Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Alligator egg development at prehistoric oxygen levels

04.08.2005


The development of bone structures in alligator eggs raised under varying oxygen concentrations creates a link to fossil records of the evolution of vertebrates and prehistoric atmospheric oxygen concentrations, according to a paper to be presented at the Earth System Processes 2 meeting in Alberta, Canada.


Alligator eggs hatching"


Harvesting alligator eggs



"Alligator eggs are an ideal self-contained unit for studying the effects of oxygen on development – they have a limited food source in the yolk and they are incubated in their nesting material at a constant temperature of 89°F and 100 percent relative humidity," said John Vanden Brooks, a graduate student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University. He noted that large-scale changes in atmospheric partial oxygen pressure would have had wide-ranging effects on vertebrate evolution and development throughout geologic time.

Understanding the environment’s effect on vertebrate evolution and development is essential to the study of ecology, paleontology and evolutionary theory. Oxygen is the most important component in the atmosphere for all vertebrate animals, and while the rise in oxygen level during the Precambrian era has been widely studied, little attention has previously been paid to continued fluctuations throughout the Phanerozoic.


His mentor, Robert A. Berner, the Alan M. Bateman Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale, characterized the range of atmospheric oxygen levels over multimillion year times scales, and established an upper value of about 31 percent oxygen, and a sharp decline near the Permo-Triassic boundary to about 12 percent. Earth’s current atmosphere is about 21 percent oxygen.

"Each clutch contains 30 – 50 eggs that are laid together, so easy comparison can be made between sibling eggs raised under different partial pressures of oxygen," said Vanden Brooks. Studying five different partial oxygen pressures across this broad range, he found an optimum at 27 percent oxygen. He found that both high and low oxygen levels altered growth patterns and affected the timing and extent of bone development, its chemical composition, and mortality of the developing eggs.

While it is well known that oxygen balance is important in human premature infant development, this work provides an important step in understanding the complex interaction between vertebrate development and oxygen levels.

The talk, "Phanerozoic Oxygen Levels and their Effect on Modern Vertebrate Development" will be presented at the meeting August 8 – 11 that is co-sponsored by the Geological Society of America and the Geological Association of Canada. Eggs were made available by Ruth Elsey of the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. The study was funded by the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, the American Museum of Natural History, the American Philosophical Society, the National Science Foundation, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the Ecology and Systematics of Animals on the Verge of Extinction Fund.

Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
23.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History

24.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation

24.05.2017 | Life Sciences

A CLOUD of possibilities: Finding new therapies by combining drugs

24.05.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>