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
SINC Team | alfa
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine