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 Root exudates affect soil stability, water repellency
18.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Newly discovered salty subglacial lakes could help search for life in solar system
12.04.2018 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>