Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Soft body fossils of extinct ’lamp shell’ digitally reconstructed

18.08.2005


A team of American and British scientists have identified and digitally reconstructed the first example of a fossilized brachiopod complete with its pedicle, the stalk attaching it to the sea floor, and its lophophore or feeding organ, according to a report in the journal Nature.


Lamp Shade’ fossil recovered from 250 million year old Herefordshire, U.K. lava ash



Brachiopods, the so called "lamp shells," are rare today, but are some of the best known fossils from the Paleozoic era -- 542 to 251 million years ago. Our knowledge of these extinct forms was previously based almost entirely on their shells, which are all that normally fossilize.

Derek Briggs, professor of geology and geophysics, and director of the Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies, with his colleagues Mark Sutton at the Imperial College, University of London, Derek Siveter at University of Oxford and Professor David Siveter at University of Leicester conducted their research on the fossil deposits in Herefordshire, U.K.


This extraordinary trove of fossil records was buried under the sea in volcanic ash that is 425 million years old. The site is unusual because it yields fossils of the entire animals, including soft body parts that the researchers then can reconstruct digitally.

"This specimen is particularly interesting as several smaller brachiopods have attached themselves to its shell, two of them also preserving pedicles," said Briggs.

The brachiopod belongs to an extinct group, and this work reveals that its pedicle differs from that on living forms. Previous assumptions that extinct brachiopods were very similar to modern examples may thus be too simplistic.

Other specimens of interest from the volcanic ash at Herefordshire that were recently reconstructed by the team include an ancient sea spider and the oldest fossil animal that is "definitively male." [see Release #1 and #2 below]

Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu/opa/v33.n9/story1.html
http://www.yale.edu/opa/v32.n14/story18.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
21.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Scientists shed light on carbon's descent into the deep Earth
19.07.2017 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>