleep point of free days corrected for sleep debt on work days (MSFsc,) was used as proxy of individuals' chronotype, whose values (around 6 a.m.) are the latest ever reported. We found a SJL of around 2 h in average, which correlated positively with MSFsc, confirming that late chronotypes generate a higher sleep debt during weekdays. Midsleep point and sleep duration significantly decreased between pre-Antarctic and Antarctic phases, and sleep duration rebounded to significant higher values in the post-Antarctic phase. Waking time, but not sleep onset time, significantly varied among phases. This evidence suggests that sleep schedules more likely depended on the social agenda than on the environmental light-dark shifts. High motivation of students towards Antarctic activities likely induced a subjective perception of welfare non-dependent on sleep duration. PMID:27226819

  3. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    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 potent