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 Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>