Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Oldest species of a marine mollusc discovered

An international research team, with Spanish participation, has discovered a new species of mollusc, Polyconites hadriani, in various parts of the Iberian Peninsula. The researchers say this species, which is the oldest in its genus, adapted to the acidification of the oceans that took place while it was in existence. This process could now determine the evolution of modern marine systems.

The new species Polyconites hadriani, which was discovered in 2007, has been crowned the oldest in the Polyconites genus of the family Polyconitidae (rudists), a kind of extinct sea mollusc. To date, scientists had thought that the oldest mollusc in this genus was Polyconites verneuili.

"P. hadriani is similar in shape to P. verneuili, but it is smaller (with a 30mm smaller diameter), and with a thinner calcite layer to its shell (around 3mm difference)", Eulàlia Gili, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Department of Geology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), tells SINC.

The new species was found in several parts of the Iberian Peninsula - in the Maestrat basin, the Vasco-Cantábrica basin, to the south of the Lusitania basin and in the Cordillera Prebética mountain range, "where it accumulated in dense conglomerations along the banks of the carbonate marine platforms of the Lower Aptian period (114 million years ago)", says Gili.

"This recognition of P. hadriani resolves the lengthy uncertainty about the identity of these polyconitids of the Lower Aptian", the researcher says in the study, which has been published in the Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences.

Adaptation to acidification of the oceans

Gili says the Lower Aptian was a convulsive period, during which significant climate change took place. P. hadriani existed at the time when the first oceanic anoxic event of the Cretaceous took place (between 135 and 65 million years ago). This event was characterised by a "lack of oxygen on the seabed, which led to the mass burial of organic carbon and climate cooling".

"The thicker calcite layer of the shell of this new species compared with that of its predecessor (of the Horiopleura genus), could have helped it adapt better to life in colder waters, which were more acidic due to the increased solubility of atmospheric CO2", the geologist explains.

The researcher adds: "The response of these rudists to ocean acidification could apply to the future evolution of today's marine ecosystems, above all among those kinds of organisms that form their shells or skeletons from calcium carbonate".

Full bibliographic information
Peter W. Skelton, Eulàlia Gili, Telm Bover-Arnal, Ramon Salas, Josep Anton Moreno-Edmar. "A New Species of Polyconites from the Lower Aptian of Iberia and the Early Evolution of Polyconitid Rudists". Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 19, 2010. doi:10.3906/yer-0901-7

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>