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 Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

nachricht Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing

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 “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>