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Sample records for earliest fossil record

  1. Earliest record of the fossil snake Palaeophis from the Paleocene/Eocene boundary in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Hans Viborg; Cuny, Gilles; Redsted Rasmussen, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. – The earliest record of Palaeophis ever found in Denmark is here based on vertebrae described from the Paleocene/Eocene Stolleklint Clay of the Isle of Mors (northern Denmark). Although much smaller, they appear quite similar to the Eocene vertebra described from the Fur Formation...

  2. Sequences, stratigraphy and scenarios: what can we say about the fossil record of the earliest tetrapods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Matt; Brazeau, Martin D

    2011-02-07

    Past research on the emergence of digit-bearing tetrapods has led to the widely accepted premise that this important evolutionary event occurred during the Late Devonian. The discovery of convincing digit-bearing tetrapod trackways of early Middle Devonian age in Poland has upset this orthodoxy, indicating that current scenarios which link the timing of the origin of digited tetrapods to specific events in Earth history are likely to be in error. Inspired by this find, we examine the fossil record of early digit-bearing tetrapods and their closest fish-like relatives from a statistical standpoint. We find that the Polish trackways force a substantial reconsideration of the nature of the early tetrapod record when only body fossils are considered. However, the effect is less drastic (and often not statistically significant) when other reliably dated trackways that were previously considered anachronistic are taken into account. Using two approaches, we find that 95 per cent credible and confidence intervals for the origin of digit-bearing tetrapods extend into the Early Devonian and beyond, spanning late Emsian to mid Ludlow. For biologically realistic diversity models, estimated genus-level preservation rates for Devonian digited tetrapods and their relatives range from 0.025 to 0.073 per lineage-million years, an order of magnitude lower than species-level rates for groups typically considered to have dense records. Available fossils of early digited tetrapods and their immediate relatives are adequate for documenting large-scale patterns of character acquisition associated with the origin of terrestriality, but low preservation rates coupled with clear geographical and stratigraphic sampling biases caution against building scenarios for the origin of digits and terrestrialization tied to the provenance of particular specimens or faunas.

  3. Review of the fossil matamata turtles: earliest well-dated record and hypotheses on the origin of their present geographical distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Gabriel S.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Solórzano, Andrés; Langer, Max C.

    2016-04-01

    The matamata ( Chelus fimbriatus) is a highly aquatic chelid turtle known exclusively from northern South America. Due to its extremely modified morphology, it is well circumscribed among living taxa, but that is not the case of the two extinct species ascribed to the taxon, Chelus colombianus and Chelus lewisi. These were originally described for the Miocene of Colombia and Venezuela, respectively, and are known mostly from post-cranial material. Few traits have been considered diagnostic for these fossil taxa, and their shared geographic and temporal distributions raise doubts about their distinctiveness. Here, we describe new turtle remains from the early Miocene Castillo Formation, at Cerro la Cruz, northwestern Venezuela, assigning them to C. colombianus. We also review the taxonomy and diagnostic features of the fossil species of Chelus, comparing them with the variation recognized within C. fimbriatus. All alleged differences between the fossil Chelus species were found in our sample of the extant species, and may represent intraspecific variation of a single fossil species. Further, we reviewed the fossil record of Chelus spp. and proposed a paleobiogeographic hypothesis to explain its present geographic range.

  4. Microbial-caddisfly bioherm association from the Lower Cretaceous Shinekhudag Formation, Mongolia: Earliest record of plant armoring in fossil caddisfly cases.

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    Tsolmon Adiya

    Full Text Available Caddisfly larvae construct underwater protective cases using surrounding materials, thus providing information on environmental conditions in both modern and ancient systems. Microbial bioherms associated with caddisfly cases are found in the Berriassian-Hauterivian (~140-130 Ma Shinekhudag Formation of Mongolia, and yield new insights into aspects of lacustrine paleoecosystems and paleoenvironments. This formation contains the earliest record of plant-armored caddisfly cases and a rare occurrence of microbial-caddisfly association from the Mesozoic. The bioherms are investigated within the context of stratigraphic correlations, depositional environment interpretations, and basin-evolution models of the sedimentary fill. The bioherms form 0.5-2.0 m diameter mound-shaped bodies and are concentrated within a single, oil shale-bound stratigraphic interval. Each bioherm is composed of up to 40% caddisfly cases along with stromatolites of millimeter-scale, micritic laminations. Petrographic analyses reveal these bioherms are composed of non-systematic associations of columnar and oncoidal microbialites, constructed around colonies of caddisfly cases. The cases are straight to curved, slightly tapered, and tube-shaped, with a progressively increasing length and width trend (7-21 mm by 1.5-2.5 mm. Despite these variations, the case architectures reveal similar construction materials; the particles used for cases are dominated by plant fragments, ostracod valves, carbonate rocks, and rare mica and feldspar grains. Allochems within the bioherms include ooids, ostracods, plant fragments, rare gastropods, feldspar grains bound in micritic matrices, and are consolidated by carbonate dominated cements. The combination of microbial-caddisfly association, plant fragment case particles, and ooids/oncoids are indicative of a shallow, littoral lake setting. Stratigraphic juxtaposition of nearshore bioherms and the bounding distal oil-shale facies suggests that

  5. Extinction and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, ,. J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1994-01-01

    The author examines evidence of mass extinctions in the fossil record and searches for reasons for such large extinctions. Five major mass extinctions eliminated at least 40 percent of animal genera in the oceans and from 65 to 95 percent of ocean species. Questions include the occurrence of gradual or catastrophic extinctions, causes, environment, the capacity of a perturbation to cause extinctions each time it happens, and the possibility and identification of complex events leading to a mass extinction.

  6. Giving the early fossil record of sponges a squeeze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antcliffe, Jonathan B; Callow, Richard H T; Brasier, Martin D

    2014-11-01

    Twenty candidate fossils with claim to be the oldest representative of the Phylum Porifera have been re-analysed. Three criteria are used to assess each candidate: (i) the diagnostic criteria needed to categorize sponges in the fossil record; (ii) the presence, or absence, of such diagnostic features in the putative poriferan fossils; and (iii) the age constraints for the candidate fossils. All three criteria are critical to the correct interpretation of any fossil and its placement within an evolutionary context. Our analysis shows that no Precambrian fossil candidate yet satisfies all three of these criteria to be a reliable sponge fossil. The oldest widely accepted candidate, Mongolian silica hexacts from c. 545 million years ago (Ma), are here shown to be cruciform arsenopyrite crystals. The oldest reliable sponge remains are siliceous spicules from the basal Cambrian (Protohertzina anabarica Zone) Soltanieh Formation, Iran, which are described and analysed here in detail for the first time. Extensive archaeocyathan sponge reefs emerge and radiate as late as the middle of the Fortunian Stage of the Cambrian and demonstrate a gradual assembly of their skeletal structure through this time coincident with the evolution of other metazoan groups. Since the Porifera are basal in the Metazoa, their presence within the late Proterozoic has been widely anticipated. Molecular clock calibration for the earliest Porifera and Metazoa should now be based on the Iranian hexactinellid material dated to c. 535 Ma. The earliest convincing fossil sponge remains appeared at around the time of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, associated with the great radiation events of that interval. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-05-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird-flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. The fossil record of the sixth extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnick, Roy E; Smith, Felisa A; Lyons, S Kathleen

    2016-05-01

    Comparing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis with those in the fossil record is difficult without an understanding of differential preservation. Integrating data from palaeontological databases with information on IUCN status, ecology and life history characteristics of contemporary mammals, we demonstrate that only a small and biased fraction of threatened species (fossil record, compared with 20% of non-threatened species. We find strong taphonomic biases related to body size and geographic range. Modern species with a fossil record tend to be large and widespread and were described in the 19(th) century. The expected magnitude of the current extinction based only on species with a fossil record is about half of that of one based on all modern species; values for genera are similar. The record of ancient extinctions may be similarly biased, with many species having originated and gone extinct without leaving a tangible record. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Diagnosing Homo sapiens in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringer, Christopher Brian; Buck, Laura Tabitha

    2014-01-01

    Diagnosing Homo sapiens is a critical question in the study of human evolution. Although what constitutes living members of our own species is straightforward, in the fossil record this is still a matter of much debate. The issue is complicated by questions of species diagnoses and ideas about the mode by which a new species is born, by the arguments surrounding the behavioural and cognitive separateness of the species, by the increasing appreciation of variation in the early African H. sapiens record and by new DNA evidence of hybridization with extinct species. This study synthesizes thinking on the fossils, archaeology and underlying evolutionary models of the last several decades with recent DNA results from both H. sapiens and fossil species. It is concluded that, although it may not be possible or even desirable to cleanly partition out a homogenous morphological description of recent H. sapiens in the fossil record, there are key, distinguishing morphological traits in the cranium, dentition and pelvis that can be usefully employed to diagnose the H. sapiens lineage. Increasing advances in retrieving and understanding relevant genetic data provide a complementary and perhaps potentially even more fruitful means of characterizing the differences between H. sapiens and its close relatives.

  10. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases

  11. Experimental taphonomy and the anatomy and diversity of the earliest fossil vertebrates (Chengjiang Biota, Cambrian, China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnell, Mark; Gabbott, Sarah; Murdock, Duncan; Cong, Peiyun

    2016-04-01

    The oldest fossil vertebrates are from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of China, which contains four genera of fish-like, primitive vertebrates: Haikouichthys, Myllokunmingia, Zhongjianichthys and Zhongxiniscus. These fossils play key roles in calibrating molecular clocks and informing our view of the anatomy of animals close to the origin of vertebrates, potentially including transitional forms between vertebrates and their nearest relatives. Despite the evident importance of these fossils, the degree to which taphonomic processes have affected their anatomical completeness has not been investigated. For example, some or all might have been affected by stemward slippage - the pattern observed in experimental decay of non-biomineralised chordates in which preferential decay of synapomorphies and retention of plesiomorphic characters would cause fossil taxa to erroneously occupy more basal positions than they should. This hypothesis is based on experimental data derived from decay of non-biomineralised chordates under laboratory conditions. We have expanded this analysis to include a broader range of potentially significant environmental variables; we have also compared and combined the results of experiments from several taxa to identify general patterns of chordate decay. Examination of the Chengjiang vertebrates in the light of these results demonstrates that, contrary to some assertions, experimentally derived models of phylogenetic bias are applicable to fossils. Anatomical and phylogenetic interpretations of early vertebrates that do not take taphonomic biases into account risk overestimating diversity and the evolutionary significance of differences between fossil specimens.

  12. The fossil record of turtles in Colombia; a review of the discoveries, research and future challenges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cadena, Edwin A

    2014-01-01

    This is a review article on the fossil record of turtles in colombia that includes: the early cretaceous turtles from Zapatoca and Villa de Leyva localities; the giant turtles from the Paleocene Cerrejon and Calenturitas Coal Mines; the early Miocene, earliest record of Chelus from Pubenza, Cundinamarca; the early to late Miocene large podocnemids, chelids and testudinids from Castilletes, Alta Guajira and La Venta; and the small late Pleistocene kinosternids from Pubenza, Cundinamarca. I also discuss here the current gaps in the fossil record of tropical South American turtles, as well as the ongoing research and future projects to be developed in order to understand better the evolutionary history of Colombian turtles.

  13. The fossil record of turtles in colombia; a review of the discoveries research and future challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Cadena Rueda, Edwin Alberto

    2014-01-01

    This is a review article on the fossil record of turtles in Colombia that includes: the early Cretaceous turtles from Zapatocaand Villa de Leyva localities; the giant turtles from the Paleocene Cerrejón and Calenturitas Coal Mines; the early Miocene,earliest record of Chelus from Pubenza, Cundinamarca; the early to late Miocene large podocnemids, chelids and testudinidsfrom Castilletes, Alta Guajira and La Venta; and the small late Pleistocene kinosternids from Pubenza, Cundinamarca. I alsodi...

  14. The false spring of 2012, earliest in North American record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ault, T.R.; Henebry, G.M.; de Beurs, K. M.; Schwartz, M.D.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Moore, David

    2013-01-01

    Phenology - the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate - is becoming an essential tool for documenting, communicating, and anticipating the consequences of climate variability and change. For example, March 2012 broke numerous records for warm temperatures and early flowering in the United States [Karl et al., 2012; Elwood et al., 2013]. Many regions experienced a “false spring,” a period of weather in late winter or early spring sufficiently mild and long to bring vegetation out of dormancy prematurely, rendering it vulnerable to late frost and drought.As global climate warms, increasingly warmer springs may combine with the random climatological occurrence of advective freezes, which result from cold air moving from one region to another, to dramatically increase the future risk of false springs, with profound ecological and economic consequences [e.g., Gu et al., 2008; Marino et al., 2011; Augspurger, 2013]. For example, in the false spring of 2012, an event embedded in long-term trends toward earlier spring [e.g., Schwartz et al., 2006], the frost damage to fruit trees totaled half a billion dollars in Michigan alone, prompting the federal government to declare the state a disaster area [Knudson, 2012].

  15. The earliest Permian shark fossils from Texas and their implications for later marine faunas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shell, R.; Ciampaglio, C. N.

    2017-12-01

    Complex marine vertebrate faunas from lower Permian rocks are incredibly rare. Recent research suggests that the composition of what few communities can be found varied wildly, especially in regard to the presence or absence of Hybodontiform sharks. Early Permian marine faunas in Texas are generally richer in Hybodont sharks than similarly aged communities in Russia and Bolivia, but the cause of this variation is unknown. A fossil hybodont spine fragment from just above the Pennsylvanian/Permian boundary in Texas, however, suggests that that regional climatic events allowed Hybodont sharks to migrate into the Permian Basin at the outset of the Permian itself. As the Basin evolved tectonically and sedimentologically, these sharks likely evolved to fill new niches as they opened up- which may have resulted in the increased number of Hybodont species in the Permian of Texas: a major factor to consider in the faunal evolution of the Western Interior Seaway during the Mesozoic and beyond.

  16. Testing Homogeneity with the Galaxy Fossil Record

    CERN Document Server

    Hoyle, Ben; Jimenez, Raul; Heavens, Alan; Clarkson, Chris; Maartens, Roy

    2013-01-01

    Observationally confirming spatial homogeneity on sufficiently large cosmological scales is of importance to test one of the underpinning assumptions of cosmology, and is also imperative for correctly interpreting dark energy. A challenging aspect of this is that homogeneity must be probed inside our past lightcone, while observations take place on the lightcone. The history of star formation rates (SFH) in the galaxy fossil record provides a novel way to do this. We calculate the SFH of stacked Luminous Red Galaxy (LRG) spectra obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We divide the LRG sample into 12 equal area contiguous sky patches and 10 redshift slices (0.2

  17. New record of a fossil haplotilapiine cichlid from Central Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie B. R. Penk

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available African freshwater cichlids (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae are well known for their exceptionally great diversity and their capability of rapid speciation as well as diverse adaptations. The extant Pseudocrenilabrinae can be grouped into 27 tribes, with more than 2000 species harbored in the Great Lakes and surrounding water bodies of the East African Rift System. However, this unique diversity is not reflected in the fossil record because fossil cichlids were predominantly reported based on isolated teeth and bones. Moreover, the few articulated specimens that are known have not been analyzed sufficiently with regard to their systematic position due to lack of comparative material. Here we present a new extraordinarily well-preserved cichlid fish fossil from the Middle Miocene (c. 12.5 Ma Lagerstaette Kabchore, which was recovered during recent fieldwork in the Tugen Hills (Baringo County, Central Kenya Rift. Based on the evidence of tricuspid teeth, the Kabchore fossil can be assigned to the subclade of the Haplotilapiines within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. The multivariate analysis of a large meristic data set, derived from 1014 extant specimens (encompassing all main lineages of Haplotilapiines and usage of available osteological data suggest that this fossil is most likely related to one of the three haplotilapiine tribes Tilapiini, Haplochromini or Oreochromini. Moreover, the fossil specimen closely resembles the extinct cichlid Oreochromis martyni (Van Couvering, 1982, previously described as species of Sarotherodon from the Middle Miocene alkaline Kapkiamu Lake in the Tugen Hills. The analysis of the greatly preserved fossil fish specimen from Kabchore definitely supplements the fragmentary fossil record of Africa’s Cichlidae and will afford new insights into its evolutionary history. We also expect that this fossil will be useful as calibration point for new divergence-time estimates.

  18. The shape of pterosaur evolution: evidence from the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyke, G J; McGowan, A J; Nudds, R L; Smith, D

    2009-04-01

    Although pterosaurs are a well-known lineage of Mesozoic flying reptiles, their fossil record and evolutionary dynamics have never been adequately quantified. On the basis of a comprehensive data set of fossil occurrences correlated with taxon-specific limb measurements, we show that the geological ages of pterosaur specimens closely approximate hypothesized patterns of phylogenetic divergence. Although the fossil record has expanded greatly in recent years, collectorship still approximates a sigmoid curve over time as many more specimens (and thus taxa) still remain undiscovered, yet our data suggest that the pterosaur fossil record is unbiased by sites of exceptional preservation (lagerstätte). This is because as new species are discovered the number of known formations and sites yielding pterosaur fossils has also increased - this would not be expected if the bulk of the record came from just a few exceptional faunas. Pterosaur morphological diversification is, however, strongly age biased: rarefaction analysis shows that peaks of diversity occur in the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous correlated with periods of increased limb disparity. In this respect, pterosaurs appear unique amongst flying vertebrates in that their disparity seems to have peaked relatively late in clade history. Comparative analyses also show that there is little evidence that the evolutionary diversification of pterosaurs was in any way constrained by the appearance and radiation of birds.

  19. The fossil record, function, and possible origins of shell color patterns in Paleozoic marine invertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kobluk, D.R. (Univ. of Toronto, Ontario (Canada)); Mapes, R.H. (Ohio Univ., Athens (USA))

    1989-02-01

    Fossil invertebrate shells and carapaces displaying preserved original color patterns are among the rarest fossils. The fossil record of color patterns extends into the Middle Cambrian where the trilobite Anomocare displays a fan-like array of stripes on the pygidium. About 180 Paleozic genera are known with patterns, including trilobites, cephalopods, gastropods, brachiopods, bivalves, crinoids, and crustaceans. Based upon an analysis of these taxa, it appears that patterns and pigments in middle and late Paleozoic invertebrates may have served several functions such as warning displays, light screening, camouflage, or waste disposal. However, the presence of color patterns in fossil invertebrates in the early Paleozoic may have developed prior to the evolution of vision sufficiently sophisticated to see them. This suggests that camouflage and warning displays were not the original functions of color patterns, and that in the earliest Paleozoic they may not have been functional. The authors propose a hypothesis that involves three developmental phases in the evolution of invertebrate color patterns: (1) the incorporation of metabolic by-products, perhaps some pigmented and some not pigmented, into shells and carapaces as a means of disposal of dietary or metabolic wastes, (2) use of these pigments and patterns as an environmental adaptation, such as light screening, and (3) display during and following the evolution of vision in predators sufficiently sophisticated to see the patterns.

  20. An embryological perspective on the early arthropod fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, Ariel D

    2015-12-18

    Our understanding of the early evolution of the arthropod body plan has recently improved significantly through advances in phylogeny and developmental biology and through new interpretations of the fossil record. However, there has been limited effort to synthesize data from these different sources. Bringing an embryological perspective into the fossil record is a useful way to integrate knowledge from different disciplines into a single coherent view of arthropod evolution. I have used current knowledge on the development of extant arthropods, together with published descriptions of fossils, to reconstruct the germband stages of a series of key taxa leading from the arthropod lower stem group to crown group taxa. These reconstruction highlight the main evolutionary transitions that have occurred during early arthropod evolution, provide new insights into the types of mechanisms that could have been active and suggest new questions and research directions. The reconstructions suggest several novel homology hypotheses - e.g. the lower stem group head shield and head capsules in the crown group are all hypothesized to derive from the embryonic head lobes. The homology of anterior segments in different groups is resolved consistently. The transition between "lower-stem" and "upper-stem" arthropods is highlighted as a major transition with a concentration of novelties and innovations, suggesting a gap in the fossil record. A close relationship between chelicerates and megacheirans is supported by the embryonic reconstructions, and I suggest that the depth of the mandibulate-chelicerate split should be reexamined.

  1. Testing New Proxies for Photosymbiosis in the Fossil Record

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    Tornabene, C.; Martindale, R. C.; Schaller, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    Photosymbiosis is a mutualistic relationship that many corals have developed with dinoflagellates called zooxanthellae. The dinoflagellates, of the genus Symbiodinium, photosynthesize and provide corals with most of their energy, while in turn coral hosts live in waters where zooxanthellae have optimal exposure to sunlight. Thanks to this relationship, symbiotic corals calcify faster than non-symbiotic corals. Photosymbiosis is therefore considered the evolutionary innovation that allowed corals to become major reef-builders through geological time.This relationship is extremely difficult to study. Zooxanthellae, which are housed in the coral tissue, are not preserved in fossil coral skeletons, thus determining whether corals had symbionts requires a robust proxy. In order to address this critical question, the goal of this research is to test new proxies for ancient photosymbiosis. Currently the project is focused on assessing the nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes of corals' organic matrices, sensu Muscatine et al. (2005), as well as carbon and oxygen (δ13C, δ18O) isotopes of fossil coral skeletons. Samples from Modern, Pleistocene, Oligocene and Triassic coral skeletons were analyzed to test the validity of these proxies. Coral samples comprise both (interpreted) symbiotic and non-symbiotic fossil corals from the Oligocene and Triassic as well as symbiotic fossil corals from the Modern and Pleistocene to corroborate our findings with the results of Muscatine et al. (2005). Samples were tested for diagenesis through petrographic and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses to avoid contamination. Additionally, a novel technique that has not yet been applied to the fossil record was tested. The technique aims to recognize dinosterol, a dinoflagellate biomarker, in both modern and fossil coral samples. The premise of this proxy is that symbiotic corals should contain the dinoflagellate biomarker, whereas those lacking symbionts should lack dinosterol. Results from this

  2. Direct and indirect fossil records of megachilid bees from the Paleogene of Central Europe (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedmann, Sonja; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael S.

    2009-06-01

    Aside from pollen and nectar, bees of the subfamily Megachilinae are closely associated with plants as a source of materials for nest construction. Megachilines use resins, masticated leaves, trichomes and other plant materials sometimes along with mud to construct nests in cavities or in soil. Among these, the leafcutter bees ( Megachile s.l.) are the most famous for their behaviour to line their brood cells with discs cut from various plants. We report on fossil records of one body fossil of a new non-leafcutting megachiline and of 12 leafcuttings from three European sites—Eckfeld and Messel, both in Germany (Eocene), and Menat, France (Paleocene). The excisions include the currently earliest record of probable Megachile activity and suggest the presence of such bees in the Paleocene European fauna. Comparison with extant leafcuttings permits the interpretation of a minimal number of species that produced these excisions. The wide range of size for the leafcuttings indirectly might suggest at least two species of Megachile for the fauna of Messel in addition to the other megachiline bee described here. The presence of several cuttings on most leaves from Eckfeld implies that the preferential foraging behaviour of extant Megachile arose early in megachiline evolution. These results demonstrate that combined investigation of body and trace fossils complement each other in understanding past biodiversity, the latter permitting the detection of taxa not otherwise directly sampled and inferences on behavioural evolution.

  3. Gnomon shadow lengths recorded in the Zhoubi Suanjing: the earliest meridian observations in China?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yong; Sun Xiaochun

    2009-01-01

    The Zhoubi Suanjing, one of the most important ancient Chinese books on mathematical astronomy, was compiled about 100 BC in the Western Han dynasty (BC 206 - AD 23). We study the gnomon shadow lengths for the 24 solar terms as recorded in the book. Special attention is paid to the so-called law of 'cun qian li', which says the shadow length of a gnomon of 8 chi (about 1.96 m) high will increase (or decrease) 1 cun (1/10 chi) for every 1000 li (roughly 400 km) the gnomon moves northward (or southward). From these data, one can derive the time and location of the observations. The results, however, do not fit historical facts. We suggest that compilers of the Zhoubi Suanjing must have modified the original data according to the law of 'cun qian li'. Through reversing the situation, we recovered the original data, our analysis of which reveals the best possible observation time as 564 BC and the location of observation as 35.78 deg. N latitude. We conclude that this must be the earliest records of solar meridian observations in China. In the meantime, we give the errors of solar altitudes for the 24 solar terms. The average deviation is 5.22 deg., and the mean absolute deviation is 5.52 deg., signifying the accuracy of astronomical calculations from that time.

  4. The Ecological Rise of Whales Chronicled by the Fossil Record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of cetaceans is one of the best examples of macroevolution documented from the fossil record. While ecological transitions dominate each phase of cetacean history, this context is rarely stated explicitly. The first major ecological phase involves a transition from riverine and deltaic environments to marine ones, concomitant with dramatic evolutionary transformations documented in their early fossil record. The second major phase involves ecological shifts associated with evolutionary innovations: echolocation (facilitating hunting prey at depth) and filter-feeding (enhancing foraging efficiency on small prey). This latter phase involves body size shifts, attributable to changes in foraging depth and environmental forcing, as well as re-invasions of freshwater systems on continental basins by multiple lineages. Modern phenomena driving cetacean ecology, such as trophic dynamics and arms races, have an evolutionary basis that remains mostly unexamined. The fossil record of cetaceans provides an historical basis for understanding current ecological mechanisms and consequences, especially as global climate change rapidly alters ocean and river ecosystems at rates and scales comparable to those over geologic time. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. The Quality of the Fossil Record: Populations, Species, and Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, Susan M.; Flessa, Karl W.

    Paleontologists have always been concerned about the documentary quality of the fossil record, and this has also become an important issue for biologists, who increasingly look to accumulations of bones, shells, and plant material as possible ways to extend the time-frame of observation on species and community behaviors. Quantitative data on the postmortem behavior of organic remains in modern environments are providing new insights into death and fossil assemblages as sources of biological information. Important findings include: 1. With the exception of a few circumstances, usually recognizable by independent criteria, transport out of the original life habitat affects few individuals. 2. Most species with preservable hard-parts are in fact represented in the local death assemblage, commonly in correct rank importance. Molluscs are the most durable of modern aquatic groups studied so far, and they show highest fidelity to the original community. 3. Time-averaging of remains from successive generations and communities often prevents the detection of short term (seasons, years) variability but provides an excellent record of the natural range of community composition and structure over longer periods. Thus, although a complex array of processes and circumstances influences preservation, death assemblages of resistant skeletal elements are for many major groups good to excellent records of community composition, morphological variation, and environmental and geographic distribution of species, and such assemblages can record dynamics at ecologically and evolutionarily meaningful scales.

  6. Fruits and wood of Parinari from the early Miocene of Panama and the fossil record of Chrysobalanaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jud, Nathan A; Nelson, Chris W; Herrera, Fabiany

    2016-02-01

    Chrysobalanaceae are woody plants with over 500 species in 20 genera. They are among the most common trees in tropical forests, but a sparse fossil record has limited our ability to test evolutionary and biogeographic hypotheses, and several previous reports of Chrysobalanaceae megafossils are doubtful. We prepared fossil endocarps and wood collected from the lower Miocene beds along the Panama Canal using the cellulose acetate peel technique and examined them using light microscopy. We compared the fossil endocarps with previously published fossils and with fruits from herbarium specimens. We compared the fossil wood with photographs and descriptions of extant species. Parinari endocarps can be distinguished from other genera within Chrysobalanaceae by a suite of features, i.e., thick wall, a secondary septum, seminal cavities lined with dense, woolly trichomes, and two ovate to lingulate basal germination plugs. Fossil endocarps from the Cucaracha, Culebra, and La Boca Formations confirm that Parinari was present in the neotropics by the early Miocene. The earliest unequivocal evidence of crown-group Chrysobalanaceae is late Oligocene-early Miocene, and the genus Parinari was distinct by at least 19 million years ago. Parinari and other Chrysobalanaceae likely reached the neotropics via long-distance dispersal rather than vicariance. The presence of Parinari in the Cucaracha flora supports the interpretation of a riparian, moist tropical forest environment. Parinari was probably a canopy-dominant tree in the Cucaracha forest and took advantage of the local megafauna for seed dispersal. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  7. Fossil record of stem groups employed in evaluating the chronogram of insects (Arthropoda: Hexapoda)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan-hui; Engel, Michael S.; Rafael, José A.; Wu, Hao-yang; Rédei, Dávid; Xie, Qiang; Wang, Gang; Liu, Xiao-guang; Bu, Wen-jun

    2016-01-01

    Insecta s. str. (=Ectognatha), comprise the largest and most diversified group of living organisms, accounting for roughly half of the biodiversity on Earth. Understanding insect relationships and the specific time intervals for their episodes of radiation and extinction are critical to any comprehensive perspective on evolutionary events. Although some deeper nodes have been resolved congruently, the complete evolution of insects has remained obscure due to the lack of direct fossil evidence. Besides, various evolutionary phases of insects and the corresponding driving forces of diversification remain to be recognized. In this study, a comprehensive sample of all insect orders was used to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and estimate deep divergences. The phylogenetic relationships of insect orders were congruently recovered by Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses. A complete timescale of divergences based on an uncorrelated log-normal relaxed clock model was established among all lineages of winged insects. The inferred timescale for various nodes are congruent with major historical events including the increase of atmospheric oxygen in the Late Silurian and earliest Devonian, the radiation of vascular plants in the Devonian, and with the available fossil record of the stem groups to various insect lineages in the Devonian and Carboniferous. PMID:27958352

  8. Fossil Coral Records of ENSO during the Last Glacial Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, J. W.; Taylor, F. W.; Shen, C. C.; Edwards, R. L.; Quinn, T. M.; DiNezro, P.

    2017-12-01

    Only a handful of paleoclimate records exist that can resolve interannual changes, and hence El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability, during the last glacial period, a time of altered mean climate. The few existing data suggest reduced ENSO variability compared to the Holocene, possibly due to a weaker zonal sea surface temperature gradient across the tropical Pacific and/or a deeper thermocline in the eastern tropical Pacific. Our goal is to add crucial data to this extremely limited subset using sub-annually resolved fossil corals that grew during this time period to reconstruct ENSO. We seek to recover fossil corals from Vanuatu, SW Pacific (16°S, 167°E) with the objective of using coral δ18O to reconstruct changes in the ENSO during and near the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Modern δ18O coral records from Vanuatu show a high degree of skill in capturing ENSO variability, making it a suitable site for reconstructing ENSO variability. We have custom designed and are building a drill system that can rapidly core many 0-25 m holes resulting in much more meters of penetration than achieved by previous land-based reef drilling. As the new drill system is extremely portable and can be quickly relocated by workers without landing craft or vehicles, it is time and cost efficient. Because the proposed drilling sites have uplifted extremely fast, 7 mm/year, the LGM shoreline has been raised from 120-140 m depth to within a depth range of 10 below to 20 m above present sea level. This enables all the drilling to be within the time range of interest ( 15-25 ka). A last advantage is that the LGM corals either are still submersed in seawater or emerged only within the last 2000 years at the uplift rate of 7 mm/yr. This greatly reduces the chances of disruption of the original climate signal because sea water is less diagenetically damaging than meteoric water in the mixed, phreatic, or vadose zones. LGM coral records will enable us to compare the proxy variability

  9. The evolution of tetrapod ears and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clack, J A

    1997-01-01

    In the earliest tetrapods, the fenestra vestibuli was a large hole in the braincase wall bounded by bones of different embryological origins: the otic capsule and occipital arch components, and also, in all except the Devonian Acanthostega, the dermal parasphenoid. This means that the hole lay along the line of the embryonic metotic fissure. Early tetrapod braincases were poorly ossified internally, and no specialized opening for a perilymphatic duct is evident. It is arguable that the earliest tetrapods had neither a perilympllatic duct crossing the otic capsule nor a specialized auditory receptor in a separate lagenar pouch. The primitive tetrapod condition is found in the earliest amniotes, and the separate development of (1) a fenestra vestibuli confined to the limits of the otic capsule, (2) a specialized pressure relief window also derived from components on the line of the metolic fissure, (3) a nonstructural, vibratory stapes and (4) increased internal ossification of the internal walls of the otic capsule, can be traced separately in synapsids, lepidosauromorph diapsids, archosauromorph diapsids, probably turtles, and amphibians. This suggests separate development of true tympanic ears in each of these groups. Developments indicating the existence of a true tympanic ear in amniotes are first found in animals from the Triassic period, and a correlation with the evolution of insect sound production is suggested.

  10. The late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record of eastern Asia: synthesis and review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. 'Citizen science' recording of fossils by adapting existing computer-based biodiversity recording tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Alistair

    2014-05-01

    Biodiversity recording activities have been greatly enhanced by the emergence of online schemes and smartphone applications for recording and sharing data about a wide variety of flora and fauna. As a palaeobiologist, one of the areas of research I have been heavily involved in is the question of whether the amount of rock available to sample acts as a bias on our estimates of biodiversity through time. Although great progress has been made on this question over the past ten years by a number of researchers, I still think palaeontology has not followed the lead offered by the 'citizen science' revolution in studies of extant biodiversity. By constructing clearly structured surveys with online data collection support, it should be possible to collect field data on the occurrence of fossils at the scale of individual exposures, which are needed to test competing hypotheses about these effects at relatively small spatial scales. Such data collection would be hard to justify for universities and museums with limited personnel but a co-ordinated citizen science programme would be capable of delivering such a programme. Data collection could be based on the MacKinnon's Lists method, used in rapid conservation assessment work. It relies on observers collecting lists of a fixed length (e.g. 10 species long) but what is important is that it focuses on getting observers to ignore sightings of the same species until that list is complete. This overcomes the problem of 'common taxa being commonly recorded' and encourages observers to seek out and identify the rarer taxa. This gives a targeted but finite task. Rather than removing fossils, participants would be encouraged to take photographs to share via a recording website. The success of iSpot, which allows users to upload photos of plants and animals for other users to help with identifications, offers a model for overcoming the problems of identifying fossils, which can often look nothing like the examples illustrated in

  12. New Palaeogene horntail wasps (Hymenoptera, Siricidae) and a discussion of their fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedmann, Sonja; Pouillon, Jean-Marc; Nel, André

    2014-09-29

    The phylogenetic placement of siricid hymenopterans and especially the relationships among Siricidae are not resolved, and are in need of further investigation. The fossil record helps to illuminate the evolutionary history of this group. In this paper, Xoanon? eocenicus sp. nov. is newly described from the Eocene Fossillagerstätte Grube Messel (Germany). Although several characters of the wing venation of this fossil are similar to the extant genus Xoanon, there remain some doubts concerning the generic placement. A newly found fossil is attributed to Urocerus ligniticus (Piton, 1940) from the Paloecene Fossillagerstätte Menat (France) and provides more morphological information on this species. An overview of the fossil record of Siricidae in the strict sense is given and the state of knowledge on the different fossils is reviewed.

  13. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  14. Borassodendron (Palmae) in the Southeast Asian fossil pollen record

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maloney, B.K.

    2000-01-01

    Borassodendron machadonis pollen occurred throughout the Holocene pollen record of Nong Thale Song Hong, Thailand, until about 4000 BP. It was also present in one sample from Khok Phanom Di, Thailand, and in the Mahakam Delta, Kalimantan, records, but B. machadonis has not been reported from the

  15. The fossil record and taphonomy of butterflies and moths (Insecta, Lepidoptera): implications for evolutionary diversity and divergence-time estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Labandeira, Conrad C; Davis, Donald R

    2015-02-04

    It is conventionally accepted that the lepidopteran fossil record is significantly incomplete when compared to the fossil records of other, very diverse, extant insect orders. Such an assumption, however, has been based on cumulative diversity data rather than using alternative statistical approaches from actual specimen counts. We reviewed documented specimens of the lepidopteran fossil record, currently consisting of 4,593 known specimens that are comprised of 4,262 body fossils and 331 trace fossils. The temporal distribution of the lepidopteran fossil record shows significant bias towards the late Paleocene to middle Eocene time interval. Lepidopteran fossils also record major shifts in preservational style and number of represented localities at the Mesozoic stage and Cenozoic epoch level of temporal resolution. Only 985 of the total known fossil specimens (21.4%) were assigned to 23 of the 40 extant lepidopteran superfamilies. Absolute numbers and proportions of preservation types for identified fossils varied significantly across superfamilies. The secular increase of lepidopteran family-level diversity through geologic time significantly deviates from the general pattern of other hyperdiverse, ordinal-level lineages. Our statistical analyses of the lepidopteran fossil record show extreme biases in preservation type, age, and taxonomic composition. We highlight the scarcity of identified lepidopteran fossils and provide a correspondence between the latest lepidopteran divergence-time estimates and relevant fossil occurrences at the superfamily level. These findings provide caution in interpreting the lepidopteran fossil record through the modeling of evolutionary diversification and in determination of divergence time estimates.

  16. The fossil record of evolution: Analysis of extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raup, D. M.

    1986-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that events in space have had direct effects on Earth history and on the history of life on Earth. Nowhere is this more evident than in mass extinction. The biosphere has undergone repeated devastation caused by relatively short-lived environmental stress, with species kill rates up to 80 and 95%. For five of the mass extinctions, geochemical or other evidence was reported suggesting large body impact as the cause of the environmental stress producing the extinctions. It was argued on statistical ground that the major extinction events are uniformly periodic in geological time. If it is true that large body impact is a principal cause of mass extinctions and if the periodicity is real, than a cosmic driving mechanism is inescapable. Paleontological data sets were developed which detail the ranges in geological time of about 4,000 families and 25,000 genera of fossil marine organisms. Analyses to date have concentrated on the most recent 250 million years. Associated with these studies are analyses of other aspects of Earth history which may have signatures indicative of extraterrestrial effects.

  17. Contemporaneous trace and body fossils from a late Pleistocene Lakebed in Victoria, Australia, allow assessment of bias in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camens, Aaron Bruce; Carey, Stephen Paul

    2013-01-01

    The co-occurrence of vertebrate trace and body fossils within a single geological formation is rare and the probability of these parallel records being contemporaneous (i.e. on or near the same bedding plane) is extremely low. We report here a late Pleistocene locality from the Victorian Volcanic Plains in south-eastern Australia in which demonstrably contemporaneous, but independently accumulated vertebrate trace and body fossils occur. Bite marks from a variety of taxa are also present on the bones. This site provides a unique opportunity to examine the biases of these divergent fossil records (skeletal, footprints and bite marks) that sampled a single fauna. The skeletal record produced the most complete fauna, with the footprint record indicating a markedly different faunal composition with less diversity and the feeding traces suggesting the presence, amongst others, of a predator not represented by either the skeletal or footprint records. We found that the large extinct marsupial predator Thylacoleo was the only taxon apparently represented by all three records, suggesting that the behavioral characteristics of large carnivores may increase the likelihood of their presence being detected within a fossil fauna. In contrast, Diprotodon (the largest-ever marsupial) was represented only by trace fossils at this site and was absent from the site's skeletal record, despite its being a common and easily detected presence in late Pleistocene skeletal fossil faunas elsewhere in Australia. Small mammals absent from the footprint record for the site were represented by skeletal fossils and bite marks on bones.

  18. Oldest record of Metrosideros (Myrtaceae): Fossil flowers, fruits, and leaves from Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarran, Myall; Wilson, Peter G; Hill, Robert S

    2016-04-01

    Myrtaceous fossil capsular fruits and flowers from the northwest of Tasmania, in the Early Oligocene-aged Little Rapid River (LRR) deposit, are described. The reproductive organs are found in association with Myrtaceous leaves previously thought to belong to a fleshy-fruited genus, Xanthomyrtus at both LRR, and an Eocene Tasmanian site at Hasties, which are reassessed with fresh morphological evidence. Standard Light Microscopy (LM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were used to investigate cuticular characters and an auto-montage camera system was used to take high-resolution images of fossil and extant fruits. Fossils are identified using a nearest living relative (NLR) approach. The fossil fruits and flowers share a number of characters with genera of capsular-fruited Myrtaceae, in particular sharing several synapomorphies with species of Metrosideros subg. Metrosideros (tribe: Metrosidereae). The fossil is here described, and named Metrosideros leunigii, sp. nov. This research establishes the presence of Metrosideros (aff. subg. Metrosideros) in the Eocene-Oligocene (∼40-30 mya) of Tasmania, Australia. This is the first fossil record of Metrosideros in Australia, as well as the oldest conclusive fossil record, and may provide evidence for an Australian origin of the genus. It is also yet another example of extinction in the Tertiary of a group of plants on the Australian mainland that is only found today on nearby Pacific landmasses. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  19. Crustaceans from bitumen clast in Carboniferous glacial diamictite extend fossil record of copepods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selden, Paul A; Huys, Rony; Stephenson, Michael H; Heward, Alan P; Taylor, Paul N

    2010-08-10

    Copepod crustaceans are extremely abundant but, because of their small size and fragility, they fossilize poorly. Their fossil record consists of one Cretaceous (c. 115 Ma) parasite and a few Miocene (c. 14 Ma) fossils. In this paper, we describe abundant crustacean fragments, including copepods, from a single bitumen clast in a glacial diamictite of late Carboniferous age (c. 303 Ma) from eastern Oman. Geochemistry identifies the source of the bitumen as an oilfield some 100-300 km to the southwest, which is consistent with an ice flow direction from glacial striae. The bitumen likely originated as an oil seep into a subglacial lake. This find extends the fossil record of copepods by some 188 Ma, and of free-living forms by 289 Ma. The copepods include evidence of the extant family Canthocamptidae, believed to have colonized fresh water in Pangaea during Carboniferous times.

  20. Methods for the quantitative comparison of molecular estimates of clade age and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Julia A; Boyd, Clint A

    2015-01-01

    Approaches quantifying the relative congruence, or incongruence, of molecular divergence estimates and the fossil record have been limited. Previously proposed methods are largely node specific, assessing incongruence at particular nodes for which both fossil data and molecular divergence estimates are available. These existing metrics, and other methods that quantify incongruence across topologies including entirely extinct clades, have so far not taken into account uncertainty surrounding both the divergence estimates and the ages of fossils. They have also treated molecular divergence estimates younger than previously assessed fossil minimum estimates of clade age as if they were the same as cases in which they were older. However, these cases are not the same. Recovered divergence dates younger than compared oldest known occurrences require prior hypotheses regarding the phylogenetic position of the compared fossil record and standard assumptions about the relative timing of morphological and molecular change to be incorrect. Older molecular dates, by contrast, are consistent with an incomplete fossil record and do not require prior assessments of the fossil record to be unreliable in some way. Here, we compare previous approaches and introduce two new descriptive metrics. Both metrics explicitly incorporate information on uncertainty by utilizing the 95% confidence intervals on estimated divergence dates and data on stratigraphic uncertainty concerning the age of the compared fossils. Metric scores are maximized when these ranges are overlapping. MDI (minimum divergence incongruence) discriminates between situations where molecular estimates are younger or older than known fossils reporting both absolute fit values and a number score for incompatible nodes. DIG range (divergence implied gap range) allows quantification of the minimum increase in implied missing fossil record induced by enforcing a given set of molecular-based estimates. These metrics are used

  1. Gaps in the Rock and Fossil Records and Implications for the Rate and Mode of Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Grant Sackett

    1988-01-01

    Examines three types of gaps in the fossil record: real gaps, imaginary gaps, and temporary gaps. Reviews some recent evidence concerning evolution from the paleontological record of microfossils, invertebrates, and vertebrates in order to make some general conclusions regarding the manner in which life evolved on earth. (CW)

  2. The late Paleozoic ecological-evolutionary laboratory, a land-plant fossil record perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Looy, Cindy; Kerp, Hans; Duijnstee, Ivo; DiMichele, Bill

    2014-01-01

    In this essay we examine the fossil record of land plants, focusing on the late Paleozoic. We explore the nature of this record in terms of what is preserved, where, why and with what biases. And as a consequence, how it can be used to answer questions posed at various spatial and temporal scales,

  3. The fossil record of ecdysis, and trends in the moulting behaviour of trilobites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daley, Allison C; Drage, Harriet B

    2016-03-01

    Ecdysis, the process of moulting an exoskeleton, is one of the key characters uniting arthropods, nematodes and a number of smaller phyla into Ecdysozoa. The arthropod fossil record, particularly trilobites, eurypterids and decapod crustaceans, yields information on moulting, although the current focus is predominantly descriptive and lacks a broader evolutionary perspective. We here review literature on the fossil record of ecdysis, synthesising research on the behaviour, evolutionary trends, and phylogenetic significance of moulting throughout the Phanerozoic. Approaches vary widely between taxonomic groups, but an overall theme uniting these works suggests that identifying moults in the palaeontological record must take into account the morphology, taphonomy and depositional environment of fossils. We also quantitatively analyse trends in trilobite ecdysis based on a newly generated database of published incidences of moulting behaviour. This preliminary work reveals significant taxonomic and temporal signal in the trilobite moulting fossil record, with free cheek moulting being prevalent across all Orders and throughout the Phanerozoic, and peaks of cephalic moulting in Phacopida during the Ordovician and rostral plate moulting in Redlichiida during the Cambrian. This study and a review of the literature suggest that it is feasible to extract large-scale evolutionary information from the fossil record of moulting. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Impact Theory of Mass Extinctions and the Invertebrate Fossil Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Walter; Kauffman, Erle G.; Surlyk, Finn; Alvarez, Luis W.; Asaro, Frank; Michel, Helen V.

    1984-03-01

    There is much evidence that the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary was marked by a massive meteorite impact. Theoretical consideration of the consequences of such an impact predicts sharp extinctions in many groups of animals precisely at the boundary. Paleontological data clearly show gradual declines in diversity over the last 1 to 10 million years in various invertebrate groups. Reexamination of data from careful studies of the best sections shows that, in addition to undergoing the decline, four groups (ammonites, cheilostomate bryozoans, brachiopods, and bivalves) were affected by sudden truncations precisely at the iridium anomaly that marks the boundary. The paleontological record thus bears witness to terminal-Cretaceous extinctions on two time scales: a slow decline unrelated to the impact and a sharp truncation synchronous with and probably caused by the impact.

  5. The climatic record of the earliest spring in Romania, regarding the south-east part of the country – spring 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. OCTAVIA BOGDAN

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The climatic record of the earliest spring in Romania, regarding the south-east part of the country – Spring 2016. In the past 30 years it has been an increasing frequency of early SPRING ARRIVAL. Therefore, vegetation development started in early February. In March, the warm weather continued almost throughout the month, and the hoarfrosts from March became hereby destructive. Frequently, the vegetation in April was in very advanced stages. Even though the temperatures rose in April, cooling in April and late spring hoarfrosts have occurred and caused considerable damage. In this study we analyze the climatic macroprocesses that led to the apparition of an absolute climate record for the earliest spring arrival in 2016. The work is useful to anyone interested in climate change in Romania.

  6. The celestial factor and the formula to explain or predict all extinctions of the fossil record

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elewa, A.M.T.

    2012-01-01

    In reality there are various kinds of explanations for each type of extinction. This paper introduces a new theory to explain and to estimate the size and frequency of all extinctions over the entire period of 600 my of the fossil record. The central point was the search for a common pattern and

  7. Validation and application of fossil DNA as a recorder of past marine ecosystems and environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boere, A.C.

    2010-01-01

    The majority of planktonic species, including those that are informative in the reconstructions of past marine environmental conditions, do not produce diagnostic features (e.g., cysts, spores, or lipid biomarkers) and would therefore escape identification from the fossil record using traditional

  8. The avian fossil record in Insular Southeast Asia and its implications for avian biogeography and palaeoecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanneke J.M. Meijer

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Excavations and studies of existing collections during the last decades have significantly increased the abundance as well as the diversity of the avian fossil record for Insular Southeast Asia. The avian fossil record covers the Eocene through the Holocene, with the majority of bird fossils Pleistocene in age. Fossil bird skeletal remains represent at least 63 species in 54 genera and 27 families, and two ichnospecies are represented by fossil footprints. Birds of prey, owls and swiftlets are common elements. Extinctions seem to have been few, suggesting continuity of avian lineages since at least the Late Pleistocene, although some shifts in species ranges have occurred in response to climatic change. Similarities between the Late Pleistocene avifaunas of Flores and Java suggest a dispersal route across southern Sundaland. Late Pleistocene assemblages of Niah Cave (Borneo and Liang Bua (Flores support the rainforest refugium hypothesis in Southeast Asia as they indicate the persistence of forest cover, at least locally, throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene.

  9. Extant-only comparative methods fail to recover the disparity preserved in the bird fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S

    2015-09-01

    Most extant species are in clades with poor fossil records, and recent studies of comparative methods show they have low power to infer even highly simplified models of trait evolution without fossil data. Birds are a well-studied radiation, yet their early evolutionary patterns are still contentious. The fossil record suggests that birds underwent a rapid ecological radiation after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and several smaller, subsequent radiations. This hypothesized series of repeated radiations from fossil data is difficult to test using extant data alone. By uniting morphological and phylogenetic data on 604 extant genera of birds with morphological data on 58 species of extinct birds from 50 million years ago, the "halfway point" of avian evolution, I have been able to test how well extant-only methods predict the diversity of fossil forms. All extant-only methods underestimate the disparity, although the ratio of within- to between-clade disparity does suggest high early rates. The failure of standard models to predict high early disparity suggests that recent radiations are obscuring deep time patterns in the evolution of birds. Metrics from different models can be used in conjunction to provide more valuable insights than simply finding the model with the highest relative fit. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocklehurst, Neil; Upchurch, Paul; Mannion, Philip D.; O'Connor, Jingmai

    2012-01-01

    Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes) radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and Coniacian–Santonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a ‘sampling corrected’ residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagerstätten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this interval but

  11. Assessing the completeness of the fossil record using brachiopod Lazarus taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gearty, W.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    Lazarus taxa, organisms that disappear from the fossil record only to reappear later, provide a unique opportunity to assess the completeness of the fossil record. In this study, we apply logistic regression to quantify the associations of body size, geographic extent, and species diversity with the probability of being a Lazarus genus using the Phanerozoic fossil record of brachiopods. We find that both the geographic range and species diversity of a genus are inversely associated with the probability of being a Lazarus taxon in the preceding or succeeding stage. In contrast, body size exhibits little association with the probability of becoming a Lazarus taxon. A model including species diversity and geographic extent as predictors performs best among all combinations examined, whereas a model including only shell size as a predictor performs the worst - even worse than a model that assumes Lazarus taxa are randomly drawn from all available genera. These findings suggest that geographic range and species richness data can be used to improve estimates of extensions on the observed fossil ranges of genera and, thereby, better correct for sampling effects in estimates of taxonomic diversity change through the Phanerozoic.

  12. The first skull of the earliest giant panda

    OpenAIRE

    Jin, Changzhu; Dong, Wei; Hunt, Jr., Robert M.; Liu, Jinyi; Jaeger, Marc; Zhu, Qizhi

    2007-01-01

    Fossils of the giant panda Ailuropoda (Order Carnivora, Family Ursidae) are largely isolated teeth, mandibles, and a few rare skulls, known from the late Pliocene to late Pleistocene in China and Southeast Asia. Much of this material represents a Pleistocene chronospecies, Ailuropoda baconi, an animal larger than the living giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca. The earliest certain record of Ailuropoda is the late Pliocene chronospecies, Ailuropoda microta, smaller than either A. baconi or A. ...

  13. The Evolution of Reproduction within Testudinata as Evidenced by the Fossil Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawver, Daniel Ryan

    Although known from every continent except Antarctica and having a fossil record ranging from the Middle Jurassic to the Pleistocene, fossil turtle eggs are relatively understudied. In this dissertation I describe four fossil specimens, interpret paleoecology and conduct cladistic analyses in order to investigate the evolution of turtle reproduction. Fossil eggshell descriptions primarily involve analysis by scanning electron and polarized light microscopy, as well as cathodoluminescence to determine the degree of diagenetic alteration. Carapace lengths and gas conductance are estimated in order to investigate the ecology of the adults that produced fossil turtle eggs and clutches, as well as their incubation environments, respectively. Cladistic analyses of turtle egg and reproductive characters permit assessment of the usefulness of these characters for determining phylogenetic relationships of fossil specimens and the evolution of reproduction in turtles. Specimens described here include 1) Testudoolithus oosp. from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar, 2) a clutch of eggs (some containing late stage embryos and at least one exhibiting multilayer eggshell) from the Late Cretaceous Judith River Formation of Montana and named Testudoolithus zelenitskyae oosp. nov., 3) an egg contained within an adult Basilemys nobilis from the Late Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah, and 4) a clutch of Meiolania platyceps eggs from the Pleistocene of Lord Howe Island, Australia. Meiolania platyceps eggs are named Testudoolithus lordhowensis oosp. nov. and provide valuable information on the origin of aragonite eggshell composition and nesting behaviors. Cladistic analyses utilizing egg and reproductive characters are rarely performed on taxa outside of Dinosauria. My analyses demonstrate that morphological data produces poorly resolved trees in which only the clades Adocia and Trionychia are resolved and all other turtles form a large polytomy. However, when combined with

  14. Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular fossil record of Archean life

    OpenAIRE

    Waldbauer, Jacob R.; Newman, Dianne K.; Summons, Roger E.

    2011-01-01

    The power of molecular oxygen to drive many crucial biogeochemical processes, from cellular respiration to rock weathering, makes reconstructing the history of its production and accumulation a first-order question for understanding Earth’s evolution. Among the various geochemical proxies for the presence of O_2 in the environment, molecular fossils offer a unique record of O_2 where it was first produced and consumed by biology: in sunlit aquatic habitats. As steroid biosynthesis requires mo...

  15. Systematics, phylogeny, and taphonomy of ghost shrimps (Decapoda): a perspective from the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A.

    2016-01-01

    Ghost shrimps of Callianassidae and Ctenochelidae are soft-bodied, usually heterochelous decapods representing major bioturbators of muddy and sandy (sub)marine substrates. Ghost shrimps have a robust fossil record spanning from the Early Cretaceous (~ 133 Ma) to the Holocene and their remains are present in most assemblages of Cenozoic decapod crustaceans. Their taxonomic interpretation is in flux, mainly because the generic assignment is hindered by their insufficient preservation and disagreement in the biological classification. Furthermore, numerous taxa are incorrectly classified within the catch-all taxon Callianassa. To show the historical patterns in describing fossil ghost shrimps and to evaluate taphonomic aspects influencing the attribution of ghost shrimp remains to higher level taxa, a database of all fossil species treated at some time as belonging to the group has been compiled: 250 / 274 species are considered valid ghost shrimp taxa herein. More than half of these taxa (160 species, 58.4%) are known only from distal cheliped elements, i.e., dactylus and / or propodus, due to the more calcified cuticle locally. Rarely, ghost shrimps are preserved in situ in burrows or in direct association with them, and several previously unpublished occurrences are reported herein. For generic assignment, fossil material should be compared to living species because many of them have modern relatives. Heterochely, intraspecific variation, ontogenetic changes and sexual dimorphism are all factors that have to be taken into account when working with fossil ghost shrimps. Distal elements are usually more variable than proximal ones. Preliminary results suggest that the ghost shrimp clade emerged not before the Hauterivian (~ 133 Ma). The divergence of Ctenochelidae and Paracalliacinae is estimated to occur within the interval of Hauterivian to Albian (133–100 Ma). Callichirinae and Eucalliacinae likely diverged later during the Late Cretaceous (100–66 Ma

  16. Old stellar populations how to study the fossil record of galaxy formation

    CERN Document Server

    Cassisi, Santi

    2013-01-01

    The book discusses the theoretical path to decoding the information gathered from observations of old stellar systems. It focuses on old stellar systems because these are the fossil record of galaxy formation and provide invaluable information ont he evolution of cosmic structures and the universe as a whole. The aim is to present results obtained in the past few years for theoretical developments in low mass star research and in advances in our knowledge of the evolution of old stellar systems. A particularly representative case is the recent discovery of multiple stellar populations in galac

  17. Changes to the Fossil Record of Insects through Fifteen Years of Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, David B.; Mayhew, Peter J.; Ross, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The first and last occurrences of hexapod families in the fossil record are compiled from publications up to end-2009. The major features of these data are compared with those of previous datasets (1993 and 1994). About a third of families (>400) are new to the fossil record since 1994, over half of the earlier, existing families have experienced changes in their known stratigraphic range and only about ten percent have unchanged ranges. Despite these significant additions to knowledge, the broad pattern of described richness through time remains similar, with described richness increasing steadily through geological history and a shift in dominant taxa, from Palaeoptera and Polyneoptera to Paraneoptera and Holometabola, after the Palaeozoic. However, after detrending, described richness is not well correlated with the earlier datasets, indicating significant changes in shorter-term patterns. There is reduced Palaeozoic richness, peaking at a different time, and a less pronounced Permian decline. A pronounced Triassic peak and decline is shown, and the plateau from the mid Early Cretaceous to the end of the period remains, albeit at substantially higher richness compared to earlier datasets. Origination and extinction rates are broadly similar to before, with a broad decline in both through time but episodic peaks, including end-Permian turnover. Origination more consistently exceeds extinction compared to previous datasets and exceptions are mainly in the Palaeozoic. These changes suggest that some inferences about causal mechanisms in insect macroevolution are likely to differ as well. PMID:26176667

  18. Biology in the Anthropocene: Challenges and insights from young fossil records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    With overwhelming evidence of change in habitats, biologists today must assume that few, if any, study areas are natural and that biological variability is superimposed on trends rather than stationary means. Paleobiological data from the youngest sedimentary record, including death assemblages actively accumulating on modern land surfaces and seabeds, provide unique information on the status of present-day species, communities, and biomes over the last few decades to millennia and on their responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. Key advances have established the accuracy and resolving power of paleobiological information derived from naturally preserved remains and of proxy evidence for environmental conditions and sample age so that fossil data can both implicate and exonerate human stressors as the drivers of biotic change and permit the effects of multiple stressors to be disentangled. Legacy effects from Industrial and even pre-Industrial anthropogenic extirpations, introductions, (de)nutrification, and habitat conversion commonly emerge as the primary factors underlying the present-day status of populations and communities; within the last 2 million years, climate change has rarely been sufficient to drive major extinction pulses absent other human pressures, which are now manifold. Young fossil records also provide rigorous access to the baseline composition and dynamics of modern-day biota under pre-Industrial conditions, where insights include the millennial-scale persistence of community structures, the dominant role of physical environmental conditions rather than biotic interactions in determining community composition and disassembly, and the existence of naturally alternating states. PMID:25901315

  19. Geomicrobiological study of modern microbialites from Mexico: towards a better understanding of the ancient fossil record

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benzerara K.

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbialites are sedimentary formations that are found throughout the geological record and are usually considered as one of the oldest traces of life on Earth. Although they have been known for more than a century and hold as an emblematic object in Earth Sciences, we yet do not understand in details how they form and how microbial processes impact their chemistry, structure and macroscopic morphology. Here, we show recent advances achieved owing to funding provided by the EPOV program on the formation of modern microbialites in the crater Lake Alchichica (Mexico. We first show that very diverse microbial communities populate these microbialites, including diverse microbial groups able to induce carbonate precipitation. We demonstrate that this microbial diversity can be preserved for several years in laboratory aquaria offering a nice opportunity for future studies to assess the relationships between biodiversity and microbialite formation. We then detail the textural modifications affecting cyanobacterial cells during the first steps of fossilization as captured in Alchichica microbialites. Finally, we report the discovery of a new deepbranching cyanobacterium species, Candidatus Gloeomargarita lithophora, able to form intracellular Ca-, Mg-, Sr- and Ba-rich carbonates and discuss the implications for the interpretation of the fossil record.

  20. Changes to the Fossil Record of Insects through Fifteen Years of Discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B Nicholson

    Full Text Available The first and last occurrences of hexapod families in the fossil record are compiled from publications up to end-2009. The major features of these data are compared with those of previous datasets (1993 and 1994. About a third of families (>400 are new to the fossil record since 1994, over half of the earlier, existing families have experienced changes in their known stratigraphic range and only about ten percent have unchanged ranges. Despite these significant additions to knowledge, the broad pattern of described richness through time remains similar, with described richness increasing steadily through geological history and a shift in dominant taxa, from Palaeoptera and Polyneoptera to Paraneoptera and Holometabola, after the Palaeozoic. However, after detrending, described richness is not well correlated with the earlier datasets, indicating significant changes in shorter-term patterns. There is reduced Palaeozoic richness, peaking at a different time, and a less pronounced Permian decline. A pronounced Triassic peak and decline is shown, and the plateau from the mid Early Cretaceous to the end of the period remains, albeit at substantially higher richness compared to earlier datasets. Origination and extinction rates are broadly similar to before, with a broad decline in both through time but episodic peaks, including end-Permian turnover. Origination more consistently exceeds extinction compared to previous datasets and exceptions are mainly in the Palaeozoic. These changes suggest that some inferences about causal mechanisms in insect macroevolution are likely to differ as well.

  1. Delineating modern variation from extinct morphology in the fossil record using shells of the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Characterization of morphological variation in the shells of extant Eastern Box Turtles, Terrapene carolina, provides a baseline for comparison to fossil populations. It also provides an example of the difficulties inherent to recognizing intraspecific diversity in the fossil record. The degree to which variation in fossils of T. carolina can be accommodated by extant variation in the species has been disagreed upon for over eighty years. Using morphometric analyses of the carapace, I address the relationship between modern and fossil T. carolina in terms of sexual dimorphism, geographic and subspecific variation, and allometric variation. Modern T. carolina display weak male-biased sexual size dimorphism. Sexual shape dimorphism cannot be reliably detected in the fossil record. Rather than a four-part subspecific division, patterns of geographic variation are more consistent with clinal variation between various regions in the species distribution. Allometric patterns are qualitatively similar to those documented in other emydid turtles and explain a significant amount of shape variation. When allometric patterns are accounted for, Holocene specimens are not significantly different from modern specimens. In contrast, several geologically older specimens have significantly different carapace shape with no modern analogue. Those large, fossilized specimens represent extinct variation occupying novel portions of morphospace. This study highlights the need for additional documentation of modern osteological variation that can be used to test hypotheses of intraspecific evolution in the fossil record. PMID:29513709

  2. Testing the Molecular Clock Using the Best Fossil Record: Case Studies from the Planktic Foraminifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steel, B. A.; Kucera, M.; Darling, K.

    2004-12-01

    Criticism of molecular clock studies often centres on inadequate calibration and a perceived lack of correlation between reproductive isolation and recognisable morphological evolution. Since many major groups (e.g. birds, mammals, reptiles) have a poor fossil record, it is often difficult to test and refute these limitations. Planktic foraminifera represent an exception to this rule. Deep-sea sediments are super-abundant in foraminifera, and large numbers of specimens and occurrences are easily garnered from Ocean Drilling Programme cores. Planktic foraminifera therefore represent an ideal model group with which to test and refine molecular clock studies. Since the 1990AƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAøs, genetic sequences (principally 18S r-RNA) have been extracted from living planktic foraminifera, and a large genetic library has developed. Our study attempts to contextualise and test molecular data, particularly AƒAøAøâ_sA¬Agenetic studies have suggested that these two AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"super-speciesAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø in fact consist of a number of isolated forms, with contrasting ecologies and longevities, which in Recent and sub-Recent sediments can be distinguished either on the basis of pore ultrastructure (Gl. siphonifera) or test colouration (Gs. ruber). In both cases, molecular clock estimates are indicative of ancient (7-11 Ma) intra-species cryptic divergences, which seem to be considerably older than fossil dates. In particular, the calculated molecular split between the two forms of Gs. ruber (AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"whiteAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø and AƒAøAøâ_sA¬A<Å"pinkAƒAøAøâ_sA¬Aøâ_zAø) of around 11 Ma is considerably discordant with the fossil date of around 0.7 Ma. At first glance, this may appear to be a classic case of molecular over-estimation, often a feature of clock models, especially where, as in the foraminifera, substitution rates may vary widely. However, there is good reason to suspect that fossil range of the

  3. First direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level trophic chain in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriwet, Jürgen; Witzmann, Florian; Klug, Stefanie; Heidtke, Ulrich H J

    2008-01-22

    We describe the first known occurrence of a Permian shark specimen preserving two temnospondyl amphibians in its digestive tract as well as the remains of an acanthodian fish, which was ingested by one of the temnospondyls. This exceptional find provides for the first time direct evidence of a vertebrate three-level food chain in the fossil record with the simultaneous preservation of three trophic levels. Our analysis shows that small-sized Lower Permian xenacanthid sharks of the genus Triodus preyed on larval piscivorous amphibians. The recorded trophic interaction can be explained by the adaptation of certain xenacanthids to fully freshwater environments and the fact that in these same environments, large temnospondyls occupied the niche of modern crocodiles. This unique faunal association has not been documented after the Permian and Triassic. Therefore, this Palaeozoic three-level food chain provides strong and independent support for changes in aquatic trophic chain structures through time.

  4. Molecular decay of the tooth gene Enamelin (ENAM mirrors the loss of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Meredith

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Vestigial structures occur at both the anatomical and molecular levels, but studies documenting the co-occurrence of morphological degeneration in the fossil record and molecular decay in the genome are rare. Here, we use morphology, the fossil record, and phylogenetics to predict the occurrence of "molecular fossils" of the enamelin (ENAM gene in four different orders of placental mammals (Tubulidentata, Pholidota, Cetacea, Xenarthra with toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Our results support the "molecular fossil" hypothesis and demonstrate the occurrence of frameshift mutations and/or stop codons in all toothless and enamelless taxa. We then use a novel method based on selection intensity estimates for codons (omega to calculate the timing of iterated enamel loss in the fossil record of aardvarks and pangolins, and further show that the molecular evolutionary history of ENAM predicts the occurrence of enamel in basal representatives of Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters, armadillos even though frameshift mutations are ubiquitous in ENAM sequences of living xenarthrans. The molecular decay of ENAM parallels the morphological degeneration of enamel in the fossil record of placental mammals and provides manifest evidence for the predictive power of Darwin's theory.

  5. The completeness of the fossil record of plesiosaurs, marine reptiles from the Mesozoic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel L. Tutin

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Plesiosaurs were a highly successful group of marine reptiles occurring worldwide in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but to date few studies have focused on their preservation through time. Here, we conduct the first detailed assessment of the quality of the plesiosaur fossil record. Data was compiled for 178 specimens representing 114 valid species. For each species we calculated the character completeness metric (CCM: percentage of phylogenetic characters from a cladistic dataset that can be scored for that species and the skeletal completeness metric (SCM: percentage of the overall skeleton that is preserved for that species. Average CCM and SCM values were calculated for individual geological stages. A strong significant positive correlation was recovered between CCM and SCM, suggesting that the two metrics are recording the same signal, at least for this clade. Although a significant correlation between changes in sea level and changes in plesiosaur completeness was not recovered, an underlying negative relationship may be present but obscured by poorly sampled time bins. Plesiosaur completeness though time is not significantly correlated with that for contemporary terrestrial groups (sauropods, pterosaurs, birds, but is significantly correlated with that for ichthyosaurs, suggesting common controls on skeletal preservation in the marine realm. Significantly higher median completeness values in plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs than in contemporary terrestrial groups support the hypothesis that the marine tetrapod fossil record is more complete than that of terrestrial tetrapods. A collector’s curve for plesiosaurs shows a generally slow constant rate of discovery from the latter part of the 19th century until the 1990s, at which point the rate of discovery increased substantially and shows no sign of slowing. A significant but very weak negative correlation between SCM and the year in which a taxon was named suggests a weak tendency for more

  6. The completeness of the fossil record of plesiosaurs, marine reptiles from the Mesozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tutin, Samuel L; Butler, Richard J

    2017-01-01

    Plesiosaurs were a highly successful group of marine reptiles occurring worldwide in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but to date few studies have focused on their preservation through time. Here, we conduct the first detailed assessment of the quality of the plesiosaur fossil record. Data was compiled for 178 specimens representing 114 valid species. For each species we calculated the character completeness metric (CCM: percentage of phylogenetic characters from a cladistic dataset that can be scored for that species) and the skeletal completeness metric (SCM: percentage of the overall skeleton that is preserved for that species). Average CCM and SCM values were calculated for individual geological stages. A strong significant positive correlation was recovered between CCM and SCM, suggesting that the two metrics are recording the same signal, at least for this clade. Although a significant correlation between changes in sea level and changes in plesiosaur completeness was not recovered, an underlying negative relationship may be present but obscured by poorly sampled time bins. Plesiosaur completeness though time is not significantly correlated with that for contemporary terrestrial groups (sauropods, pterosaurs, birds), but is significantly correlated with that for ichthyosaurs, suggesting common controls on skeletal preservation in the marine realm. Significantly higher median completeness values in plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs than in contemporary terrestrial groups support the hypothesis that the marine tetrapod fossil record is more complete than that of terrestrial tetrapods. A collector's curve for plesiosaurs shows a generally slow constant rate of discovery from the latter part of the 19 th century until the 1990s, at which point the rate of discovery increased substantially and shows no sign of slowing. A significant but very weak negative correlation between SCM and the year in which a taxon was named suggests a weak tendency for more recently named

  7. Chemotaxonomy in some Mediterranean plants and implications for fossil biomarker records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norström, Elin; Katrantsiotis, Christos; Smittenberg, Rienk H.; Kouli, Katerina

    2017-12-01

    The increasing utilization of n-alkanes as plant-derived paleo-environmental proxies calls for improved chemotaxonomic control of the modern flora in order to calibrate fossil sediment records to modern analogues. Several recent studies have investigated long-chain n-alkane concentrations and chain-length distributions in species from various vegetation biomes, but up to date, the Mediterranean flora is relatively unexplored in this respect. Here, we analyse the n-alkane concentrations and chain-length distributions in some of the most common species of the modern macchia and phrygana vegetation in south western Peloponnese, Greece. We show that the drought adapted phrygana herbs and shrubs, as well as some of the sclerophyll and gymnosperm macchia components, produce high concentrations of n-alkanes, on average more than double n-alkane production in local wetland reed vegetation. Furthermore, the chain-length distribution in the analysed plants is related to plant functionality, with longer chain lengths associated with higher drought adaptive capacities, probably as a response to long-term evolutionary processes in a moisture limited environment. Furthermore, species with relatively higher average chain lengths (ACL) showed more enriched carbon isotope composition in their tissues (δ13Cplant), suggesting a dual imprint from both physiological and biochemical drought adaptation. The findings have bearings on interpretation of fossil sedimentary biomarker records in the Mediterranean region, which is discussed in relation to a case study from Agios Floros fen, Messenian plain, Peloponnese. The 6000 year long n-alkane record from Agios Floros (ACL, δ13Cwax) is linked to the modern analogue and then evaluated through a comparison with other regional-wide as well as local climate and vegetation proxy-data. The high concentration of long chain n-alkanes in phrygana vegetation suggests a dominating imprint from this vegetation type in sedimentary archives from this

  8. The taphonomy of unmineralised Palaeozoic fossils preserved as siliciclastic moulds and casts, and their utility in assessing the interaction between environmental change and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGabhann, Breandán; Schiffbauer, James; Hagadorn, James; Van Roy, Peter; Lynch, Edward; Morrsion, Liam; Murray, John

    2015-04-01

    biopolymers, and that these tissues were preferentially fossilised by the formation of an early diagenic mould directly on the organic surfaces. Excess divalent iron ions, produced during decay of more labile tissues by means of bacterial iron reduction, would have adsorbed to anionic functional groups in the biopolymeric tissues. This would have provided a ready substrate for the formation and growth of such an early diagenic mineralised mould, including aluminosilicate minerals produced via reaction with seawater silica and metal ions, and iron sulphide minerals produced via reaction with hydrogen sulphide and free sulphur produced from seawater sulphate through bacterial sulphate reduction associated with further decay. Subsequent weathering would have oxidised such iron sulphides to oxides and oxyhydroxides. This taphonomic model supports the lack of utility of the eldonid palaeobiological record in analysing environmental influence on biological communities, due to the lack of preservation of key anatomical components. However, it also suggests that the very occurrence of fossils preserved in this style is dependent on extrinsic palaeoenvironmental factors - including pH, Eh, and the concentration of other ions in the contemporaneous seawater. Analyses of the distribution of fossils preserved in this style may therefore provide information on ambient conditions which may have affected the distribution of contemporaneous mineralised fossils, potentially allowing a more complete analysis of the effects of palaeoenvironmental change on fossil ecosystems.

  9. New Biogeographic insight into Bauhinia s.l. (Leguminosae): integration from fossil records and molecular analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Hong-Hu; Jacques, Frédéric Mb; Su, Tao; Huang, Yong-Jiang; Zhang, Shi-Tao; Ma, Hong-Jie; Zhou, Zhe-Kun

    2014-08-10

    Given that most species that have ever existed on earth are extinct, it stands to reason that the evolutionary history can be better understood with fossil taxa. Bauhinia is a typical genus of pantropical intercontinental disjunction among the Asian, African, and American continents. Geographic distribution patterns are better recognized when fossil records and molecular sequences are combined in the analyses. Here, we describe a new macrofossil species of Bauhinia from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan County, Southeast Yunnan, China, and elucidate the biogeographic significance through the analyses of molecules and fossils. Morphometric analysis demonstrates that the leaf shapes of B. acuminata, B. championii, B. chalcophylla, B. purpurea, and B. podopetala closely resemble the leaf shapes of the new finding fossil. Phylogenetic relationships among the Bauhinia species were reconstructed using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference, which inferred that species in Bauhinia species are well-resolved into three main groups. Divergence times were estimated by the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method under a relaxed clock, and inferred that the stem diversification time of Bauhinia was ca. 62.7 Ma. The Asian lineage first diverged at ca. 59.8 Ma, followed by divergence of the Africa lineage starting during the late Eocene, whereas that of the neotropical lineage starting during the middle Miocene. Hypotheses relying on vicariance or continental history to explain pantropical disjunct distributions are dismissed because they require mostly Palaeogene and older tectonic events. We suggest that Bauhinia originated in the middle Paleocene in Laurasia, probably in Asia, implying a possible Tethys Seaway origin or an "Out of Tropical Asia", and dispersal of legumes. Its present pantropical disjunction resulted from disruption of the boreotropical flora by climatic cooling after the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). North Atlantic land

  10. From Fossils to Astrobiology Records of Life on Earth and Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    CERN Document Server

    Seckbach, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos. In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies. The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond. This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusi...

  11. Early Pliocene anuran fossils from Kanapoi, Kenya, and the first fossil record for the African burrowing frog Hemisus (Neobatrachia: Hemisotidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delfino, Massimo

    2017-07-13

    Isolated amphibian bones from the early Pliocene of Kanapoi (West Turkana, Kenya) help to improve the scarce fossil record of the late Neogene and Quaternary amphibians from East Africa. All currently available 579 bones are referable exclusively to the Anura (frogs and toads). More than half of the remains (366) are identified as Hemisus cf. Hemisus marmoratus, an extant species that still inhabits Kenya, but apparently not the northwest of the country and the Turkana area in particular. The rest of the remains are identified simply as Anura indet. because of poor preservation or non congruence with the relatively few African extant taxa whose osteology is known in detail. The Hemisus material represents the first fossil record for Hemisotidae, an endemic African family of peculiar, head-first burrowing frogs, whose sister taxon relationships indicate a divergence from brevicipitids in the Late Cretaceous or early Paleocene. The ecological requirements of extant H. marmoratus suggest that the Kanapoi area surrounding the fluvial and deltaic settings, from where the fossil remains of vertebrates were buried, was likely a grassland or relatively dry, open low tree-shrub savanna. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. New Miocene sulid birds from Peru and considerations on their Neogene fossil record in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Stucchi

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Boobies and gannets (family Sulidae are the most specialized plunge divers among seabirds. Their fossil record along the Pacific coast of South America extends to the early Middle Miocene. Here we describe three new species of sulids: Sula brandi sp. nov., Sula figueroae sp. nov., and Ramphastosula aguirrei sp. nov., from the early Late Miocene of the Pisco Formation (Peru. Two of them are relatives of the living genus Sula, which represents medium and large-sized boobies. A new species of the extinct genus Ramphastosula is also described, adding to the discussion of possible alternative feeding strategies among sulids. The fossil record suggests that sympatric sulids exhibit different body sizes at least since the Oligocene epoch, a strategy related with resource partitioning. Furthermore, we find current analysis and knowledge of the fossil record unsuitable to evaluate properly seabird diversity changes through time.

  13. New Eocene Coleoid (Cephalopoda Diversity from Statolith Remains: Taxonomic Assignation, Fossil Record Analysis, and New Data for Calibrating Molecular Phylogenies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Neige

    Full Text Available New coleoid cephalopods are described from statolith remains from the Middle Eocene (Middle Lutetian of the Paris Basin. Fifteen fossil statoliths are identified and assigned to the Sepiidae (Sepia boletzkyi sp. nov.,? Sepia pira sp. nov., Loliginidae (Loligo clarkei sp. nov., and Ommastrephidae (genus indet. families. The sediments containing these fossils indicate permanent aquatic settings in the infralittoral domain. These sediments range in age from 46 Mya to 43 Mya. Analysis of the fossil record of statoliths (from findings described here, together with a review of previously published data indicates marked biases in our knowledge. Fossil statoliths are known from as far back as the Early Jurassic (199.3 to 190.8 Mya but surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, no record occurs in the Cretaceous. This is a "knowledge bias" and clearly calls for further studies. Finally, we attempt to compare findings described here with fossils previously used to constrain divergence and/or diversification ages of some coleoid subclades in molecular phylogenies. This comparison clearly indicates that the new records detailed here will challenge some estimated divergence times of coleoid cephalopod subclades.

  14. New Eocene Coleoid (Cephalopoda) Diversity from Statolith Remains: Taxonomic Assignation, Fossil Record Analysis, and New Data for Calibrating Molecular Phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neige, Pascal; Lapierre, Hervé; Merle, Didier

    2016-01-01

    New coleoid cephalopods are described from statolith remains from the Middle Eocene (Middle Lutetian) of the Paris Basin. Fifteen fossil statoliths are identified and assigned to the Sepiidae (Sepia boletzkyi sp. nov.,? Sepia pira sp. nov.), Loliginidae (Loligo clarkei sp. nov.), and Ommastrephidae (genus indet.) families. The sediments containing these fossils indicate permanent aquatic settings in the infralittoral domain. These sediments range in age from 46 Mya to 43 Mya. Analysis of the fossil record of statoliths (from findings described here, together with a review of previously published data) indicates marked biases in our knowledge. Fossil statoliths are known from as far back as the Early Jurassic (199.3 to 190.8 Mya) but surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, no record occurs in the Cretaceous. This is a "knowledge bias" and clearly calls for further studies. Finally, we attempt to compare findings described here with fossils previously used to constrain divergence and/or diversification ages of some coleoid subclades in molecular phylogenies. This comparison clearly indicates that the new records detailed here will challenge some estimated divergence times of coleoid cephalopod subclades.

  15. Caught in the act: the first record of copulating fossil vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Walter G; Micklich, Norbert; Schaal, Stephan F K; Scheyer, Torsten M

    2012-10-23

    The behaviour of fossil organisms can typically be inferred only indirectly, but rare fossil finds can provide surprising insights. Here, we report from the Eocene Messel Pit Fossil Site between Darmstadt and Frankfurt, Germany numerous pairs of the fossil carettochelyid turtle Allaeochelys crassesculpta that represent for the first time among fossil vertebrates couples that perished during copulation. Females of this taxon can be distinguished from males by their relatively shorter tails and development of plastral kinesis. The preservation of mating pairs has important taphonomic implications for the Messel Pit Fossil Site, as it is unlikely that the turtles would mate in poisonous surface waters. Instead, the turtles initiated copulation in habitable surface waters, but perished when their skin absorbed poisons while sinking into toxic layers. The mating pairs from Messel are therefore more consistent with a stratified, volcanic maar lake with inhabitable surface waters and a deadly abyss.

  16. Species-energy relationship in the deep sea: A test using the Quaternary fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, G.; Cronin, T. M.; Roy, K.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the processes regulating species richness in deep-sea communities. Here we take advantage of natural experiments involving climate change to test whether predictions of the species-energy hypothesis hold in the deep sea. In addition, we test for the relationship between temperature and species richness predicted by a recent model based on biochemical kinetics of metabolism. Using the deep-sea fossil record of benthic foraminifera and statistical meta-analyses of temperature-richness and productivity-richness relationships in 10 deep-sea cores, we show that temperature but not productivity is a significant predictor of species richness over the past c. 130 000 years. Our results not only show that the temperature-richness relationship in the deep-sea is remarkably similar to that found in terrestrial and shallow marine habitats, but also that species richness tracks temperature change over geological time, at least on scales of c. 100 000 years. Thus, predicting biotic response to global climate change in the deep sea would require better understanding of how temperature regulates the occurrences and geographical ranges of species. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. First forensic records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Queiroz

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of this study was to describe the first records of termite activity on non-fossilized human bones in Brazil. The cases reported in this study resulted from forensic analysis of six human skeletons found in northeastern Brazil between 2012 and 2014. Traces of tunnels and nests commonly produced by termites were found on several human bone surfaces as well as the specimens and characteristic signs of osteophagic activity. In four cases, the species were identified: Amitermes amifer Silvestri, 1901, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky, 1855 (on two skeletons, and Microcerotermes indistinctus Mathews, 1977. In two other cases, the activity of termites on bone surfaces was evidenced by remains of nests and tunnels produced by these insects. At least in the samples of human remains available for this report, the number of termites collected was greater on bones found during autumn, the rainy season in the Northeast of Brazil. The human bones examined showed termites like insects with lots of strength at bone degradation, capable of continuing the process of decomposition of human remains even in completely skeletonized bodies.

  18. A multi-calibrated mitochondrial phylogeny of extant Bovidae (Artiodactyla, Ruminantia) and the importance of the fossil record to systematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bibi, Faysal

    2013-08-08

    Molecular phylogenetics has provided unprecedented resolution in the ruminant evolutionary tree. However, molecular age estimates using only one or a few (often misapplied) fossil calibration points have produced a diversity of conflicting ages for important evolutionary events within this clade. I here identify 16 fossil calibration points of relevance to the phylogeny of Bovidae and Ruminantia and use these, individually and together, to construct a dated molecular phylogeny through a reanalysis of the full mitochondrial genome of over 100 ruminant species. The new multi-calibrated tree provides ages that are younger overall than found in previous studies. Among these are young ages for the origin of crown Ruminantia (39.3-28.8 Ma), and crown Bovidae (17.3-15.1 Ma). These are argued to be reasonable hypotheses given that many basal fossils assigned to these taxa may in fact lie on the stem groups leading to the crown clades, thus inflating previous age estimates. Areas of conflict between molecular and fossil dates do persist, however, especially with regard to the base of the rapid Pecoran radiation and the sister relationship of Moschidae to Bovidae. Results of the single-calibrated analyses also show that a very wide range of molecular age estimates are obtainable using different calibration points, and that the choice of calibration point can influence the topology of the resulting tree. Compared to the single-calibrated trees, the multi-calibrated tree exhibits smaller variance in estimated ages and better reflects the fossil record. The use of a large number of vetted fossil calibration points with soft bounds is promoted as a better approach than using just one or a few calibrations, or relying on internal-congruency metrics to discard good fossil data. This study also highlights the importance of considering morphological and ecological characteristics of clades when delimiting higher taxa. I also illustrate how phylogeographic and paleoenvironmental

  19. Earliest life on earth

    CERN Document Server

    Golding, Suzanne D

    2010-01-01

    This volume integrates the latest findings on earliest life forms, identified and characterized in some of the oldest rocks on Earth. It places emphasis on the integration of analytical methods with observational techniques and experimental simulations.

  20. The origin of snakes: revealing the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary history of early snakes using genomics, phenomics, and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiang, Allison Y; Field, Daniel J; Webster, Timothy H; Behlke, Adam D B; Davis, Matthew B; Racicot, Rachel A; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2015-05-20

    The highly derived morphology and astounding diversity of snakes has long inspired debate regarding the ecological and evolutionary origin of both the snake total-group (Pan-Serpentes) and crown snakes (Serpentes). Although speculation abounds on the ecology, behavior, and provenance of the earliest snakes, a rigorous, clade-wide analysis of snake origins has yet to be attempted, in part due to a dearth of adequate paleontological data on early stem snakes. Here, we present the first comprehensive analytical reconstruction of the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of the snake total-group, as inferred using multiple methods of ancestral state reconstruction. We use a combined-data approach that includes new information from the fossil record on extinct crown snakes, new data on the anatomy of the stem snakes Najash rionegrina, Dinilysia patagonica, and Coniophis precedens, and a deeper understanding of the distribution of phenotypic apomorphies among the major clades of fossil and Recent snakes. Additionally, we infer time-calibrated phylogenies using both new 'tip-dating' and traditional node-based approaches, providing new insights on temporal patterns in the early evolutionary history of snakes. Comprehensive ancestral state reconstructions reveal that both the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of total-group snakes were nocturnal, widely foraging, non-constricting stealth hunters. They likely consumed soft-bodied vertebrate and invertebrate prey that was subequal to head size, and occupied terrestrial settings in warm, well-watered, and well-vegetated environments. The snake total-group - approximated by the Coniophis node - is inferred to have originated on land during the middle Early Cretaceous (~128.5 Ma), with the crown-group following about 20 million years later, during the Albian stage. Our inferred divergence dates provide strong evidence for a major radiation of henophidian snake diversity in the wake of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K

  1. Evolutionary History of the Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae): Integrative Approaches to Timetree Dating in the Absence of a Fossil Record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahony, Stephen; Foley, Nicole M; Biju, S D; Teeling, Emma C

    2017-03-01

    Molecular dating studies typically need fossils to calibrate the analyses. Unfortunately, the fossil record is extremely poor or presently nonexistent for many species groups, rendering such dating analysis difficult. One such group is the Asian horned frogs (Megophryinae). Sampling all generic nomina, we combined a novel ∼5 kb dataset composed of four nuclear and three mitochondrial gene fragments to produce a robust phylogeny, with an extensive external morphological study to produce a working taxonomy for the group. Expanding the molecular dataset to include out-groups of fossil-represented ancestral anuran families, we compared the priorless RelTime dating method with the widely used prior-based Bayesian timetree method, MCMCtree, utilizing a novel combination of fossil priors for anuran phylogenetic dating. The phylogeny was then subjected to ancestral phylogeographic analyses, and dating estimates were compared with likely biogeographic vicariant events. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that previously proposed systematic hypotheses were incorrect due to the paraphyly of genera. Molecular phylogenetic, morphological, and timetree results support the recognition of Megophryinae as a single genus, Megophrys, with a subgenus level classification. Timetree results using RelTime better corresponded with the known fossil record for the out-group anuran tree. For the priorless in-group, it also outperformed MCMCtree when node date estimates were compared with likely influential historical biogeographic events, providing novel insights into the evolutionary history of this pan-Asian anuran group. Given a relatively small molecular dataset, and limited prior knowledge, this study demonstrates that the computationally rapid RelTime dating tool may outperform more popular and complex prior reliant timetree methodologies. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For

  2. Fossil Crinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Hans; Ausich, William I.; Brett, Carlton E.; Simms, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Crinoids have graced the oceans for more than 500 million years. Among the most attractive fossils, crinoids had a key role in the ecology of marine communities through much of the fossil record, and their remains are prominent rock forming constituents of many limestones. This is the first comprehensive volume to bring together their form and function, classification, evolutionary history, occurrence, preservation and ecology. The main part of the book is devoted to assemblages of intact fossil crinoids, which are described in their geological setting in twenty-three chapters ranging from the Ordovician to the Tertiary. The final chapter deals with living sea lilies and feather stars. The volume is exquisitely illustrated with abundant photographs and line drawings of crinoids from sites around the world. This authoritative account recreates a fascinating picture of fossil crinoids for paleontologists, geologists, evolutionary and marine biologists, ecologists and amateur fossil collectors.

  3. Fossil isotope records of seasonal climate and ecology: Straight from the horse's mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Z. D.; Cerling, T. E.

    1998-03-01

    Isotope analysis of a bulk fossil tooth gives a “snapshot” impression of paleoclimatic conditions—a single point in time. However, hypsodont teeth grow over a period of a year or more, so that stable carbon and oxygen isotope variations along their length are a “tape recorder” of short-term seasonal variations from the distant past. We have used a new in situ micro-laser sampling method to determine submillimeter carbon and oxygen isotope variations in the enamel of individual fossil horse teeth to assess ancient annual meteoric water variations and feeding patterns. The δ18O values from a 6.8 Ma fossil horse tooth (Astrohippus ansae) from Texas vary cyclically along the 6 cm length of the tooth with a smoothed amplitude of >4‰, similar to the monthly averaged amplitude measured in modern meteoric waters from the region. The seasonal δ18O values are ˜3‰ to 4‰ higher than those calculated from modern meteoric water data, suggesting either a higher local meteoric water value in the Miocene of Texas, or that the animal received a high proportion of its dietary water from plants or highly evaporated water. A Holocene horse tooth from the shores of Glacial Lake Agassiz, North Dakota (Equus sp.), also has isotopic variations with the same 35 mm periodicity, but a smoothed amplitude of only 2‰. This horse most likely had a buffered drinking supply. The calculated δ18O of the water in equilibrium with this tooth is the same as the modern measured annual average. The variations within a single tooth can be as large as those generally observed in entire stratigraphic sections of fossil teeth analyzed by bulk methods. The new method provides an important technique for evaluating fossil diagenesis; conventional bulk analyses of teeth fragments may not be representative of the whole tooth, thus explaining analytical scatter that has been previously attributed to diagenesis.

  4. The fossil record as a tool in cyclo stratigraphy: the incidence of Milankovitch-scale palaeoenvironmental changes on palaeocommunities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez-Tovar, F. J.

    2013-06-01

    Cyclo stratigraphic analysis at the Milankovitch scale has to date mainly been approached through the sedimentary record, although palaeontological data (the fossil record) is known to provide useful evidence of orbital-scale cycles of precession, obliquity and eccentricity. Orbit ally induced marine and terrestrial palaeoenvironmental changes determine variable responses on the part of the resident communities. Aside from the disruption of communities, complex evolutionary responses including stasis, speciation and extinction phenomena may take place. Cyclic variations in the marine past-biota at the community level, or in some particular taxa, have often been associated with orbit ally induced changes in palaeoenvironmental parameters. Cyclo stratigraphic research into foraminifera, radiol aria and nanno fossil data, mainly from Cretaceous sediments, may contribute significantly to our understanding of the planktonic community's response, whereas the response of the benthic community, deriving mainly from benthic foraminifera and trace fossils, has been studied to a lesser extent. Recognition of Milankovitch cycles from terrestrial palaeocommunities is relatively scarce and based mainly on the study of Pliocene-Miocene pollen assemblages. Astronomical forced climate changes determine well known variations in the distribution of terrestrial vegetation, but can also affect the terrestrial animal community, including hominid populations (migration, dispersion and colonisation). (Author)

  5. Decay of velvet worms (Onychophora), and bias in the fossil record of lobopodians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdock, Duncan Je; Gabbott, Sarah E; Mayer, Georg; Purnell, Mark A

    2014-11-29

    Fossil lobopodians, including animals proposed to have close affinity to modern onychophorans, are crucial to understanding the evolution of the panarthropod body plan and the phylum-level relationships between the ecdysozoan groups. Unfortunately, the key features of their anatomy are un-mineralized and subject to biases introduced during death, decay and preservation, yet the extent to which these fossils have been affected by the processes of post-mortem decay is entirely untested. Recent experimental work on chordates has highlighted a profound bias caused by decay, resulting in the erroneous interpretation of badly decayed specimens as primitive members of a clade (stemward slippage). The degree to which this bias affects organisms other than chordates is unknown. Here we use experimental decay of velvet worms (Onychophora) to examine the importance of decay bias in fossil lobopodians. Although we find stemward slippage is not significant in the interpretation of non-mineralized lobopodian fossils, the affect of decay is far from unbiased. Quantitative analysis reveals significant changes in body proportions during decay, a spectrum of decay resistance across anatomical features, and correlated decay of topologically associated characters. These results have significant implications for the interpretation of fossil lobopodian remains, demonstrating that features such as body outline and relative proportions are unreliable for taxonomy or phylogenetic reconstruction, unless decay is taken into account. Similarly, the non-independent loss of characters, due to juxtaposition in the body, during decay has the potential to bias phylogenetic analyses of non-biomineralized fossils. Our results are difficult to reconcile with interpretations of highly decay-prone tissues and structures, such as neural tissue, and complex musculature, in recently described Cambrian lobopodians. More broadly, we hypothesize that stemward slippage is unlikely to be a significant factor

  6. The consequences of time averaging for measuring temporal species turnover in the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomašových, Adam; Kidwell, Susan

    2010-05-01

    Modeling time averaging effects with simple simulations allows us to evaluate the magnitude of change in temporal species turnover that is expected to occur in long (paleoecological) time series with fossil assemblages. Distinguishing different modes of metacommunity dynamics (such as neutral, density-dependent, or trade-off dynamics) with time-averaged fossil assemblages requires scaling-up time-averaging effects because the decrease in temporal resolution and the decrease in temporal inter-sample separation (i.e., the two main effects of time averaging) substantially increase community stability relative to assemblages without or with weak time averaging. Large changes in temporal scale that cover centuries to millennia can lead to unprecedented effects on temporal rate of change in species composition. Temporal variation in species composition monotonically decreases with increasing duration of time-averaging in simulated fossil assemblages. Time averaging is also associated with the reduction of species dominance owing to the temporal switching in the identity of dominant species. High degrees of time averaging can cause that community parameters of local fossil assemblages converge to parameters of metacommunity rather that to parameters of individual local non-averaged communities. We find that the low variation in species composition observed among mollusk and ostracod subfossil assemblages can be explained by time averaging alone, and low temporal resolution and reduced temporal separation among assemblages in time series can thus explain a substantial part of the reduced variation in species composition relative to unscaled predictions of neutral model (i.e., species do not differ in birth, death, and immigration rates on per capita basis). The structure of time-averaged assemblages can thus provide important insights into processes that act over larger temporal scales, such as evolution of niches and dispersal, range-limit dynamics, taxon cycles, and

  7. Mesozoic Coleopteran Faunas from Argentina: Geological Context, Diversity, Taphonomic Observations, and Comparison with Other Fossil Insect Records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Lara

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The order Coleoptera is the most diversified group of the Class Insecta and is the largest group of the Animal Kingdom. This contribution reviews the Mesozoic insects and especially the coleopteran records from Argentina, based on bibliographical and unpublished materials (86 described species, 526 collected specimens. The material came from different geological units from the late Middle Triassic to the Late Triassic (Bermejo, Cuyo, and Malargüe basins to the Middle-Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (Deseado Massif, Cañadón Asfalto, and San Luís Basin. The coleopteran record is composed of 29 described species with 262 collected specimens (isolated elytra mainly represented by Triassic species and only four specimens recorded in Jurassic units, all of them currently unpublished. These fossil coleopterans provide fundamental information about the evolution of insects in the Southern Hemisphere and confirm the Triassic Argentinean insect deposits to be among the most important in the world.

  8. FIRST RECORD OF FOSSIL CYSTOPHORINAE (CARNIVORA, PHOCIDAE: MIDDLE MIOCENE SEALS FROM THE NORTHERN PARATETHYS

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    IRINA A. KORETSKY

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite a long history of phocid studies, no fossil members of the Subfamily Cystophorinae have ever been described. New fossil material from the Middle Sarmatian (11.2-12.3 Ma in the Paratethyan Basin of Ukraine allows emended diagnoses and redescriptions to help clarify phylogenetic relationships within the Family Phocidae. After cladistic and morphological analyses of the material, a new genus ( Pachyphoca  was erected, with two new species of extinct fossil true seals ( Pachyphoca ukrainica and Pachyphoca chapskii , belonging to the Subfamily Cystophorinae. This new material shows exceptional pachyosteosclerotic bones, which is uncommon for the family as a whole. The new Miocene genus shares numerous characters with several Recent species of Cystophora and Mirounga , providing the first opportunity to study sexual dimorphism of limb bones and mandibles in the Subfamily Cystophorinae. Sexual dimorphism in postcranial bones and mandibles in living members of Cystophorinae is more obvious than in other representatives of true seals. Examination of anatomical traits demonstrated that both new species are more primitive and better adapted for terrestrial locomotion than any living representatives of Cystophorinae. The smaller Pachyphoca ukrainica is more adapted to terrestrial locomotion than its larger relative, P . chapskii . Phylogenetic analysis suggests that seals with 10 incisors (Phocinae are more primitive than those with 8 (Monachinae, and that Monachinae are more primitive than seals with 6 incisors (Cystophorinae.These findings indicate that the Subfamily Cystophorinae includes not only elephant and hooded seals, but also the two new Middle Sarmatian pachyosteosclerotic seals. 

  9. Individual to Community-Level Faunal Responses to Environmental Change from a Marine Fossil Record of Early Miocene Global Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belanger, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Modern climate change has a strong potential to shift earth systems and biological communities into novel states that have no present-day analog, leaving ecologists with no observational basis to predict the likely biotic effects. Fossil records contain long time-series of past environmental changes outside the range of modern observation, which are vital for predicting future ecological responses, and are capable of (a) providing detailed information on rates of ecological change, (b) illuminating the environmental drivers of those changes, and (c) recording the effects of environmental change on individual physiological rates. Outcrops of Early Miocene Newport Member of the Astoria Formation (Oregon) provide one such time series. This record of benthic foraminiferal and molluscan community change from continental shelf depths spans a past interval environmental change (∼20.3-16.7 mya) during which the region warmed 2.1–4.5°C, surface productivity and benthic organic carbon flux increased, and benthic oxygenation decreased, perhaps driven by intensified upwelling as on the modern Oregon coast. The Newport Member record shows that (a) ecological responses to natural environmental change can be abrupt, (b) productivity can be the primary driver of faunal change during global warming, (c) molluscs had a threshold response to productivity change while foraminifera changed gradually, and (d) changes in bivalve body size and growth rates parallel changes in taxonomic composition at the community level, indicating that, either directly or indirectly through some other biological parameter, the physiological tolerances of species do influence community change. Ecological studies in modern and fossil records that consider multiple ecological levels, environmental parameters, and taxonomic groups can provide critical information for predicting future ecological change and evaluating species vulnerability. PMID:22558424

  10. Revisiting the origin and diversification of vascular plants through a comprehensive Bayesian analysis of the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestro, Daniele; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Bacon, Christine D; Antonelli, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    Plants have a long evolutionary history, during which mass extinction events dramatically affected Earth's ecosystems and its biodiversity. The fossil record can shed light on the diversification dynamics of plant life and reveal how changes in the origination-extinction balance have contributed to shaping the current flora. We use a novel Bayesian approach to estimate origination and extinction rates in plants throughout their history. We focus on the effect of the 'Big Five' mass extinctions and on estimating the timing of origin of vascular plants, seed plants and angiosperms. Our analyses show that plant diversification is characterized by several shifts in origination and extinction rates, often matching the most important geological boundaries. The estimated origin of major plant clades predates the oldest macrofossils when considering the uncertainties associated with the fossil record and the preservation process. Our findings show that the commonly recognized mass extinctions have affected each plant group differently and that phases of high extinction often coincided with major floral turnovers. For instance, after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary we infer negligible shifts in diversification of nonflowering seed plants, but find significantly decreased extinction in spore-bearing plants and increased origination rates in angiosperms, contributing to their current ecological and evolutionary dominance. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. Microbe-like inclusions in tree resins and implications for the fossil record of protists in amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, V; Lausmaa, J; Sjövall, P; Ragazzi, E; Seyfullah, L J; Schmidt, A R

    2016-07-01

    During the past two decades, a plethora of fossil micro-organisms have been described from various Triassic to Miocene ambers. However, in addition to entrapped microbes, ambers commonly contain microscopic inclusions that sometimes resemble amoebae, ciliates, microfungi, and unicellular algae in size and shape, but do not provide further diagnostic features thereof. For a better assessment of the actual fossil record of unicellular eukaryotes in amber, we studied equivalent inclusions in modern resin of the Araucariaceae; this conifer family comprises important amber-producers in Earth history. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), we investigated the chemical nature of the inclusion matter and the resin matrix. Whereas the matrix, as expected, showed a more hydrocarbon/aromatic-dominated composition, the inclusions contain abundant salt ions and polar organics. However, the absence of signals characteristic for cellular biomass, namely distinctive proteinaceous amino acids and lipid moieties, indicates that the inclusions do not contain microbial cellular matter but salts and hydrophilic organic substances that probably derived from the plant itself. Rather than representing protists or their remains, these microbe-like inclusions, for which we propose the term 'pseudoinclusions', consist of compounds that are immiscible with the terpenoid resin matrix and were probably secreted in small amounts together with the actual resin by the plant tissue. Consequently, reports of protists from amber that are only based on the similarity of the overall shape and size to extant taxa, but do not provide relevant features at light-microscopical and ultrastructural level, cannot be accepted as unambiguous fossil evidence for these particular groups. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. High-resolution leaf-fossil record spanning the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K.R.; Nichols, D.J.; Attrep, M.; Orth, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    THEORIES that explain the extinctions characterizing the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary1-3 need to be tested by analyses of thoroughly sampled biotas. Palynological studies are the primary means for stratigraphic placement of the terrestrial boundary and for estimates of plant extinction4-12, but have not been combined with quantitative analyses of fossil leaves (megaflora). Megafloral studies complement palynology by representing local floras with assemblages capable of high taxonomic resolution13, but have previously lacked the sample size and stratigraphic spacing needed to resolve latest Cretaceous floral history5,14-18. We have now combined megafloral data from a 100-m-thick composite K/T boundary section in North Dakota with detailed palynological analysis. Here the boundary is marked by a 30% palynofloral extinction coincident with iridium and shocked-mineral anomalies and lies ???2 m above the highest dinosaur remains. The megaflora undergoes a 79% turnover across the boundary, and smaller changes 17- and 25-m below it. This pattern is consistent with latest Cretaceous climatic warming preceding a bolide impact. ?? 1989 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Pamela G; Purnell, Mark A; Crumpton, Nick; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J; Stampanoni, M; Rayfield, Emily J

    2014-08-21

    The origin and radiation of mammals are key events in the history of life, with fossils placing the origin at 220 million years ago, in the Late Triassic period. The earliest mammals, representing the first 50 million years of their evolution and including the most basal taxa, are widely considered to be generalized insectivores. This implies that the first phase of the mammalian radiation--associated with the appearance in the fossil record of important innovations such as heterodont dentition, diphyodonty and the dentary-squamosal jaw joint--was decoupled from ecomorphological diversification. Finds of exceptionally complete specimens of later Mesozoic mammals have revealed greater ecomorphological diversity than previously suspected, including adaptations for swimming, burrowing, digging and even gliding, but such well-preserved fossils of earlier mammals do not exist, and robust analysis of their ecomorphological diversity has previously been lacking. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis, using synchrotron X-ray tomography and analyses of biomechanics, finite element models and tooth microwear textures. We find significant differences in function and dietary ecology between two of the earliest mammaliaform taxa, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium--taxa that are central to the debate on mammalian evolution. Morganucodon possessed comparatively more forceful and robust jaws and consumed 'harder' prey, comparable to extant small-bodied mammals that eat considerable amounts of coleopterans. Kuehneotherium ingested a diet comparable to extant mixed feeders and specialists on 'soft' prey such as lepidopterans. Our results reveal previously hidden trophic specialization at the base of the mammalian radiation; hence even the earliest mammaliaforms were beginning to diversify--morphologically, functionally and ecologically. In contrast to the prevailing view, this pattern suggests that lineage splitting during the earliest stages of mammalian evolution was

  14. Extending the fossil record of Polytrichaceae: Early Cretaceous Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., permineralized gametophytes with gemma cups from Vancouver Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bippus, Alexander C; Stockey, Ruth A; Rothwell, Gar W; Tomescu, Alexandru M F

    2017-04-01

    Diverse in modern ecosystems, mosses are dramatically underrepresented in the fossil record. Furthermore, most pre-Cenozoic mosses are known only from compression fossils, lacking detailed anatomical information. When preserved, anatomy vastly improves resolution in the systematic placement of fossils. Lower Cretaceous deposits at Apple Bay (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) contain a diverse anatomically preserved flora that includes numerous bryophytes, many of which have yet to be characterized. Among them is a polytrichaceous moss that is described here. Fossil moss gametophytes preserved in four carbonate concretions were studied in serial sections prepared using the cellulose acetate peel technique. We describe Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., a polytrichaceous moss with terminal gemma cups containing stalked, lenticular gemmae. Leaves with characteristic costal anatomy, differentiated into sheathing base and free lamina and bearing photosynthetic lamellae, along with a conducting strand in the stem, place Meantoinea in family Polytrichaceae. The bistratose leaf lamina with an adaxial layer of mamillose cells, short photosynthetic lamellae restricted to the costa, and presence of gemma cups indicate affinities with basal members of the Polytrichaceae, such as Lyellia , Bartramiopsis , and Alophosia . Meantoinea alophosioides enriches the documented moss diversity of an already-diverse Early Cretaceous plant fossil assemblage. This is the third moss described from the Apple Bay plant fossil assemblage and represents the first occurrence of gemma cups in a fossil moss. It is also the oldest unequivocal record of Polytrichaceae, providing a hard minimum age for the group of 136 million years. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  15. Atmospheric methane isotopic record favors fossil sources flat in 1980s and 1990s with recent increase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Andrew L.; Butenhoff, Christopher L.; Teama, Doaa G.; Röger, Florian H.; Khalil, M. Aslam K.; Rasmussen, Reinhold A.

    2016-09-01

    Observations of atmospheric methane (CH4) since the late 1970s and measurements of CH4 trapped in ice and snow reveal a meteoric rise in concentration during much of the twentieth century. Since 1750, levels of atmospheric CH4 have more than doubled to current globally averaged concentration near 1,800 ppb. During the late 1980s and 1990s, the CH4 growth rate slowed substantially and was near or at zero between 1999 and 2006. There is no scientific consensus on the drivers of this slowdown. Here, we report measurements of the stable isotopic composition of atmospheric CH4 (13C/12C and D/H) from a rare air archive dating from 1977 to 1998. Together with more modern records of isotopic atmospheric CH4, we performed a time-dependent retrieval of methane fluxes spanning 25 y (1984-2009) using a 3D chemical transport model. This inversion results in a 24 [18, 27] Tg y-1 CH4 increase in fugitive fossil fuel emissions since 1984 with most of this growth occurring after year 2000. This result is consistent with some bottom-up emissions inventories but not with recent estimates based on atmospheric ethane. In fact, when forced with decreasing emissions from fossil fuel sources our inversion estimates unreasonably high emissions in other sources. Further, the inversion estimates a decrease in biomass-burning emissions that could explain falling ethane abundance. A range of sensitivity tests suggests that these results are robust.

  16. Seawater 234U/238U recorded by modern and fossil corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chutcharavan, Peter M.; Dutton, Andrea; Ellwood, Michael J.

    2018-03-01

    U-series dating of corals is a crucial tool for generating absolute chronologies of Late Quaternary sea-level change and calibrating the radiocarbon timescale. Unfortunately, coralline aragonite is susceptible to post-depositional alteration of its primary geochemistry. One screening technique used to identify unaltered corals relies on the back-calculation of initial 234U/238U activity (δ234Ui) at the time of coral growth and implicitly assumes that seawater δ234U has remained constant during the Late Quaternary. Here, we test this assumption using the most comprehensive compilation to date of coral U-series measurements. Unlike previous compilations, this study normalizes U-series measurements to the same decay constants and corrects for offsets in interlaboratory calibrations, thus reducing systematic biases between reported δ234U values. Using this approach, we reassess (a) the value of modern seawater δ234U, and (b) the evolution of seawater δ234U over the last deglaciation. Modern coral δ234U values (145.0 ± 1.5‰) agree with previous measurements of seawater and modern corals only once the data have been normalized. Additionally, fossil corals in the surface ocean display δ234Ui values that are ∼5-7‰ lower during the last glacial maximum regardless of site, taxon, or diagenetic setting. We conclude that physical weathering of U-bearing minerals exposed during ice sheet retreat drives the increase in δ234U observed in the oceans, a mechanism that is consistent with the interpretation of the seawater Pb-isotope signal over the same timescale.

  17. Arthropod eyes: The early Cambrian fossil record and divergent evolution of visual systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D; Fortey, Richard A; Land, Michael F; Liu, Yu; Cong, Peiyun; Hou, Xianguang

    2016-03-01

    evolution of sessile eyes equipped with optics typical of extant xiphosurans. Observations of fossil material, including that of trilobites and eurypterids, support the proposition that the ancestral compound eye was the apposition type. Cambrian arthropods include possible precursors of mandibulate eyes. The latter are the modified compound eyes, now sessile, and their underlying optic lobes exemplified by scutigeromorph chilopods, and the mobile stalked compound eyes and more elaborate optic lobes typifying Pancrustacea. Radical divergence from an ancestral apposition type is demonstrated by the evolution of chelicerate eyes, from doublet sessile-eyed stem-group taxa to special apposition eyes of xiphosurans, the compound eyes of eurypterids, and single-lens eyes of arachnids. Different eye types are discussed with respect to possible modes of life of the extinct species that possessed them, comparing these to extant counterparts and the types of visual centers the eyes might have served. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J; Meachen, Julie; O'Keefe, F Robin

    2015-04-21

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change.

  19. The fossil record of South American short-faced bears (Ursidae, Tremarctinae)

    OpenAIRE

    Bond, Mariano; Tonni, Eduardo Pedro; Soibelzon, Leopoldo Héctor

    2005-01-01

    The present study includes a review of the geographic and stratigraphic distribution of short-faced bears (Ursidae, Tremarctinae) in South America. In addition, the authors discuss biogeographic hypotheses regarding the origin of South American tremarctines. The Tremarctinae subfamily is distributed exclusively in America, from Alaska to southern Patagonia. Its biochron comprises the temporal lapse between Late Miocene and recent times; the first record of Tremarctinae in North America corres...

  20. Neotropical mammal diversity and the Great American Biotic Interchange: spatial and temporal variation in South America's fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, Juan D.; Forasiepi, Analía; Jaramillo, Carlos; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2015-01-01

    The vast mammal diversity of the Neotropics is the result of a long evolutionary history. During most of the Cenozoic, South America was an island continent with an endemic mammalian fauna. This isolation ceased during the late Neogene after the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, resulting in an event known as the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). In this study, we investigate biogeographic patterns in South America, just before or when the first immigrants are recorded and we review the temporal and geographical distribution of fossil mammals during the GABI. We performed a dissimilarity analysis which grouped the faunal assemblages according to their age and their geographic distribution. Our data support the differentiation between tropical and temperate assemblages in South America during the middle and late Miocene. The GABI begins during the late Miocene (~10–7 Ma) and the putative oldest migrations are recorded in the temperate region, where the number of GABI participants rapidly increases after ~5 Ma and this trend continues during the Pleistocene. A sampling bias toward higher latitudes and younger records challenges the study of the temporal and geographic patterns of the GABI. PMID:25601879

  1. Dating the Time of Origin of Major Clades: Molecular Clocks and the Fossil Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew B.; Peterson, Kevin J.

    Molecular and paleontological data provide independent means of estimating when groups of organisms evolved in the geological past, but neither approach can be considered straightforward. The single most fundamental obstacle to developing an accurate estimate of times of origination from gene sequence data is variation in rates of molecular evolution, both through time and among lineages. Although various techniques have been proposed to circumvent this problem, none unambiguously allow the components of time and rate to be separated. Furthermore, problems of establishing accurate calibration points, correctly rooted phylogenies, and accurate estimates of branch length remain formidable. Conversely, paleontological dates fix only the latest possible time of divergence, and so probabilistic methods are required to set a lower boundary on origination dates. Realistic confidence intervals that take preservational biases into account are only just becoming available. Although molecular and paleontological approaches to dating often agree reasonably well, there are two notable areas of disagreement; when mammal and bird orders originated and when the major phyla originated. The discrepancy in dating bird/mammal ordinal origins probably reflects a global rock-record bias. Paleontological sampling in the Late Cretaceous is still too restricted geographically to draw any firm conclusions about the existence of a pre-Tertiary record for modern orders of bird or mammal from anywhere other than North America. Dating the time of origin of phyla is more complicated, and is confounded by both preservational biases and problems of molecular clock estimation.

  2. A new fossil cichlid from the Middle Miocene in the East African Rift Valley (Tugen Hills, Central Kenya: First record of a putative Ectodini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Altner

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Identification of fossil cichlids is difficult, because the currently used diagnostic morphological characters for living cichlids are mostly soft tissue based and such characters are hardly preserved in fossils. During our recent fieldwork in the Central Kenya Rift (E-Africa, we discovered several exceptionally well-preserved fossil cichlids, which can be assigned to different lineages among the African Pseudocrenilabrinae. Here we present one of those new specimens. Its most conspicuous character is a lateral line divided into three segments. This specimen was found in the lacustrine sediments of the Middle Miocene site Waril, Tugen Hills, Kenya. The site represents the deposits of an ancient freshwater lake ca. 9-10 million years ago. Previous work on fossil leaves from the same site allow for the reconstruction of open vegetation surrounding the lake and pronounced dry seasons. Among the main further characteristics of the new fossil cichlid is a lachrimal with six lateral line canals, big cycloid scales and a low number of dorsal fin spines (XIII. The latter two characters are traceable in several members of tribes within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. However, a lachrimal with six lateral line canals is exclusively found in certain tribes of the EAR (East African Radiation within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. Moreover, the unique lateral line pattern is solely present in two genera of the EAR tribe Ectodini. However, the fossil shows cycloid scales, while modern Ectodini have ctenoid scales. Taken all evidence together, this fossil may perhaps represent an ancient lineage related to the Ectodini. Up to date, there is no definite fossil record of the members of the EAR. Our fossil may represent the first reliable calibration point for this group, which would be consistent with the previously reconstructed diversification time of the H-lineage (EAR tribes, except Boulengerochromini, Bathybatini, Trematocarini and Lamprologini and the Lamprologini ca

  3. When did Carcharocles megalodon become extinct? A new analysis of the fossil record.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Pimiento

    Full Text Available Carcharocles megalodon ("Megalodon" is the largest shark that ever lived. Based on its distribution, dental morphology, and associated fauna, it has been suggested that this species was a cosmopolitan apex predator that fed on marine mammals from the middle Miocene to the Pliocene (15.9-2.6 Ma. Prevailing theory suggests that the extinction of apex predators affects ecosystem dynamics. Accordingly, knowing the time of extinction of C. megalodon is a fundamental step towards understanding the effects of such an event in ancient communities. However, the time of extinction of this important species has never been quantitatively assessed. Here, we synthesize the most recent records of C. megalodon from the literature and scientific collections and infer the date of its extinction by making a novel use of the Optimal Linear Estimation (OLE model. Our results suggest that C. megalodon went extinct around 2.6 Ma. Furthermore, when contrasting our results with known ecological and macroevolutionary trends in marine mammals, it became evident that the modern composition and function of modern gigantic filter-feeding whales was established after the extinction of C. megalodon. Consequently, the study of the time of extinction of C. megalodon provides the basis to improve our understanding of the responses of marine species to the removal of apex predators, presenting a deep-time perspective for the conservation of modern ecosystems.

  4. Earth's earliest biosphere: Its origin and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schopf, J.W.

    1983-01-01

    Some of the subjects discussed are related to the early biogeologic history, the nature of the earth prior to the oldest known rock record, the early earth and the Archean rock record, the prebiotic organic syntheses and the origin of life, Precambrian organic geochemistry, the biochemical evolution of anaerobic energy conversion, the isotopic inferences of ancient biochemistries, Archean stromatolites providing evidence of the earth's earliest benthos, Archean microfossils, the geologic evolution of the Archean-Early Proterozoic earth, and the environmental evolution of the Archean-Early Proterozoic earth. Other topics examined are concerned with geochemical evidence bearing on the origin of aerobiosis, biological and biochemical effects of the development of an aerobic environment, Early Proterozoic microfossils, the evolution of earth's earliest ecosystems, and geographic and geologic data for processed rock samples. Attention is given to a processing procedure for abiotic samples and calculation of model atmospheric compositions, and procedures of organic geochemical analysis

  5. Present knowledge on the fossil mammals record from Chile; Estado actual del conocimiento de los mamiferos fosiles de Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canto, J.; Yanez, J.; Rovira, J.

    2010-07-01

    An updated revision is presented regarding fossil mammals of aquatic and terrestrial environments. This update includes up to year 2008. Those registrations of doubtful assignation or that couldn't be confirmed were not considered in this review. These new registrations are classified in four groups of time that extend from the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene to the Pleistocene-Recent. The evidence shows that the greatest quantity of fossils are concentrated from the Early Miocene to the Middle Miocene reaching 37 (41.5%) genus of a total of 77 and 54 (49.5%) fossil species of a total of 89. It is observed a significant increase in works devoted to paleontology of mammal fossils in Chile between 1981-2008. (Author)

  6. Mastritherium (Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae) from Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia; an earliest Miocene age for continental rift-valley volcanic deposits of the Red Sea margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, Gary T.; Schmidt, Dwight Lyman; Whitmore, Frank C.

    1983-01-01

    A lower jaw fragment with its last molar (M/3) from the Baid formation in Wadi Sabya, southwestern Saudi Arabia, represents the first recorded occurrence in the Arabian Peninsula of an anthracotheriid artiodactyl (hippo-like, even-toed ungulate). This fossil is identified as a primitive species of Masritherium, a North and East African genus restricted, previously to the later early Miocene. This identification indicates that the age of the Baid formation, long problematical, is early Miocene and, moreover, shows that the age of the fossil site is earliest Miocene (from 25 to 21Ma). The Wadi Sabya anthracothere is the first species of fossil mammal recorded from western Saudi Arabia, and more important, it indicates an early Miocene age for the volcanic deposits of a continental rift-valley that preceded the initial sea-floor spreading of the Red Sea.

  7. First record of lobed trace fossils in Brazil's Upper Cretaceous paleosols: Rhizoliths or evidence of insects and their social behavior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciano do Nascimento, Diego; Batezelli, Alessandro; Bernardes Ladeira, Francisco Sérgio

    2017-11-01

    This is the first report of trace fossils potentially associated with insect social behavior in sandy and well-drained paleosols of the Upper Cretaceous continental sequence of Brazil. The trace fossils consist of dozens of lobed and vertical structures cemented by CaCO3 and preserved mainly in full relief in paleosols of the Marilia Formation (Bauru Basin) in the state of Minas Gerais. The described ichnofossils are predominantly vertical, up to 2 m long, and are composed of horizontal lobed structures connected by vertical tunnel-like structures that intersect in the center and at the edges. The lobed structures range from 3 to 15 cm long and 2-6 cm thick. Two different hypotheses are analyzed to explain the origin of the trace fossils; the less probable one is that the structures are laminar calcretes associated with rhizoliths and rhizoconcretions. The hypothesis involving social insects was considered because the trace fossils described herein partially resemble a modern ant nest and the ichnofossil Daimoniobarax. The micromorphological analysis of the lobed and tunnel-like structures indicates modifications of the walls, such as the presence of inorganic fluidized linings, dark linings and oriented grains, supporting the hypothesis that they are chambers and shafts. The architecture and size of the reported nests suggest the possibility that social insect colonies existed during the Maastrichtian and are direct evidence of the social behavior and reproductive strategies of the Cretaceous pedofauna.

  8. A new commelinid monocot seed fossil from the early Eocene previously identified as Solanaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Särkinen, Tiina; Kottner, Sören; Stuppy, Wolfgang; Ahmed, Farah; Knapp, Sandra

    2018-01-01

    Fossils provide minimum age estimates for extant lineages. Here we critically evaluate Cantisolanum daturoides Reid & Chandler and two other early putative seed fossils of Solanaceae, an economically important plant family in the Asteridae. Three earliest seed fossil taxa of Solanaceae from the London Clay Formation (Cantisolanum daturoides) and the Poole and Branksome Sand Formations (Solanum arnense Chandler and Solanispermum reniforme Chandler) were studied using x-ray microcomputed tomography (MCT) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The MCT scans of Cantisolanum daturoides revealed a high level of pyrite preservation at the cellular level. Cantisolanum daturoides can be clearly excluded from Solanaceae and has more affinities to the commelinid monocots based on a straight longitudinal axis, a prominent single layer of relatively thin-walled cells in the testa, and a clearly differentiated micropyle surrounded by radially elongated and inwardly curved testal cells. While the MCT scans show no internal preservation in Solanum arnense and Solanispermum reniforme, SEM images show the presence of several characteristics that allow the placement of these taxa at the stem node of Solanaceae. Cantisolanum daturoides is likely a member of commelinid monocots and not Solanaceae as previously suggested. The earliest fossil record of Solanaceae is revised to consist of fruit fossil with inflated calyces from the early Eocene of Patagonia (52 Ma) and fossilized seeds from the early to mid-Eocene of Europe (48-46 Ma). The new identity for Cantisolanum daturoides does not alter a late Cretaceous minimum age for commelinids. © 2018 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Paleovegetation changes recorded by n-alkyl lipids bound in macromolecules of plant fossils and kerogens from the Cretaceous sediments in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyata, Y.; Sawada, K.; Nakamura, H.; Takashima, R.; Takahashi, M.

    2014-12-01

    Resistant macromolecules composing living plant tissues tend to be preserved through degradation and diagenesis, hence constituate major parts of sedimentary plant-derived organic matter (kerogen), and their monomer compositions vary widely among different plant taxa, organs and growth stages. Thus, analysis of such macromolecule may serve as new technique for paleobotanical evaluation distinctive from classical paleobotnical studies depends on morphological preservation of fossils. In the present study, we analyzed plant fossils and kerogens in sediments from the Cretaceous strata in Japan to examine chemotaxonomic characteristics of fossil macromolecules and to reconstruct paleovegetation change by kerogen analysis. The kerogens were separated from the powdered sediments of Cretaceous Yezo Group, Hokkaido, Japan. All kerogens have been confirmed to be mostly originated from land plant tissues by microscopic observation. Mummified angiosperm and gymnosperm fossil leaves were separated from carbonaceous sandstone of the Cretaceous Ashizawa Formation, Futaba Group. The kerogens and plant fossils were extracted with methanol and dichloromethane, and were subsequently refluxed under 110°C to remove free compounds completely. The residues are hydrolyzed by KOH/methanol under 110°C. These released compounds are analyzed by GC-MS. As main hydrolyzed products (ester-bound molecular units) from all kerogens, C10-C28 n-alkanoic acids and C10-C30 n-alkanols were detected. Recent studies on the hydrolysis products of plant tissues suggested the long chain (>C20) n-alkanols were predominantly abundant in deciduous broadleaved angiosperms. Correspondingly, the stratigraphic variation of the ratios of long chain (>C20) n-alkanols to fatty acids was concordant with the variation of angiosperm/gymnosperm ratios recorded by land plant-derived terpenoid biomarkers. In addition, we found that the long chain n-alkanols/fatty acids ratio in the angiosperm fossil leaf was

  10. Fossil Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sean; McLaughlin, Cheryl; MacFadden, Bruce; Jacobbe, Elizabeth; Poole, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Many young learners are fascinated with fossils, particularly charismatic forms such as dinosaurs and giant sharks. Fossils provide tangible, objective evidence of life that lived millions of years ago. They also provide a timescale of evolution not typically appreciated by young learners. Fossils and the science of paleontology can, therefore,…

  11. First fossil record of Alphonsea Hk. f. & T. (Annonaceae from the Late Oligocene sediments of Assam, India and comments on its phytogeography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaurav Srivastava

    Full Text Available A new fossil leaf impression of Alphonsea Hk. f. & T. of the family Annonaceae is described from the Late Oligocene sediments of Makum Coalfield, Assam, India. This is the first authentic record of the fossil of Alphonsea from the Tertiary rocks of South Asia. The Late Oligocene was the time of the last significant globally warm climate and the fossil locality was at 10°-15°N palaeolatitude. The known palaeoflora and sedimentological studies indicate a fluvio-marine deltaic environment with a mosaic of mangrove, fluvial, mire and lacustrine depositional environments. During the depositional period the suturing between the Indian and Eurasian plates was not complete to facilitate the plant migration. The suturing was over by the end of the Late Oligocene/beginning of Early Miocene resulting in the migration of the genus to Southeast Asia where it is growing profusely at present. The present study is in congruence with the earlier published palaeofloral and molecular phylogenetic data. The study also suggests that the Indian plate was not only a biotic ferry during its northward voyage from Gondwana to Asia but also a place for the origin of several plant taxa.

  12. Osteogenic tumour in Australopithecus sediba: Earliest hominin evidence for neoplastic disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick S. Randolph-Quinney

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available We describe the earliest evidence for neoplastic disease in the hominin lineage. This is reported from the type specimen of the extinct hominin Australopithecus sediba from Malapa, South Africa, dated to 1.98 million years ago. The affected individual was male and developmentally equivalent to a human child of 12 to 13 years of age. A penetrating lytic lesion affected the sixth thoracic vertebra. The lesion was macroscopically evaluated and internally imaged through phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. A comprehensive differential diagnosis was undertaken based on gross- and micro-morphology of the lesion, leading to a probable diagnosis of osteoid osteoma. These neoplasms are solitary, benign, osteoid and bone-forming tumours, formed from well-vascularised connective tissue within which there is active production of osteoid and woven bone. Tumours of any kind are rare in archaeological populations, and are all but unknown in the hominin record, highlighting the importance of this discovery. The presence of this disease at Malapa predates the earliest evidence of malignant neoplasia in the hominin fossil record by perhaps 200 000 years.

  13. A diverse Rancholabrean vertebrate microfauna from southern California includes the first fossil record of ensatina ( Ensatina eschscholtzii: Plethodontidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Thomas A.; Roeder, Mark A.

    2009-11-01

    Analysis of late Pleistocene fossils recovered from near the Huntington Beach, California (USA), pier (site LACM 7679) has revealed a diverse fauna dating to approximately 40 14C ka BP. Extinct megafauna (three genera) are present; however, a microfauna including three genera of fish, five genera of amphibians, twelve genera of reptiles, two genera of birds, and ten genera of small mammals dominates the assemblage in terms of diversity. Additional identification of seven genera of non-marine mollusks and various macro- and microscopic plant remains including grasses, three families of herbs, and seven genera of trees provides a wealth of information concerning the past ecology of what is currently a coastal dune field complex. During the Rancholabrean Period, the LACM 7679 locality was approximately 10 km inland from the Pleistocene coastline and contained lush riparian zones interspersed with coastal sage scrub, a few trees, and grasslands teeming with a variety of small and large animals.

  14. The earliest modern humans outside Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hershkovitz, Israel; Weber, Gerhard W; Quam, Rolf; Duval, Mathieu; Grün, Rainer; Kinsley, Leslie; Ayalon, Avner; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Valladas, Helene; Mercier, Norbert; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Fornai, Cinzia; Martín-Francés, Laura; Sarig, Rachel; May, Hila; Krenn, Viktoria A; Slon, Viviane; Rodríguez, Laura; García, Rebeca; Lorenzo, Carlos; Carretero, Jose Miguel; Frumkin, Amos; Shahack-Gross, Ruth; Bar-Yosef Mayer, Daniella E; Cui, Yaming; Wu, Xinzhi; Peled, Natan; Groman-Yaroslavski, Iris; Weissbrod, Lior; Yeshurun, Reuven; Tsatskin, Alexander; Zaidner, Yossi; Weinstein-Evron, Mina

    2018-01-26

    To date, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa are dated to around 90,000 to 120,000 years ago at the Levantine sites of Skhul and Qafzeh. A maxilla and associated dentition recently discovered at Misliya Cave, Israel, was dated to 177,000 to 194,000 years ago, suggesting that members of the Homo sapiens clade left Africa earlier than previously thought. This finding changes our view on modern human dispersal and is consistent with recent genetic studies, which have posited the possibility of an earlier dispersal of Homo sapiens around 220,000 years ago. The Misliya maxilla is associated with full-fledged Levallois technology in the Levant, suggesting that the emergence of this technology is linked to the appearance of Homo sapiens in the region, as has been documented in Africa. Copyright © 2018, The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  15. Fossil Fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  16. High-resolution δ13C record of fossil wood and bulk organic matter from a deep Oligocene lacustrine succession, Bach Long Vi Island, Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzi, M.; Schovsbo, N. H.; Fyhn, M. B. W.; Korte, C.

    2017-12-01

    We present a high-resolution stable isotope record based on bulk organic matter (δ13Corg) and fossil wood (δ13Cwood) originating from Oligocene deep lacustrine sediments cored on the Bach Long Vi Island, northern Gulf of Tonkin, offshore Vietnam. The sediments are exceptionally well preserved. They are thus excellently suited for a detailed stratigraphical analysis of the stable isotope record and as proxy for environmental and climatic changes within this period. The sediments were deposited in rapid subsiding, narrow and elongated fault-bound graben (Fyhn and Phach, 2015) and are represented by deep pelagic lacustrine organic-rich mud interrupted by numerous density-flow deposits (Hovikoski et al., 2016). The density-flow deposits contain abundant fragments of fossil wood. Therefore it was possible to obtain 262 coalified wood fragments together with 1063 bulk organic samples throughout the span of the core. This allowed to establish a high resolution stable C isotope record (δ13Corg and δ13Cwood). In addition 2464 handheld XRF determinations were carried out to further characterize the depositional environment (Rizzi et al., 2017). The organic carbon isotope trend from the 500 m core succession provides insight into the palaeoenvironmental changes of the lake during the Oligocene. Both, global and local factors control the δ13C variations. The aim of the study is to obtain pure global δ13Corg and δ13Cwood signals that would allow comparison of the studied sediments with coeval syn-rift successions in the South China Sea region and other parts of the world. [1] Fyhn and Phach (2015) Tectonics, 34(2): 290-312. [2] Hovikoski et al. (2016) Journal of Sedimentary Research, 86(8): 982-1007. [3] Rizzi et al. (2017) EGU General Assembly Abstract EGU 2017-17584.

  17. Radiocarbon Records of Fossil Fuel Emissions From Urban Trees in the Greater Salt Lake Valley From Mid-Century to Present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chritz, K.; Buchert, M.; Walker, J. C.; Mendoza, D.; Pataki, D. E.; Xu, X.; Lin, J. C.

    2017-12-01

    Generating long term records of fossil fuel emissions of urban environments is complicated by the fact that direct observations of emissions and urban atmospheric CO2 concentrations were only collected in the recent past. Radiocarbon (14C) in tree rings from urban trees can provide archives of fossil fuel emissions that may track population growth over time, as higher population density is typically correlated with increased vehicular traffic and associated CO2 emissions, which are radiocarbon dead. We present radiocarbon measurements (n=125) from five roadside green ash trees (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) located in three cities of northern Utah - Salt Lake City (urban, 2016 population: 193,744), Logan City (agricultural, 2016 population: 49,110) and Heber (rural, 2016 population: 14,969). Urban trees were cored in four cardinal directions and ring widths were measured and counted to establish a chronology. One ring from every third year in a single core from each tree was removed and holocellulose was extracted from bulk wood of individual rings for 14C analysis. Fraction CO2 from fossil fuel burning (CO2-ff) was calculated using a simple mass-balance calculation from measured 14C values and remote background atmospheric 14CO2 values for NH Zone 2. The data from all three cities indicate a general trend of increasing CO2-ff uptake by the trees from 1980s to present, as expected with increased population growth and vehicular traffic. However, records in all three cities show unique elevated CO2-ff prior to the 1980s, assuming similar climate patterns through time, diverging from historic population size. We employed atmospheric simulations from the STILT (Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport) models for each of these trees to create footprints to determine source areas for CO2. These footprints reveal that atmospheric sampling areas can be large for certain trees, and other sources of 14C dead carbon, such as coal and natural gas from industrial emissions

  18. Calcium-phosphate biomineralization induced by alkaline phosphatase activity in Escherichia coli: localization, kinetics and potential signatures in the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosmidis, Julie; Benzerara, Karim; Guyot, François; Skouri-Panet, Fériel; Duprat, Elodie; Férard, Céline; Guigner, Jean-Michel; Babonneau, Florence; Coelho, Cristina

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria are thought to play an important role in the formation of calcium-phosphate minerals composing marine phosphorites, as supported by the common occurrence of fossil microbes in these rocks. Phosphatase enzymes may play a key role in this process. Indeed, they may increase the supersaturation with respect to Ca-phosphates by releasing orthophosphate ions following hydrolysis of organic phosphorus. However, several questions remain unanswered about the cellular-level mechanisms involved in this model, and its potential signatures in the mineral products. We studied Ca-phosphate precipitation by different strains of Escherichia coli which were genetically modified to differ in the abundance and cellular localization of the alkaline phosphatase (PHO A) produced. The mineral precipitated by either E. coli or purified PHO A was invariably identified as a carbonate-free non-stoichiometric hydroxyapatite. However, the bacterial precipitates could be discriminated from the ones formed by purified PHO A at the nano-scale. PHO A localization was shown to influence the pattern of Ca-phosphate nucleation and growth. Finally, the rate of calcification was proved to be consistent with the PHO A enzyme kinetics. Overall, this study provides mechanistic keys to better understand phosphogenesis in the environment, and experimental references to better interpret the microbial fossil record in phosphorites.

  19. Volatile earliest Triassic sulfur cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schobben, Martin; Stebbins, Alan; Algeo, Thomas J.

    2017-01-01

    model experiment. Exposure of evaporite deposits having a high δ 34S may account for the source change, with a possible role for the Siberian Traps volcanism by magmatic remobilization of Cambrian rock salt. A high sulfur cycle turnover rate would have left the ocean system vulnerable to development......Marine biodiversity decreases and ecosystem destruction during the end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) have been linked to widespread marine euxinic conditions. Changes in the biogeochemical sulfur cycle, microbial sulfate reduction (MSR), and marine dissolved sulfate concentrations during...... fractionation and point to a more universal control, i.e., contemporaneous seawater sulfate concentration.The MSR-trend transfer function yielded estimates of seawater sulfate of 0.6-2.8mM for the latest Permian to earliest Triassic, suggesting a balanced oceanic S-cycle with equal S inputs and outputs...

  20. Inorganic chemistry of earliest sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochiai, E.I.

    1983-01-01

    A number of inorganic elements are now known to be essential to organisms. Chemical evolutionary processes involving carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen have been studied intensively and extensively, but the other essential elements have been rather neglected in the studies of chemical and biological evolution. This article attempts to assess the significance of inorganic chemistry in chemical and biological evolutionary processes on the earth. Emphasis is placed on the catalytic effects of inorganic elements and compounds, and also on possible studies on the earliest sediments, especially banded iron formation and stratabound copper from the inorganic point of view in the hope of shedding some light on the evolution of the environment and the biological effects on it. (orig./WL)

  1. The earliest evidence of true lambdoid craniosynostosis: the case of "Benjamina", a Homo heidelbergensis child.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gracia, Ana; Martínez-Lage, Juan F; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Lorenzo, Carlos; Pérez-Espejo, Miguel-Angel

    2010-06-01

    The authors report the morphological and neuroimaging findings of an immature human fossil (Cranium 14) diagnosed with left lambdoid synostosis. The skull was recovered at the Sima de los Huesos site in Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain). Since the human fossil remains from this site have been dated to a minimum age of 530,000 years, this skull represents the earliest evidence of craniosynostosis occurring in a hominid. A brief historical review of craniosynostosis and cranial deformation is provided.

  2. The oldest fossil record of the megamouth shark from the late Eocene of Denmark and comments on the enigmatic megachasmid origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenshu Shimada

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The megamouth shark (Lamniformes: Megachasmidae has sporadic occurrences both in the present-day oceans and in the fossil record. In this paper, we describe a new megachasmid, Megachasma alisonae sp. nov., on the basis of a morphologically distinct tooth collected from the Pyt Member of the late Eocene Søvind Marl Formation at Moesgård Strand in Denmark, that represents the geologically oldest known Megachasma. The tooth likely came from an individual that measured somewhere between 1.3 and 3.5 m long, and its morphology and chipped cusp tips suggest that it possibly fed on macro-zooplankton and small fishes that had hard skeletal components. Its occurrence in the mid-Priabonian Pyt Member at least suggests that the shark inhabited a relatively deep, open marine environment about 36 Ma ago. This Eocene specimen is significant because it illustrates the dental condition of early megachasmids, which is distinctively odontaspidid-like morphologically.

  3. Parasites in the fossil record: a Cretaceous fauna with isopod-infested decapod crustaceans, infestation patterns through time, and a new ichnotaxon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adiël A Klompmaker

    Full Text Available Parasites are common in modern ecosystems and are also known from the fossil record. One of the best preserved and easily recognisable examples of parasitism in the fossil record concerns isopod-induced swellings in the branchial chamber of marine decapod crustaceans. However, very limited quantitative data on the variability of infestation percentages at the species, genus, and family levels are available. Here we provide this type of data for a mid-Cretaceous (upper Lower Cretaceous, upper Albian reef setting at Koskobilo, northern Spain, on the basis of 874 specimens of anomurans and brachyurans. Thirty-seven specimens (4.2%, arranged in ten species, are infested. Anomurans are more heavily infested than brachyurans, variability can be high within genera, and a relationship may exist between the number of specimens and infestation percentage per taxon, possibly suggesting host-specificity. We have also investigated quantitative patterns of infestation through geological time based on 88 infested species (25 anomurans, 55 brachyurans, seven lobsters, and one shrimp, to show that the highest number of infested species can be found in the Late Jurassic, also when corrected for the unequal duration of epochs. The same Late Jurassic peak is observed for the percentage of infested decapod species per epoch. This acme is caused entirely by infested anomurans and brachyurans. Biases (taphonomic and otherwise and causes of variability with regard to the Koskobilo assemblage and infestation patterns through time are discussed. Finally, a new ichnogenus and -species, Kanthyloma crusta, are erected to accommodate such swellings or embedment structures (bioclaustrations.

  4. The Late Pleistocene-Holocene community development in Central and SE-Europe in direct fossil record: scope of the approach, common patterns and inter-regional differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horacek, Ivan; Lozek, Vojen

    2010-05-01

    The information provided by modern instrumental approaches (molecular phylogeography, ancient DNA analyses, large scale radiocarbon datings etc.) refined the knowledge on Late Quaternary faunal development and range history of particular taxa in essential way. Nevertheless, the direct fossil record remains still an essential substrate in study of that topics, and to reveal all the information, that it may provide, and integrate it with the outputs of the other approaches presents one of the essential aim of the present meeting. Unfortunately, the immediate use of fossil record for the paleoecologic and paleobiogeographic inferences is often limited by its fragmentarity (both in temporal and spatial respects), taphonomic influences and/or locally specific post-sedimentary effects which all may bias it in a considerable degree. Hence, each particular record is to be carefully reexamined in respect to all factor which may bias it - unfortunately, often it is not too easy to respond that task, particularly when the record is retrived from secondary sources. It should also be remembered that the records representing narrow time slices without a robust lithostratigraphic context do not provide any information on the historical and contextual setting of the respective faunal situation. Such information that is essential for reconstructions of paleobiogeography of community development and similar locally-sensitive phenomena can only be retrived from the continuous sedimentary series which establish the sequence of particular faunal events by direct superposition. A sufficiently dense network of such series provides than a possibility of direct inter-regional comparisons and a high resolution information on the paleobiogeography of the Late Pleistocene-Holocene rearrangements of mammalian communities, local variation in history of particular species and its community context. We illustrate productivity of such approach on with aid of the fossil record obtained from

  5. A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6-4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ian M.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Anderson, R. Scott; Johnson, Kirk R.; Mahan, Shannon; Ager, Thomas A.; Baker, Richard G.; Blaauw, Maarten; Bright, Jordon; Brown, Peter M.; Bryant, Bruce; Calamari, Zachary T.; Carrara, Paul E.; Michael D., Cherney; Demboski, John R.; Elias, Scott A.; Fisher, Daniel C.; Gray, Harrison J.; Haskett, Danielle R.; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Kline, Douglas; Leonard, Eric M.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Lucking, Carol; McDonald, H. Gregory; Miller, Dane M.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Nash, Stephen E.; Newton, Cody; Paces, James B.; Petrie, Lesley; Plummer, Mitchell A.; Porinchu, David F.; Rountrey, Adam N.; Scott, Eric; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Sharpe, Saxon E.; Skipp, Gary L.; Strickland, Laura E.; Stucky, Richard K.; Thompson, Robert S.; Wilson, Jim

    2014-01-01

    In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~ 140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.

  6. A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6–4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ian M. Miller; Mitchell A. Plummer; Various Others

    2014-10-01

    In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5

  7. The extinct river shark Glyphis pagoda from the Miocene of Myanmar and a review of the fossil record of the genus Glyphis (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Kenshu; Egi, Naoko; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Maung-Maung, Maung-Maung; Thaung-Htike, Thaung-Htike; Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein, Zin-Maung-Maung-Thein; Nishioka, Yuichiro; Sonoda, Teppei; Takai, Masanaru

    2016-09-05

    We redescribe an extinct river shark, Glyphis pagoda (Noetling), on the basis of 20 teeth newly collected from three different Miocene localities in Myanmar. One locality is a nearshore marine deposit (Obogon Formation) whereas the other two localities represent terrestrial freshwater deposits (Irrawaddy sediments), suggesting that G. pagoda from the Irrawaddy sediments was capable of tolerating low salinity like the extant Glyphis. Glyphis pagoda likely reached up to at least 185 cm in total body length and was probably piscivorous. The fossil species occurs in rocks of Myanmar and eastern and western India and stratigraphically ranges at least from the Lower Miocene (Aquitanian) to the lower Upper Miocene (mid-Tortonian). It has been classified under at least eight other genera to date, along with numerous taxonomic synonyms largely stemming from the lack of understanding of the heterodonty in extant Glyphis in the original description. Our literature review suggests that known Miocene shark faunas, particularly those in India, are manifested with unreliable taxonomic identifications and outdated classifications that warrant the need for a comprehensive taxonomic review in order to evaluate the evolutionary history and diversity pattern of Miocene shark faunas. The genus Glyphis has a roughly 23-million-year-long history, and its success may be related to the evolution of its low salinity tolerance. While extant Glyphis spp. are considered to be particularly vulnerable to habitat degradation and overfishing, the fossil record of G. pagoda provides renewed perspective on the natural history of the genus that can be taken into further consideration for conservation biology of the extant forms.

  8. A unique fossil record from neptunian sills: the world's most extreme example of stratigraphic condensation (Jurassic, western Sicily)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Jobst

    2017-06-01

    Neptunian sills at Rocca Busambra, a fragment of the Trapanese/Saccense Domain in western Sicily, host the most abundant ammonite and gastropod fauna which has ever been recorded from the Jurassic of the western Tethys. The fauna is dominated by parautochthonous organisms which were swept into the sills by gentle transport. Ammonites are characterized by perfect preservation and small size, a feature which is due to the predominance of microconchs but also of stunting. The most complete sill is 0.7 m thick and could be separated into 17 levels which range in age from the early Toarcian into the late Kimmeridgian, thus representing the most extreme case of palaeontologically and depositionally documented stratigraphic condensation in Earth history. The unique feature of the Rocca Busambra sills is due to the interaction of three processes: extreme stratigraphic condensation on the sea floor, weak tectonic fracturing of the host rock and repeated reopening on top of already existing sills. Contrasting percentages of gastropods in individual levels reflect sea-level oscillations which correspond to long known low- and highstands during the Jurassic of the western Tethys. Comparisons with other ammonite-bearing sill faunas reveal several similarities, but represent only short-timed phases of tectonic pulses and deposition.

  9. First fossil insectivores from Flores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoek Ostende, van den L.W.; Berch, van der G.; Awe Due, R.

    2006-01-01

    The hominid bearing strata from the Liang Bua cave on Flores have yielded a large amount of microvertebrate remains. Among these are three mandibles of shrews, the first record of fossil insectivores from the island. The fossils, representing two different species, are not referable to any of the

  10. Correlation of Plio Pleistocene Tephra in Ethiopian and Kenyan rift basins: Temporal calibration of geological features and hominid fossil records

    Science.gov (United States)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Hart, William K.; Katoh, Shigehiro; Beyene, Yonas; Suwa, Gen

    2005-10-01

    The 200-m-thick fossiliferous Konso Formation and overlying terrace deposits, which crop out at the end of the southern sector of the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER), contain more than 30 distal tephra layers. Local and regional tephra correlations of more than 20 tephra units were established using major and trace element data of discrete and purified bulk glass samples within the Konso study area. Eleven correlative marker tuffs were recognized in stratigraphic sections of both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sediments in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The Turoha, Hope, Ivory, Bright White, and Boleshe Tuffs in the Konso Formation, and the Upper White Tuff in the overlying terrace deposits are securely correlated with the KBS, Akait, Lokapetamoi, Chari, Lower Nariokotome, and Silbo Tuffs of the Omo-Turkana Basin, using least mobile major elements (CaO, Fe 2O 3*, and TiO 2) and geochronology. Preliminary correlations are also suggested between the Konso Formation distal tephra and proximal units of the Quaternary caldera-forming silicic centers in the central sector of the MER. The strongly peralkaline tuffs of the Konso Formation are compositionally similar to proximal eruptions mostly located along the Quaternary axial rift zone of the southern, central, and northern sectors of the MER. The tephra correlation provides information about the temporal and spatial features of the volcanic and tectonic processes recorded in the evolving basins. Thickness and sedimentation rate were determined for both the Konso Formation and the Omo-Turkana Basin sections, measured between the Turoha (=KBS; 1.91 ± 0.03 Ma) and the Bright White (=Chari; 1.40 ± 0.02 Ma) Tuffs. Although the lithostratigraphic sequence at the Konso study area is younger, sedimentation rate within the Konso Formation was comparable to that of the Koobi Fora Formation, higher in the Nachukui Formation, and lower in the Shungura Formation. Local and regional differences in thickness and

  11. [The fossil record of the Eurasian Neogene insectivores (Erinaceomorpha, Soricomorpha, Mammalia) : Part I / L.W. van den Hoek Ostende, C.S. Doukas and J.W.F. Reumer (editors)]: Czech Republic and Slovak Republic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fejfar, O.; Sabol, M.

    2005-01-01

    Introduction The fossil record of insectivores in Czech Republic comes from two different settings: A. in the stratified deposits in the North Bohemian tectonic rift (the sites; Tuchořice, the Open Mine Merkur-Nord near Chomutov, Dolnice and Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad), and Β. in the karstic

  12. A NEW RECORD OF MESSAPICETUS FROM THE PIETRA LECCESE (LATE MIOCENE, SOUTHERN ITALY: ANTITROPICAL DISTRIBUTION IN A FOSSIL BEAKED WHALE (CETACEA, ZIPHIIDAE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GIOVANNI BIANUCCI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A new partial fossil skeleton of Messapicetus longirostris (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Ziphiidae collected in Cisterna quarry (Lecce from Tortonian (upper Miocene sediments of the "Pietra leccese" is described. It comprises the fragmentary skull (including most of the rostrum, parts of the mandibles, five teeth, the fragmentary right scapula, and one vertebral centrum. This new record, here referred to a juvenile individual, expands our knowledge about the skeletal anatomy of M. longirostris; this species was until now only known by the holotype, an almost complete skull from the same Cisterna quarry. Moreover, the new specimen confirms the distinction between M. longirostris and M. gregarius (late Miocene, Pisco Formation, Peru based on several osteological characters (e.g., the presence of a distinct maxillary tubercle and prominential notch in the latter species. New dating of layers in Cerro Colorado, the type locality of M. gregarius, suggests that M. longirostris and M. gregarius were contemporaneous sister-species with an antitropical distribution (a biogeographical pattern currently shown by two extant ziphiid genera. Unlike extant ziphiids, feeding predominantly on squid and benthopelagic fish in deep waters, the stem ziphiid M. gregarius was recently proposed to have been a raptorial piscivore who may have fed mainly on schools of epipelagic fish. Similarities at the level of the morphology and proportions of the oral apparatus suggest that the two species of Messapicetus may have occupied roughly identical ecological and trophic niches, a hypothesis supported by the characterization of the Pietra leccese environment as neritic.

  13. A new stem-neopterygian fish from the Middle Triassic of China shows the earliest over-water gliding strategy of the vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Guang-Hui; Zhao, Li-Jun; Gao, Ke-Qin; Wu, Fei-Xiang

    2013-01-07

    Flying fishes are extraordinary aquatic vertebrates capable of gliding great distances over water by exploiting their enlarged pectoral fins and asymmetrical caudal fin. Some 50 species of extant flying fishes are classified in the Exocoetidae (Neopterygii: Teleostei), which have a fossil record no older than the Eocene. The Thoracopteridae is the only pre-Cenozoic group of non-teleosts that shows an array of features associated with the capability of over-water gliding. Until recently, however, the fossil record of the Thoracopteridae has been limited to the Upper Triassic of Austria and Italy. Here, we report the discovery of exceptionally well-preserved fossils of a new thoracopterid flying fish from the Middle Triassic of China, which represents the earliest evidence of an over-water gliding strategy in vertebrates. The results of a phylogenetic analysis resolve the Thoracopteridae as a stem-group of the Neopterygii that is more crown-ward than the Peltopleuriformes, yet more basal than the Luganoiiformes. As the first record of the Thoracopteride in Asia, this new discovery extends the geographical distribution of this group from the western to eastern rim of the Palaeotethys Ocean, providing new evidence to support the Triassic biological exchanges between Europe and southern China. Additionally, the Middle Triassic date of the new thoracopterid supports the hypothesis that the re-establishment of marine ecosystems after end-Permian mass extinction is more rapid than previously thought.

  14. Documenting the Earliest Chinese Journals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-zhong (Joe Zhou

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available

    頁次:19-24

    According to various authoritative sources, the English word "journal" was first used in the 16lh century, but the existence of the journal in its original meaning as a daily record can be traced back to Acta Diuma (Daily Events in ancient Roman cities as early as 59 B.C. This article documents the first appearance of Chinese daily records that were much early than 59 B.C.

    The evidence of the earlier Chinese daily records came from some important archaeological discoveries in the 1970's, but they were also documented by Sima Qian (145 B.C. - 85 B.C., the grand historian of the Han Dynasty imperial court. Sima's lifetime contribution was the publication of Shi Ji (史記 (The Grand Scribe's Records, the Records hereafter. The Records is a book of history of a grand scope. It encompasses all Chinese history from 30lh century B.C. through the end of the second century B.C. in 130 chapters and over 525,000 Chinese

  15. Consequences of elevated temperature and pCO 2 on insect folivory at the ecosystem level: perspectives from the fossil record

    OpenAIRE

    Currano, Ellen D.; Laker, Rachel; Flynn, Andrew G.; Fogt, Kari K.; Stradtman, Hillary; Wing, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Paleoecological studies document the net effects of atmospheric and climate change in a natural laboratory over timescales not accessible to laboratory or ecological studies. Insect feeding damage is visible on well?preserved fossil leaves, and changes in leaf damage through time can be compared to environmental changes. We measured percent leaf area damaged on four fossil leaf assemblages from the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, that range in age from 56.1 to 52.65?million years (Ma). We al...

  16. Tropical tales of polar ice: evidence of Last Interglacial polar ice sheet retreat recorded by fossil reefs of the granitic Seychelles islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Andrea; Webster, Jody M.; Zwartz, Dan; Lambeck, Kurt; Wohlfarth, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    In the search for a record of eustatic sea level change on glacial-interglacial timescales, the Seychelles ranks as one of the best places on the planet to study. Owing to its location with respect to the former margins of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets that wax and wane on orbital cycles, the local-or relative-sea level history is predicted to lie within a few meters of the globally averaged eustatic signal during the Last Interglacial period. We have surveyed and dated Last Interglacial fossil corals to ascertain peak sea level and hence infer maximum retreat of polar ice sheets during this time interval. We observe a pattern of gradually rising sea level in the Seychelles between ˜129 and 125 thousand years ago (ka), with peak eustatic sea level attained after 125 ka at 7.6 ± 1.7 m higher than present. After accounting for thermal expansion and loss of mountain glaciers, this sea-level budget would require ˜5-8 m of polar ice sheet contribution, relative to today's volume, of which only ˜2 m came from the Greenland ice sheet. This result clearly identifies the Antarctic ice sheet as a significant source of melt water, most likely derived from one of the unstable, marine-based sectors in the West and/or East Antarctic ice sheet. Furthermore, the establishment of a +5.9 ± 1.7 m eustatic sea level position by 128.6 ± 0.8 ka would require that partial AIS collapse was coincident with the onset of the sea level highstand.

  17. Origin and radiation of the earliest vascular land plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steemans, Philippe; Hérissé, Alain Le; Melvin, John; Miller, Merrell A; Paris, Florentin; Verniers, Jacques; Wellman, Charles H

    2009-04-17

    Colonization of the land by plants most likely occurred in a stepwise fashion starting in the Mid-Ordovician. The earliest flora of bryophyte-like plants appears to have been cosmopolitan and dominated the planet, relatively unchanged, for some 30 million years. It is represented by fossilized dispersed cryptospores and fragmentary plant remains. In the Early Silurian, cryptospore abundance and diversity diminished abruptly as trilete spores appeared, became abundant, and underwent rapid diversification. This change coincides approximately with the appearance of vascular plant megafossils and probably represents the origin and adaptive radiation of vascular plants. We have obtained a diverse trilete spore occurrence from the Late Ordovician that suggests that vascular plants originated and diversified earlier than previously hypothesized, in Gondwana, before migrating elsewhere and secondarily diversifying.

  18. The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O'Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael

    2011-11-02

    The earliest anatomically modern humans in Europe are thought to have appeared around 43,000-42,000 calendar years before present (43-42 kyr cal BP), by association with Aurignacian sites and lithic assemblages assumed to have been made by modern humans rather than by Neanderthals. However, the actual physical evidence for modern humans is extremely rare, and direct dates reach no farther back than about 41-39 kyr cal BP, leaving a gap. Here we show, using stratigraphic, chronological and archaeological data, that a fragment of human maxilla from the Kent's Cavern site, UK, dates to the earlier period. The maxilla (KC4), which was excavated in 1927, was initially diagnosed as Upper Palaeolithic modern human. In 1989, it was directly radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry to 36.4-34.7 kyr cal BP. Using a Bayesian analysis of new ultrafiltered bone collagen dates in an ordered stratigraphic sequence at the site, we show that this date is a considerable underestimate. Instead, KC4 dates to 44.2-41.5 kyr cal BP. This makes it older than any other equivalently dated modern human specimen and directly contemporary with the latest European Neanderthals, thus making its taxonomic attribution crucial. We also show that in 13 dental traits KC4 possesses modern human rather than Neanderthal characteristics; three other traits show Neanderthal affinities and a further seven are ambiguous. KC4 therefore represents the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe, fills a key gap between the earliest dated Aurignacian remains and the earliest human skeletal remains, and demonstrates the wide and rapid dispersal of early modern humans across Europe more than 40 kyr ago. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  19. The earliest unequivocally modern humans in southern China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, Wu; Martinón-Torres, María; Cai, Yan-Jun; Xing, Song; Tong, Hao-Wen; Pei, Shu-Wen; Sier, Mark Jan; Wu, Xiao-Hong; Edwards, R Lawrence; Cheng, Hai; Li, Yi-Yuan; Yang, Xiong-Xin; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Wu, Xiu-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The hominin record from southern Asia for the early Late Pleistocene epoch is scarce. Well-dated and well-preserved fossils older than ∼45,000 years that can be unequivocally attributed to Homo sapiens are lacking. Here we present evidence from the newly excavated Fuyan Cave in Daoxian (southern

  20. Earliest Pleistocene hominid cranial remains from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia: taxonomy, geological setting, and age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabunia, L; Vekua, A; Lordkipanidze, D; Swisher, C C; Ferring, R; Justus, A; Nioradze, M; Tvalchrelidze, M; Antón, S C; Bosinski, G; Jöris, O; Lumley, M A; Majsuradze, G; Mouskhelishvili, A

    2000-05-12

    Archaeological excavations at the site of Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia have uncovered two partial early Pleistocene hominid crania. The new fossils consist of a relatively complete cranium and a second relatively complete calvaria from the same site and stratigraphic unit that yielded a hominid mandible in 1991. In contrast with the uncertain taxonomic affinity of the mandible, the new fossils are comparable in size and morphology with Homo ergaster from Koobi Fora, Kenya. Paleontological, archaeological, geochronological, and paleomagnetic data from Dmanisi all indicate an earliest Pleistocene age of about 1.7 million years ago, supporting correlation of the new specimens with the Koobi Fora fossils. The Dmanisi fossils, in contrast with Pleistocene hominids from Western Europe and Eastern Asia, show clear African affinity and may represent the species that first migrated out of Africa.

  1. A rich fossil record yields calibrated phylogeny for Acanthaceae (Lamiales) and evidence for marked biases in timing and directionality of intercontinental disjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Erin A; McDade, Lucinda A

    2014-09-01

    More than a decade of phylogenetic research has yielded a well-sampled, strongly supported hypothesis of relationships within the large ( > 4000 species) plant family Acanthaceae. This hypothesis points to intriguing biogeographic patterns and asymmetries in sister clade diversity but, absent a time-calibrated estimate for this evolutionary history, these patterns have remained unexplored. Here, we reconstruct divergence times within Acanthaceae using fossils as calibration points and experimenting with both fossil selection and effects of invoking a maximum age prior related to the origin of Eudicots. Contrary to earlier reports of a paucity of fossils of Lamiales (an order of ∼ 23,000 species that includes Acanthaceae) and to the expectation that a largely herbaceous to soft-wooded and tropical lineage would have few fossils, we recovered 51 reports of fossil Acanthaceae. Rigorous evaluation of these for accurate identification, quality of age assessment and utility in dating yielded eight fossils judged to merit inclusion in analyses. With nearly 10 kb of DNA sequence data, we used two sets of fossils as constraints to reconstruct divergence times. We demonstrate differences in age estimates depending on fossil selection and that enforcement of maximum age priors substantially alters estimated clade ages, especially in analyses that utilize a smaller rather than larger set of fossils. Our results suggest that long-distance dispersal events explain present-day distributions better than do Gondwanan or northern land bridge hypotheses. This biogeographical conclusion is for the most part robust to alternative calibration schemes. Our data support a minimum of 13 Old World (OW) to New World (NW) dispersal events but, intriguingly, only one in the reverse direction. Eleven of these 13 were among Acanthaceae s.s., which comprises > 90% of species diversity in the family. Remarkably, if minimum age estimates approximate true history, these 11 events occurred within

  2. Early evolution and historical biogeography of fishflies (Megaloptera: Chauliodinae: implications from a phylogeny combining fossil and extant taxa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingyue Liu

    Full Text Available Fishflies (Corydalidae: Chauliodinae are one of the main groups of the basal holometabolous insect order Megaloptera, with ca. 130 species distributed worldwide. A number of genera from the Southern Hemisphere show remarkably disjunctive distributions and are considered to be the austral remnants or "living fossils" of Gondwana. Hitherto, the evolutionary history of fishflies remains largely unexplored due to limited fossil record and incomplete knowledge of phylogenetic relationships. Here we describe two significant fossil species of fishflies, namely Eochauliodes striolatus gen. et sp. nov. and Jurochauliodes ponomarenkoi Wang & Zhang, 2010 (original designation for fossil larvae only, from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossils represent the earliest fishfly adults. Furthermore, we reconstruct the first phylogenetic hypothesis including all fossil and extant genera worldwide. Three main clades within Chauliodinae are recognized, i.e. the Dysmicohermes clade, the Protochauliodes clade, and the Archichauliodes clade. The phylogenetic and dispersal-vicariance (DIVA analyses suggest Pangaean origin and global distribution of fishflies before the Middle Jurassic. The generic diversification of fishflies might have happened before the initial split of Pangaea, while some Gondwanan-originated clades were likely to be affected by the sequential breakup of Pangaea. The modern fauna of Asian fishflies were probably derived from their Gondwanan ancestor but not the direct descendents of the Mesozoic genera in Asia.

  3. Early evolution and historical biogeography of fishflies (Megaloptera: Chauliodinae): implications from a phylogeny combining fossil and extant taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xingyue; Wang, Yongjie; Shih, Chungkun; Ren, Dong; Yang, Ding

    2012-01-01

    Fishflies (Corydalidae: Chauliodinae) are one of the main groups of the basal holometabolous insect order Megaloptera, with ca. 130 species distributed worldwide. A number of genera from the Southern Hemisphere show remarkably disjunctive distributions and are considered to be the austral remnants or "living fossils" of Gondwana. Hitherto, the evolutionary history of fishflies remains largely unexplored due to limited fossil record and incomplete knowledge of phylogenetic relationships. Here we describe two significant fossil species of fishflies, namely Eochauliodes striolatus gen. et sp. nov. and Jurochauliodes ponomarenkoi Wang & Zhang, 2010 (original designation for fossil larvae only), from the Middle Jurassic of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossils represent the earliest fishfly adults. Furthermore, we reconstruct the first phylogenetic hypothesis including all fossil and extant genera worldwide. Three main clades within Chauliodinae are recognized, i.e. the Dysmicohermes clade, the Protochauliodes clade, and the Archichauliodes clade. The phylogenetic and dispersal-vicariance (DIVA) analyses suggest Pangaean origin and global distribution of fishflies before the Middle Jurassic. The generic diversification of fishflies might have happened before the initial split of Pangaea, while some Gondwanan-originated clades were likely to be affected by the sequential breakup of Pangaea. The modern fauna of Asian fishflies were probably derived from their Gondwanan ancestor but not the direct descendents of the Mesozoic genera in Asia.

  4. Pronounced occurrence of long-chain alkenones and dinosterol in a 25,000-year lipid molecular fossil record from Lake Titicaca, South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theissen, Kevin M.; Zinniker, David A.; Moldowan, J. Michael; Dunbar, Robert B.; Rowe, Harold D.

    2005-02-01

    Our analysis of lipid molecular fossils from a Lake Titicaca (16° S, 69° W) sediment core reveals distinct changes in the ecology of the lake over an ˜25,000-yr period spanning latest Pleistocene to late Holocene time. Previous investigations have shown that over this time period Lake Titicaca was subject to large changes in lake level in response to regional climatic variability. Our results indicate that lake algal populations were greatly affected by the changing physical and chemical conditions in Lake Titicaca. Hydrocarbons are characterized by a combination of odd-numbered, mid- to long-chain (C 21-C 31) normal alkanes and alkenes. During periods when lake level was higher (latest Pleistocene, early Holocene, and late Holocene), the C 21n-alkane, and the C 25 and C 27 alkenes dominate hydrocarbon distributions and indicate contribution from an algal source, potentially the freshwater alga Botryococcus braunii. The C 30 4 α-methyl sterol (dinosterol) increases sharply during the mid-Holocene, suggesting a greatly increased dinoflagellate presence at that time. Long-chain alkenones (LCAs) become significant during the early Holocene and are highly abundant in mid-Holocene samples. There are relatively few published records of LCA detection in lake sediments but their occurrence is geographically widespread (Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America). Lake Titicaca represents the first South American lake and the first low-latitude lake in which LCAs have been reported. LCA abundance and distribution may be related to the temperature-dependent response of an unidentified algal precursor. Although the LCA unsaturation indices cannot be used to determine absolute Lake Titicaca temperatures, we suspect that the published LCA U37K unsaturation calibrations can be applied to infer relative temperatures for early to mid-Holocene time when LCA concentrations are high. Using these criteria, the U37K unsaturation indices suggest relatively warmer temperatures in the

  5. Earliest example of a giant monitor lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Jack L; Balcarcel, Ana M; Mehling, Carl M

    2012-01-01

    Varanidae is a clade of tiny (600 mm PCL) lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus) are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis), although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene) of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded) demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL) terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. The new monitor is larger (longer) than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors.

  6. Biomineralization and biosignatures of coralloid-type speleothems from lava tubes of Galapagos Islands: evidences on the fossil record of prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ana Z.; Garcia-Sanchez, Angela M.; Pereira, Manuel F. C.; Gazquez, Fernando; Calaforra, José M.; Forti, Paolo; Toulkeridis, Theofilos; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2016-04-01

    , whereas the final stage mainly consists of low crystalline calcite. FESEM-EDS analysis revealed mineralized bacterial filaments rich in Si on the coralloid samples, as well as minerals precipitation associated with extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which serve as nuclei for preferential precipitation on the extracellular sheaths. This suggests that biological activity played a major role in the development of these speleothems. In addition, imprints of filamentous cells and microboring readily preserved on siliceous minerals were observed on the coralloid speleothems. These features are recognized as biosignatures valuable for astrobiology and may represent modern analogs of the fossil record of prokaryotes. DNA-based analyses showed that bacteria belonging to Actinobacteria (31%) Gemmatimonadetes (25%) and Proteobacteria (24%) phyla dominated in this cave ecosystem, followed by Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospirae. Most of the identified phylotypes were affiliated to chemoautotrophs, including thermophilic bacteria such as Ferrithrix thermotolerans, and other mineral utilizing microorganisms like Aciditerrimonas ferrireducens, Desulfuromonas sp. and Desulfovibrio sp., indicating that Galapagos lava tubes host highly specialized subsurface biosphere dominated by microorganisms able to interact with minerals and promote biomineralization. Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the project PC-65-14 from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. AZM acknowledges the support from the Marie Curie Fellowship of the 7th EC Framework Programme (PIEF-GA-2012-328689-DECAVE). The authors acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (project CGL2013-41674-P) and FEDER funds for financial support.

  7. A review and phylogeny of Scarabaeine dung beetle fossils (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae, with the description of two Canthochilum species from Dominican amber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Tarasov

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing rate of systematic research on scarabaeine dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae, their fossil record has remained largely unrevised. In this paper, we review all 33 named scarabaeine fossils and describe two new species from Dominican amber (Canthochilum alleni sp.n., Canthochilum philipsivieorum sp.n.. We provide a catalogue of all fossil Scarabaeinae and evaluate their assignment to this subfamily, based primarily on the original descriptions but also, where possible, by examining the type specimens. We suggest that only 21 fossil taxa can be reliably assigned to the Scarabaeinae, while the remaining 14 should be treated as doubtful Scarabaeinae. The doubtful scarabaeines include the two oldest dung beetle fossils known from the Cretaceous and we suggest excluding them from any assessments of the minimum age of scarabaeine dung beetles. The earliest reliably described scarabaeine fossil appears to be Lobateuchus parisii, known from Oise amber (France, which shifts the minimum age of the Scarabaeinae to the Eocene (53 Ma. We scored the best-preserved fossils, namely Lobateuchus and the two Canthochilum species described herein, into the character matrix used in a recent morphology-based study of dung beetles, and then inferred their phylogenetic relationships with Bayesian and parsimony methods. All analyses yielded consistent phylogenies where the two fossil Canthochilum are placed in a clade with the extant species of Canthochilum, and Lobateuchus is recovered in a clade with the extant genera Ateuchus and Aphengium. Additionally, we evaluated the distribution of dung beetle fossils in the light of current global dung beetle phylogenetic hypotheses, geological time and biogeography. The presence of only extant genera in the late Oligocene and all later records suggests that the main present-day dung beetle lineages had already been established by the late Oligocene–mid Miocene.

  8. Manipulating the reported age in earliest memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessel, Ineke; Schweig, Theresa; Huntjens, Rafaële J C

    2017-11-02

    Previous work suggests that the estimated age in adults' earliest autobiographical memories depends on age information implied by the experimental context [e.g., Kingo, O. S., Bohn, A., & Krøjgaard, P. (2013). Warm-up questions on early childhood memories affect the reported age of earliest memories in late adolescence. Memory, 21(2), 280-284. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2012.729598 ] and that the age in decontextualised snippets of memory is younger than in more complete accounts (i.e., event memories [Bruce, D., Wilcox-O'Hearn, L. A., Robinson, J. A., Phillips-Grant, K., Francis, L., & Smith, M. C. (2005). Fragment memories mark the end of childhood amnesia. Memory & Cognition, 33(4), 567-576. doi: 10.3758/BF03195324 ]). We examined the malleability of the estimated age in undergraduates' earliest memories and its relation with memory quality. In Study 1 (n = 141), vignettes referring to events happening at age 2 rendered earlier reported ages than examples referring to age 6. Exploratory analyses suggested that event memories were more sensitive to the age manipulation than memories representing a single, isolated scene (i.e., snapshots). In Study 2 (n = 162), asking self-relevant and public-event knowledge questions about participants' preschool years prior to retrieval yielded comparable average estimated ages. Both types of semantic knowledge questions rendered earlier memories than a no-age control task. Overall, the reported age in snapshots was younger than in event memories. However, age-differences between memory types across conditions were not statistically significant. Together, the results add to the growing literature indicating that the average age in earliest memories is not as fixed as previously thought.

  9. "Small size" in the Philippine human fossil record: is it meaningful for a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the negritos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Détroit, Florent; Corny, Julien; Dizon, Eusebio Z; Mijares, Armand S

    2013-01-01

    "Pygmy populations" are recognized in several places over the world, especially in Western Africa and in Southeast Asia (Philippine "negritos," for instance). Broadly defined as "small-bodied Homo sapiens" (compared with neighboring populations), their origins and the nature of the processes involved in the maintenance of their phenotype over time are highly debated. Major results have been recently obtained from population genetics on present-day negrito populations, but their evolutionary history remains largely unresolved. We present and discuss the Upper Pleistocene human remains recovered from Tabon Cave and Callao Cave in the Philippines, which are potentially highly relevant to these research questions. Human fossils have been recovered in large numbers from Tabon Cave (Palawan Island) but mainly from reworked and mixed sediments from several archaeological layers. We review and synthesize the long and meticulous collaborative work done on the archives left from the 1960s excavations and on the field. The results demonstrate the long history of human occupations in the cave, since at least ~30,000 BP. The examination of the Tabon human remains shows a large variability: large and robust for one part of the sample, and small and gracile for the other part. The latter would fit quite comfortably within the range of variation of Philippine negritos. Farther north, on Luzon Island, the human third metatarsal recently recovered from Callao Cave and dated to ~66,000 BP is now the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines. Previous data show that, compared with H. sapiens (including Philippine negritos), this bone presents a very small size and several unusual morphological characteristics. We present a new analytical approach using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics for comparing the Callao fossil to a wide array of extant Asian mammals, including nonhuman primates and H. sapiens. The results demonstrate that the shape of the Callao

  10. Earliest example of a giant monitor lizard (Varanus, Varanidae, Squamata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack L Conrad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Varanidae is a clade of tiny (600 mm PCL lizards first appearing in the Cretaceous. True monitor lizards (Varanus are known from diagnostic remains beginning in the early Miocene (Varanus rusingensis, although extremely fragmentary remains have been suggested as indicating earlier Varanus. The paleobiogeographic history of Varanus and timing for origin of its gigantism remain uncertain. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A new Varanus from the Mytilini Formation (Turolian, Miocene of Samos, Greece is described. The holotype consists of a partial skull roof, right side of a braincase, partial posterior mandible, fragment of clavicle, and parts of six vertebrae. A cladistic analysis including 83 taxa coded for 5733 molecular and 489 morphological characters (71 previously unincluded demonstrates that the new fossil is a nested member of an otherwise exclusively East Asian Varanus clade. The new species is the earliest-known giant (>600 mm PCL terrestrial lizard. Importantly, this species co-existed with a diverse continental mammalian fauna. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The new monitor is larger (longer than 99% of known fossil and living lizards. Varanus includes, by far, the largest limbed squamates today. The only extant non-snake squamates that approach monitors in maximum size are the glass-snake Pseudopus and the worm-lizard Amphisbaena. Mosasauroids were larger, but exclusively marine, and occurred only during the Late Cretaceous. Large, extant, non-Varanus, lizards are limbless and/or largely isolated from mammalian competitors. By contrast, our new Varanus achieved gigantism in a continental environment populated by diverse eutherian mammal competitors.

  11. What fossils can tell us about the evolution of viviparity and placentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, A M

    2008-01-01

    Recently a fossil of one of the earliest jawed fishes was found with a fetal skeleton and the remains of a cord. It was from the Devonian period and takes the history of vertebrate placentation back to 380 million years ago. This and later fossil evidence for viviparity in marine reptiles and early...

  12. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krings, M.; Taylor, T.N.; Dotzler, N.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved

  13. Self-construals and earliest childhood memories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Antalikova, Radka; Hansen, Tia G. B.; de la Mata Benitez, Manuel

    Studies on self-construals and earliest childhood memories have shown significant differences across culture (Wang, 2001, 2006). However, these studies are often carried out in countries such as USA and China, considered to be prototypical representatives of individualistic and collectivistic...... be developing an extreme tendency towards an individualistic profile as they were born into a just established democratic regime? And, would the young Danes display more collectivistic values, as their strong sense for community could suggest? Data from 80 Slovak and 80 Danish adolescents are under analysis....

  14. Cacao usage by the earliest Maya civilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, W Jeffrey; Tarka, Stanley M; Powis, Terry G; Valdez, Fred; Hester, Thomas R

    2002-07-18

    The Maya archaeological site at Colha in northern Belize, Central America, has yielded several spouted ceramic vessels that contain residues from the preparation of food and beverages. Here we analyse dry residue samples by using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry, and show that chocolate (Theobroma cacao) was consumed by the Preclassic Maya as early as 600 bc, pushing back the earliest chemical evidence of cacao use by some 1,000 years. Our application of this new and highly sensitive analytical technique could be extended to the identification of other ancient foods and beverages.

  15. Uranium concentration in fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okano, J.; Uyeda, C.

    1988-01-01

    Recently it is known that fossil bones tend to accumulate uranium. The uranium concentration, C u in fossils has been measured so far by γ ray spectroscopy or by fission track method. The authors applied secondary ion mass spectrometry, SIMS, to detect the uranium in fossil samples. The purpose of this work is to investigate the possibility of semi-quantitative analyses of uranium in fossils, and to study the correlation between C u and the age of fossil bones. The further purpose of this work is to apply SIMS to measure the distribution of C u in fossil teeth

  16. Wildfire Activity Across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary in the Polish Basin: Evidence from New Fossil Charcoal & Carbon-isotope Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pointer, R.; Belcher, C.; Hesselbo, S. P.; Hodbod, M.; Pieńkowski, G.

    2017-12-01

    New fossil charcoal abundance and carbon-isotope data from two sedimentary cores provide new evidence of extreme environmental conditions in the Polish Basin during the Latest Triassic to Earliest Jurassic. Sedimentary cores from the Polish Basin provide an excellent record of terrestrial environmental conditions across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary, a time of climatic extremes. Previous work has shown that the marine realm was affected by a large perturbation to the carbon cycle across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary (manifested by large negative and positive carbon-isotope excursions) and limited records of charcoal abundance and organic geochemistry have indicated important changes in fire regime in the coeval ecosystems. Here we present two new carbon-isotope records generated from fossil plant matter across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, and present new charcoal records. The charcoal abundance data confirm that there was variation in wildfire activity during the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic in the Polish Basin. Peaks in the number of fossil charcoal fragments present occur in both sedimentary cores, and increases in fossil charcoal abundance are linked to wildfires, signalling a short-lived rise in wildfire activity. Fossil charcoal abundance does not appear to be fully controlled by total organic matter content, depositional environment or bioturbation. We argue that increased wildfire activity is likely caused by an increase in ignition of plant material as a result of an elevated number of lightning strikes. Global warming (caused by a massive input of carbon into the atmosphere, as indicated by carbon-isotope data) can increase storm activity, leading to increased numbers of lightning strikes. Previous Triassic-Jurassic Boundary wildfire studies have found fossil charcoal abundance peaks at other northern hemisphere sites (Denmark & Greenland), and concluded that they represent increases in wildfire activity in the earliest Jurassic. Our new charcoal and

  17. EARLIEST TRIASSIC CONODONTS FROM CHITRAL, NORTHERNMOST PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIA CRISTINA PERRI

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Extensive tracts of very shallow water carbonates in the valleys of the Yarkhun and Mastuj rivers of Chitral (northernmost Pakistan previously though to be Permian (or Cretaceous are shown by conodonts from two horizons in sequences 110 km apart—near Torman Gol (Mastuj valley and near Sakirmul (upper Yarkhun valley—to include earliest Triassic (Scythian—Induan horizons. Both faunas have Isarcicella staeschei Dai & Zhang, Is. lobata Perri, Is. turgida (Kozur et al. and Hindeodus parvus (Kozur & Pjatakova, whereas Is. Isarcica (Huckriede has been recognised only in the Torman Gol occurrence. The presence, respectively, of Is. staeschei in the Sakirmul and Is. isarcica in the Torman Gol occurrences, allows discrimination of the staeschei and isarcica zones respectively the third and the fourth conodont biozones of the Early Triassic conodont biozonation of Perri (in Perri & Farabegoli 2003. Such faunas, consisting mainly of isarcicellids and hindeodids but lacking gondolellids, are characteristic of restricted sea environments across the Permian–Triassic boundary and in the earliest Triassic in other Tethyan areas. The conodont faunas from these two occurrences are remarkably similar, nearly contemporaneous, and indicate shallow water biofacies. They are inferred to equate with the Ailak Dolomite, a sequence of Late Permian–?Late Triassic dolostones discriminated farther up the Yarkhun valley and extending eastwards into the upper Hunza region of northernmost Pakistan. The Zait Limestone and Sakirmul carbonate sequence are consistent with extension of the previously inferred Triassic carbonate platform at least 110 km farther to the SW than previously supposed.

  18. Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Stephanie E; Ahlberg, Per E; Hutchinson, John R; Molnar, Julia L; Sanchez, Sophie; Tafforeau, Paul; Clack, Jennifer A

    2013-02-14

    The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae--in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra--have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, because most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix, obscuring important anatomical features. Here we describe the three-dimensional vertebral architecture of the Late Devonian stem tetrapod Ichthyostega using propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron microtomography. Our scans reveal a diverse array of new morphological, and associated developmental and functional, characteristics, including a possible posterior-to-anterior vertebral ossification sequence and the first evolutionary appearance of ossified sternal elements. One of the most intriguing features relates to the positional relationships between the vertebral elements, with the pleurocentra being unexpectedly sutured or fused to the intercentra that directly succeed them, indicating a 'reverse' rhachitomous design. Comparison of Ichthyostega with two other stem tetrapods, Acanthostega and Pederpes, shows that reverse rhachitomous vertebrae may be the ancestral condition for limbed vertebrates. This study fundamentally revises our current understanding of vertebral column evolution in the earliest tetrapods and raises questions about the presumed vertebral architecture of tetrapodomorph fish and later, more crownward, tetrapods.

  19. The earliest Jesus group in Jerusalem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andries van Aarde

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Church formation in the history of early Christianity emanated from the kerygma about Jesus after his death. The kerygma was based on memories of Jesus which were used in the Christian cult as both explanation and apology for the encountering of God through the traditions about� the crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended Jesus. The aim of the article is to argue that the term �the Twelve� served as a self-reference of the earliest Jesus group in Jerusalem. They regarded themselves as �apostles� and "prophets� of the �new Israel�, analogous to the twelve patriarchs in the Hebrew Scriptures. Reconstructing a trail from Jesus to the earliest group in Jerusalem to Paul, the article demonstrates a fundamental difference between Paul and the Jerusalem group. They understood the notion of �the Twelve� as exchangeable for �all of Israel�, represented by �all the apostles�. For Paul the concept �apostles� is an expansion of� �the Twelve� in Jerusalem.�

  20. The Fossile Episode

    OpenAIRE

    Hassler, John; Sinn, Hans-Werner

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an inital pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form expr...

  1. The Fossil Episode

    OpenAIRE

    John Hassler; Hans-Werner Sinn

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an initial pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form exp...

  2. A comparison of antemortem tooth loss in human hunter-gatherers and non-human catarrhines: implications for the identification of behavioral evolution in the human fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Cassandra C

    2013-06-01

    Middle and Late Pleistocene fossil hominin specimens with severe antemortem tooth loss are often regarded as evidence for the precocious evolution of human-like behaviors, such as conspecific care or cooking, in ancient hominin species. The goal of this project was to ask whether the theoretical association between antemortem tooth loss and uniquely human behaviors is supported empirically in a large skeletal sample of human hunter-gatherers, chimpanzees, orangutans, and baboons. Binomial regression modeling in a Bayesian framework allows for the investigation of the effects of tooth class, genus, age, and sex on the likelihood of tooth loss. The results strongly suggest that modern humans experience more antemortem tooth loss than non-human primates and identify age in years as an important predictor. Once age is accounted for, the difference between the humans and the closest non-human genus (chimpanzees) is less pronounced; humans are still more likely on average to experience antemortem tooth loss though 95% uncertainty envelopes around the average prediction for each genus show some overlap. These analyses support theoretical links between antemortem tooth loss and modern human characteristics; humans' significantly longer life history and a positive correlation between age and antemortem tooth loss explain, in part, the reason why humans are more likely to experience tooth loss than non-human primates, but the results do not exclude behavioral differences as a contributing factor. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Dental remains of cebid platyrrhines from the earliest late Miocene of Western Amazonia, Peru: Macroevolutionary implications on the extant capuchin and marmoset lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marivaux, Laurent; Adnet, Sylvain; Altamirano-Sierra, Ali J; Pujos, François; Ramdarshan, Anusha; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Tejada-Lara, Julia V; Antoine, Pierre-Olivier

    2016-11-01

    Undoubted fossil Cebidae have so far been primarily documented from the late middle Miocene of Colombia, the late Miocene of Brazilian Amazonia, the early Miocene of Peruvian Amazonia, and very recently from the earliest Miocene of Panama. The evolutionary history of cebids is far from being well-documented, with notably a complete blank in the record of callitrichine stem lineages until and after the late middle Miocene (Laventan SALMA). Further documenting their evolutionary history is therefore of primary importance. Recent field efforts in Peruvian Amazonia (Contamana area, Loreto Department) have allowed for the discovery of an early late Miocene (ca. 11 Ma; Mayoan SALMA) fossil primate-bearing locality (CTA-43; Pebas Formation). In this study, we analyze the primate material, which consists of five isolated teeth documenting two distinct Cebidae: Cebus sp., a medium-sized capuchin (Cebinae), and Cebuella sp., a tiny marmoset (Callitrichinae). Although limited, this new fossil material of platyrrhines contributes to documenting the post-Laventan evolutionary history of cebids, and besides testifies to the earliest occurrences of the modern Cebuella and Cebus/Sapajus lineages in the Neotropics. Regarding the evolutionary history of callitrichine marmosets, the discovery of an 11 Ma-old fossil representative of the modern Cebuella pushes back by at least 6 Ma the age of the Mico/Cebuella divergence currently proposed by molecular biologists (i.e., ca. 4.5 Ma). This also extends back to > 11 Ma BP the divergence between Callithrix and the common ancestor (CA) of Mico/Cebuella, as well as the divergence between the CA of marmosets and Callimico (Goeldi's callitrichine). This discovery from Peruvian Amazonia implies a deep evolutionary root of the Cebuella lineage in the northwestern part of South America (the modern western Amazon basin), slightly before the recession of the Pebas mega-wetland system (PMWS), ca. 10.5 Ma, and well-before the subsequent

  4. Maternal Reminiscing Style during Early Childhood Predicts the Age of Adolescents' Earliest Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack, Fiona; MacDonald, Shelley; Reese, Elaine; Hayne, Harlene

    2009-01-01

    Individual differences in parental reminiscing style are hypothesized to have long-lasting effects on children's autobiographical memory development, including the age of their earliest memories. This study represents the first prospective test of this hypothesis. Conversations about past events between 17 mother-child dyads were recorded on…

  5. The fossil history of pseudoscorpions (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Harms

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Pseudoscorpions, given their resemblance to scorpions, have attracted human attention since the time of Aristotle, although they are much smaller and lack the sting and elongated tail. These arachnids have a long evolutionary history but their origins and phylogenetic affinities are still being debated. Here, we summarise their fossil record based on a comprehensive review of the literature and data contained in other sources. Pseudoscorpions are one of the oldest colonisers of the land, with fossils known since the Middle Devonian (ca. 390 Ma. The only arachnid orders with an older fossil record are scorpions, harvestmen and acariform mites, plus two extinct groups. Pseudoscorpions do not fossilise easily, and records from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic consist almost exclusively of amber inclusions. Most Mesozoic fossils come from Archingeay and Burmese ambers (Late Cretaceous and those from the Cenozoic are primarily from Eocene Baltic amber, although additional fossils from, for example, Miocene Dominican and Mexican ambers, are known. Overall, 16 of the 26 families of living pseudoscorpions have been documented from fossils and 49 currently valid species are recognised in the literature. Pseudoscorpions represent a case of morphological stasis and even the Devonian fossils look rather modern. Indeed, most amber fossils are comparable to Recent groups despite a major gap in the fossil record of almost 250 Myr. Baltic amber inclusions indicate palaeofauna inhabiting much warmer climates than today and point to climatic shifts in central Europe since the Eocene. They also indicate that some groups (e.g. Feaellidae and Pseudogarypidae had much wider Eocene distributions. Their present-day occurrence is relictual and highlights past extinction events. Faunas from younger tropical amber deposits (e.g. Dominican and Mexican amber are comparable to Recent ones. Generally, there is a strong bias in the amber record towards groups that live under tree

  6. Summary of the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume. A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6-4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Ian M.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Scott Anderson, R.; Johnson, Kirk R.; Mahan, Shannon A.; Ager, Thomas A.; Baker, Richard G.; Blaauw, Maarten; Bright, Jordon; Brown, Peter M.; Bryant, Bruce; Calamari, Zachary T.; Carrara, Paul E.; Cherney, Michael D.; Demboski, John R.; Elias, Scott A.; Fisher, Daniel C.; Gray, Harrison J.; Haskett, Danielle R.; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Kline, Douglas; Leonard, Eric M.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Lucking, Carol; Gregory McDonald, H.; Miller, Dane M.; Muhs, Daniel R.; Nash, Stephen E.; Newton, Cody; Paces, James B.; Petrie, Lesley; Plummer, Mitchell A.; Porinchu, David F.; Rountrey, Adam N.; Scott, Eric; Sertich, Joseph J. W.; Sharpe, Saxon E.; Skipp, Gary L.; Strickland, Laura E.; Stucky, Richard K.; Thompson, Robert S.; Wilson, Jim

    2014-11-01

    In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean-atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010-2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~ 140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.

  7. Origin and earliest state of the earth's hydrosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cogley, J.G.; Henderson-Sellers, A.

    1984-01-01

    The origin and earliest history of the earth's hydrosphere, the inventory of excess volatiles defined by Rubey in 1951, can be constrained within wide but useful limits by a consideration of empirical and theoretical evidence from astrophysics and geology. Models for the evolution of the solar system from the protoplanetary nebula and for the growth of the earth to its present dimensions suggest quite strongly that the hydrosphere came into being during accretion. Its format, with H 2 O mostly in the oceans, CO 2 mostly in sediments, and a residual atmosphere dominated by N 2 , CO 2 , and H 2 O was established at a very early data and has persisted without large, destabilizing climatic excursions until the present day. Alternative accounts of early history, in which the earth either loses a massive primordial atmosphere or acquires its secondary atmosphere by gradual degassing, seem improbable on the basis of a series of circumstantial but cumulatively persuasive arguments. The difficulty of dissipating a massive atmosphere of solar composition in reasonable times, the likelihood that accretion was a highly energetic process and that it triggered early segregation of the core, and the tendency of the planet to accumulate volatiles preferentially in the later stages of accretion are examples of arguments favoring an early origin for the hydrosphere. Several geological isotope systems which can be sampled today require early separation of the atmosphere and probably the hydrosphere ass a whole; these systems recorrd radiogenic enrichment patterns in the noble gases and stable isotope fractionations which suggest an early origin of the biosphere. Certain geological indicators of atmsopheric composition. and the broadly equable character of the rock record, are also consistent with a hydrosphere established in the earliest stages of history and having an initial neutral or weakly reduced composition

  8. The earliest history of diaphragm physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derenne, J P; Debru, A; Grassino, A E; Whitelaw, W A

    1994-12-01

    The diaphragm was recognized as a distinct anatomical structure in the earliest Greek writings. However, the precise description of wounds suffered by warriors during the Trojan war by Homer was not tied to any particular function. The diaphragm was assimilated to the region that harbours thought. The first physiologic explanations of respiration by Empedocles in the 5th century BC and the concepts introduced by Plato and Hippocrates did not include a significant participation of the diaphragm. Aristole was the first to link respiration to a particular organ and a specific movement of the thorax. However, he considered that it was the heart which caused the lungs to expand by heating them, and the lungs in turn forced the thorax to dilate, a concept which was to survive until the 17th century. As in Aristole's theory the diaphragm played no role in respiration and was just a fence separating the thorax from the abdomen. A major break through occurred in Alexandria in the 4th and 3rd century BC: Herophilus was the first to recognize that muscles were the agents of movement and Erasistratus performed animal experiments which showed that the respiratory muscles were the agents of respiratory movements, thus opening the way to the later discoveries of Galen.

  9. Ancient sun: fossil record in the earth, moon and meteorites. Proceedings of the Conference, Boulder, CO, October 16-19, 1979

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pepin, R.O.; Eddy, J.A.; Merrill, R.B.

    1980-01-01

    Papers are presented concerning theories of solar variability and their consequences for luminosity, particle emission and magnetic field changes within the past 4.5 billion years, and on the records of such solar behavior in lunar, meteoritic and terrestrial materials. Specific topics include the neutrino luminosity of the sun, the relation of sunspots to the terrestrial climate of the past 100 years, solar modulation of galactic cosmic rays, the historical record of solar activity, C-14 variations in terrestrial and marine reservoirs, and solar particle fluxes as indicated by track, thermoluminescence and solar wind measurements in lunar rocks. Attention is also given to the spin-down of the solar interior through circulation currents and fluid instabilities, grain surface exposure models in planetary regoliths, rare gases in the solar wind, nitrogen isotopic variations in the lunar regolith, the influence of solar UV radiation on climate, and the pre-main sequence evolution of the sun and evidence of the primordial solar wind in the electromagnetic induction heating of the asteroids and moon

  10. Modes of fossil preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  11. Environmental evidence of fossil fuel pollution in Laguna Chica de San Pedro lake sediments (Central Chile)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chirinos, L. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile)]. E-mail: lchirin@pucp.edu.pe; Rose, N.L. [Environmental Change Research Centre, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WG1HOAP (United Kingdom); Urrutia, R. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Munoz, P. [Departamento de Biologia Marina, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo (Chile); Torrejon, F. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Torres, L. [Departamento de Botanica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Cruces, F. [Departamento de Botanica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile); Araneda, A. [Centro de Ciencias Ambientales EULA-Chile, Universidad de Concepcion, PO Box 160-C, Concepcion (Chile); Zaror, C. [Facultad de Ingenieria Quimica, Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion (Chile)

    2006-05-15

    This paper describes lake sediment spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) profiles from Laguna Chica San Pedro, located in the Biobio Region, Chile (36{sup o} 51' S, 73{sup o} 05' W). The earliest presence of SCPs was found at 16 cm depth, corresponding to the 1915-1937 period, at the very onset of industrial activities in the study area. No SCPs were found at lower depths. SCP concentrations in Laguna Chica San Pedro lake sediments were directly related to local industrial activities. Moreover, no SCPs were found in Galletue lake (38{sup o} 41' S, 71{sup o} 17.5' W), a pristine high mountain water body used here as a reference site, suggesting that contribution from long distance atmospheric transport could be neglected, unlike published data from remote Northern Hemisphere lakes. These results are the first SCP sediment profiles from Chile, showing a direct relationship with fossil fuel consumption in the region. Cores were dated using the {sup 21}Pb technique. - The lake sediment record of SCPs shows the record of fossil-fuel derived pollution in Central Chile.

  12. Environmental evidence of fossil fuel pollution in Laguna Chica de San Pedro lake sediments (Central Chile)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chirinos, L.; Rose, N.L.; Urrutia, R.; Munoz, P.; Torrejon, F.; Torres, L.; Cruces, F.; Araneda, A.; Zaror, C.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes lake sediment spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) profiles from Laguna Chica San Pedro, located in the Biobio Region, Chile (36 o 51' S, 73 o 05' W). The earliest presence of SCPs was found at 16 cm depth, corresponding to the 1915-1937 period, at the very onset of industrial activities in the study area. No SCPs were found at lower depths. SCP concentrations in Laguna Chica San Pedro lake sediments were directly related to local industrial activities. Moreover, no SCPs were found in Galletue lake (38 o 41' S, 71 o 17.5' W), a pristine high mountain water body used here as a reference site, suggesting that contribution from long distance atmospheric transport could be neglected, unlike published data from remote Northern Hemisphere lakes. These results are the first SCP sediment profiles from Chile, showing a direct relationship with fossil fuel consumption in the region. Cores were dated using the 21 Pb technique. - The lake sediment record of SCPs shows the record of fossil-fuel derived pollution in Central Chile

  13. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

  14. The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns—a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Bomfleur

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Osmundales (Royal Fern order originated in the late Paleozoic and is the most ancient surviving lineage of leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to its low diversity today (less than 20 species in six genera, it has the richest fossil record of any extant group of ferns. The structurally preserved trunks and rhizomes alone are referable to more than 100 fossil species that are classified in up to 20 genera, four subfamilies, and two families. This diverse fossil record constitutes an exceptional source of information on the evolutionary history of the group from the Permian to the present. However, inconsistent terminology, varying formats of description, and the general lack of a uniform taxonomic concept renders this wealth of information poorly accessible. To this end, we provide a comprehensive review of the diversity of structural features of osmundalean axes under a standardized, descriptive terminology. A novel morphological character matrix with 45 anatomical characters scored for 15 extant species and for 114 fossil operational units (species or specimens is analysed using networks in order to establish systematic relationships among fossil and extant Osmundales rooted in axis anatomy. The results lead us to propose an evolutionary classification for fossil Osmundales and a revised, standardized taxonomy for all taxa down to the rank of (subgenus. We introduce several nomenclatural novelties: (1 a new subfamily Itopsidemoideae (Guaireaceae is established to contain Itopsidema, Donwelliacaulis, and Tiania; (2 the thamnopteroid genera Zalesskya, Iegosigopteris, and Petcheropteris are all considered synonymous with Thamnopteris; (3 12 species of Millerocaulis and Ashicaulis are assigned to modern genera (tribe Osmundeae; (4 the hitherto enigmatic Aurealcaulis is identified as an extinct subgenus of Plenasium; and (5 the poorly known Osmundites tuhajkulensis is assigned to Millerocaulis. In addition, we consider Millerocaulis

  15. The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns)-a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Grimm, Guido W; McLoughlin, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    The Osmundales (Royal Fern order) originated in the late Paleozoic and is the most ancient surviving lineage of leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to its low diversity today (less than 20 species in six genera), it has the richest fossil record of any extant group of ferns. The structurally preserved trunks and rhizomes alone are referable to more than 100 fossil species that are classified in up to 20 genera, four subfamilies, and two families. This diverse fossil record constitutes an exceptional source of information on the evolutionary history of the group from the Permian to the present. However, inconsistent terminology, varying formats of description, and the general lack of a uniform taxonomic concept renders this wealth of information poorly accessible. To this end, we provide a comprehensive review of the diversity of structural features of osmundalean axes under a standardized, descriptive terminology. A novel morphological character matrix with 45 anatomical characters scored for 15 extant species and for 114 fossil operational units (species or specimens) is analysed using networks in order to establish systematic relationships among fossil and extant Osmundales rooted in axis anatomy. The results lead us to propose an evolutionary classification for fossil Osmundales and a revised, standardized taxonomy for all taxa down to the rank of (sub)genus. We introduce several nomenclatural novelties: (1) a new subfamily Itopsidemoideae (Guaireaceae) is established to contain Itopsidema , Donwelliacaulis , and Tiania ; (2) the thamnopteroid genera Zalesskya , Iegosigopteris , and Petcheropteris are all considered synonymous with Thamnopteris ; (3) 12 species of Millerocaulis and Ashicaulis are assigned to modern genera (tribe Osmundeae); (4) the hitherto enigmatic Aurealcaulis is identified as an extinct subgenus of Plenasium ; and (5) the poorly known Osmundites tuhajkulensis is assigned to Millerocaulis . In addition, we consider Millerocaulis

  16. The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns)—a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The Osmundales (Royal Fern order) originated in the late Paleozoic and is the most ancient surviving lineage of leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to its low diversity today (less than 20 species in six genera), it has the richest fossil record of any extant group of ferns. The structurally preserved trunks and rhizomes alone are referable to more than 100 fossil species that are classified in up to 20 genera, four subfamilies, and two families. This diverse fossil record constitutes an exceptional source of information on the evolutionary history of the group from the Permian to the present. However, inconsistent terminology, varying formats of description, and the general lack of a uniform taxonomic concept renders this wealth of information poorly accessible. To this end, we provide a comprehensive review of the diversity of structural features of osmundalean axes under a standardized, descriptive terminology. A novel morphological character matrix with 45 anatomical characters scored for 15 extant species and for 114 fossil operational units (species or specimens) is analysed using networks in order to establish systematic relationships among fossil and extant Osmundales rooted in axis anatomy. The results lead us to propose an evolutionary classification for fossil Osmundales and a revised, standardized taxonomy for all taxa down to the rank of (sub)genus. We introduce several nomenclatural novelties: (1) a new subfamily Itopsidemoideae (Guaireaceae) is established to contain Itopsidema, Donwelliacaulis, and Tiania; (2) the thamnopteroid genera Zalesskya, Iegosigopteris, and Petcheropteris are all considered synonymous with Thamnopteris; (3) 12 species of Millerocaulis and Ashicaulis are assigned to modern genera (tribe Osmundeae); (4) the hitherto enigmatic Aurealcaulis is identified as an extinct subgenus of Plenasium; and (5) the poorly known Osmundites tuhajkulensis is assigned to Millerocaulis. In addition, we consider Millerocaulis stipabonettiorum a

  17. Ichnotaxonomy of the Laetoli trackways: The earliest hominin footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, D. J.; Lockley, Martin G.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Musiba, Charles

    2011-04-01

    At 3.6 Ma, the Laetoli Pliocene hominin trackways are the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Three decades since their discovery, not only is the question of their attribution still discussed, but marked differences in interpretation concerning the footprints' qualitative features and the inferred nature of the early hominin foot morphology remain. Here, we establish a novel ichnotaxon, Praehominipes laetoliensis, for these tracks and clarify the distinctions of these footprints from those of later hominins, especially modern humans. We also contrast hominin, human, and ape footprints to establish morphological features of these footprints correlated with a midtarsal break versus a stiff longitudinal arch. Original photos, including stereo photographs, and casts of footprints from the 1978 Laetoli excavation, confirm midtarsal flexibility, and repeatedly indicate an associated midfoot pressure ridge. In contrast, the modern human footprint reflects the derived arched-foot architecture, combined with a stiff-legged striding gait. Fossilized footprints of unshod modern human pedestrians in Hawaii and Nicaragua unambiguously illustrate these contrasts. Some points of comparisons with ape footprints are complicated by a variable hallucal position and the distinct manner of ape facultative bipedalism. In contrast to the comparatively rigid platform of the modern human foot, midtarsal flexibility is present in the chimpanzee foot. In ape locomotion, flexion at the transverse tarsal joint, referred to as the "midtarsal break," uncouples the respective functions of the prehensile forefoot and the propulsive hindfoot during grasp-climbing. At some point after the transition to habitual bipedalism, these grasp-climb adaptations, presumed to be present in the last common ancestor of apes and humans, were initially compromised by the loss of divergence of the hallux. An analogous trajectory is evident along an array of increasingly terrestrial extant ape species

  18. Computer Modeling of the Earliest Cellular Structures and Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Chipot, Christophe; Schweighofer, Karl

    2000-01-01

    In the absence of extinct or extant record of protocells (the earliest ancestors of contemporary cells). the most direct way to test our understanding of the origin of cellular life is to construct laboratory models of protocells. Such efforts are currently underway in the NASA Astrobiology Program. They are accompanied by computational studies aimed at explaining self-organization of simple molecules into ordered structures and developing designs for molecules that perform proto-cellular functions. Many of these functions, such as import of nutrients, capture and storage of energy. and response to changes in the environment are carried out by proteins bound to membranestructures at water-membrane interfaces and insert into membranes, (b) how these peptides aggregate to form membrane-spanning structures (eg. channels), and (c) by what mechanisms such aggregates perform essential proto-cellular functions, such as proton transport of protons across cell walls, a key step in cellular bioenergetics. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method, in which Newton's equations of motion for each item in the system are solved iteratively. The problems of interest required simulations on multi-nanosecond time scales, which corresponded to 10(exp 6)-10(exp 8) time steps.

  19. Primate diversification inferred from phylogenies and fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity arises from the balance between speciation and extinction. Fossils record the origins and disappearance of organisms, and the branching patterns of molecular phylogenies allow estimation of speciation and extinction rates, but the patterns of diversification are frequently incongruent between these two data sources. I tested two hypotheses about the diversification of primates based on ∼600 fossil species and 90% complete phylogenies of living species: (1) diversification rates increased through time; (2) a significant extinction event occurred in the Oligocene. Consistent with the first hypothesis, analyses of phylogenies supported increasing speciation rates and negligible extinction rates. In contrast, fossils showed that while speciation rates increased, speciation and extinction rates tended to be nearly equal, resulting in zero net diversification. Partially supporting the second hypothesis, the fossil data recorded a clear pattern of diversity decline in the Oligocene, although diversification rates were near zero. The phylogeny supported increased extinction ∼34 Ma, but also elevated extinction ∼10 Ma, coinciding with diversity declines in some fossil clades. The results demonstrated that estimates of speciation and extinction ignoring fossils are insufficient to infer diversification and information on extinct lineages should be incorporated into phylogenetic analyses. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Earliest history of coal mining and grindstone quarrying at Joggins, Nova Scotia, and its implications for the meaning of the place name Joggins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Falcon-Lang, H.J. [Bristol Univ., Bristol (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences; London Univ., Egham (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences

    2009-07-01

    The Joggins Section is a carboniferous succession located on the southeastern shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. The explorer Charles Lyell wrote about the Section's coal-bearing strata and extraordinary fossil forests in 1843. This paper reviewed earlier studies and literature related to the region in order to discuss coal mining and grindstone quarrying in the region in the late 1600s. Mineral exploration of the region began soon after French settlers arrived in 1604, and the earliest record of coal-mining occurred in 1639. References to the Joggins Section occurred in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Detailed maps from 1686 depict coastal outcrop belts of coal-bearing strata. Other records describe illicit trade of coal between Joggins and New England. A travelogue in 1731 described the mines and their location. A state-sponsored British coal mine was proposed in 1730. However, the venture was abandoned after attacks by angry local residents. Later studies of the region described the coal as being of inferior quality. The General Mining Association of Britain became lessees of all the mines and minerals in the province of Nova Scotia in 1827. However, several bootleg operations continued to mine the coals. It was concluded that a thriving grindstone industry in the region filled gaps in the local economy caused by the periods of mine closures. 93 refs., 15 figs.

  1. Earliest history of coal mining and grindstone quarrying at Joggins, Nova Scotia, and its implications for the meaning of the place name Joggins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Falcon-Lang, H.J.; London Univ., Egham

    2009-01-01

    The Joggins Section is a carboniferous succession located on the southeastern shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. The explorer Charles Lyell wrote about the Section's coal-bearing strata and extraordinary fossil forests in 1843. This paper reviewed earlier studies and literature related to the region in order to discuss coal mining and grindstone quarrying in the region in the late 1600s. Mineral exploration of the region began soon after French settlers arrived in 1604, and the earliest record of coal-mining occurred in 1639. References to the Joggins Section occurred in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Detailed maps from 1686 depict coastal outcrop belts of coal-bearing strata. Other records describe illicit trade of coal between Joggins and New England. A travelogue in 1731 described the mines and their location. A state-sponsored British coal mine was proposed in 1730. However, the venture was abandoned after attacks by angry local residents. Later studies of the region described the coal as being of inferior quality. The General Mining Association of Britain became lessees of all the mines and minerals in the province of Nova Scotia in 1827. However, several bootleg operations continued to mine the coals. It was concluded that a thriving grindstone industry in the region filled gaps in the local economy caused by the periods of mine closures. 93 refs., 15 figs

  2. OKLO: fossil reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naudet, R.

    Events leading up to the discovery during the summer of 1972 of the Oklo fossil reactor in Gabon and its subsequent exploration are reviewed. Results of studies are summarized; future investigations are outlined

  3. Fossil Record of Precambrian Life on Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knauth, Paul

    2000-01-01

    The argument that the earth's early ocean was up to two times modern salinity was published in 'Nature' and presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Toronto. The argument is bolstered by chemical data for fluid inclusions in Archean black smokers. The inclusions were 1.7 times the modern salinity causing the authors to interpret the parent fluids as evaporite brines (in a deep marine setting). I reinterpreted the data in terms of the predicted value of high Archean salinities. If the arguments I presented are on track, early life was either halophilic or non-marine. Halophiles are not among the most primitive organisms based on RNA sequencing, so here is an a priori argument that non-marine environments may have been the site of most early biologic evolution. This result carries significant implications for the issue of past life on Mars or current life on the putative sub-ice oceans on Europa and possibly Callisto. If the Cl/H2O ratio on these objects is similar to that of the earth, then oceans and oceanic sediments are probably not the preferred sites for early life. On Mars, this means that non-marine deposits such as caliche in basalt may be an overlooked potential sample target.

  4. Landscape planning for the future: using fossil records to independently validate potential threats, opportunities and likely future range-shifts for socio-economically valuable plant species in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias Fauria, M.; Willis, K. J.

    2011-12-01

    Bioclimatic Envelope Models (BEMs) for a set of socio-economically important tree species in Europe were independently validated using a hindcasting approach and fossil pollen records spanning the last 1000 years, including the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the 20th Century warming (PRES). The aim was to determine the accuracy of combining BEMs and palaeoecological data to predict continental-scale changes in distribution, and the availability of fossil data to hindcast economically important species. Eight types of BEMs were implemented in this study, covering most state-of-the-art modelling techniques. Present and palaeoclimatic data were obtained from the Atmosphere-Ocean Global Circulation Model ECHO-G. Last millenium was divided into three climatically distinct periods: MWP (AD 900-1300), LIA (AD 1600-1850) and PRES (AD 1900-2000). Models were calibrated for each period and validated with climatic and pollen data from the remaining periods. Successfully validated models were projected onto a 1-degree European grid, allowing the reconstruction of past modelled species distributions. BEMs were successfully validated with independent data. Strong model performance suggested high potential for BEMs to be used to model future species distributions, and highlighted the importance of palaeoecological data to independently validate these models, taking into account the scales at which this data operates. Although valid, BEMs showed poorer performance with species heavily managed and/or growing in heterogeneous terrain or with discontinuous distributions. Last millennium in Europe was characterized by an increase of crop woody species and a decline of forest species, suggesting an increasing land use by humans. The same approach was then implemented to a set of sub-Saharan plant species of high importance as a source of food, wood, and other ecosystem services such as carbon storage or erosion protection. The African study covered most of the

  5. Uranium in fossil bones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koul, S.L.

    1978-01-01

    An attempt has been made to determine the uranium content and thus the age of certain fossil bones Haritalyangarh (Himachal Pradesh), India. The results indicate that bones rich in apatite are also rich in uranium, and that the radioactivity is due to radionuclides in the uranium series. The larger animals apparently have a higher concentration of uranium than the small. The dating of a fossil jaw (elephant) places it in the Pleistocene. (Auth.)

  6. The earliest bird-line archosaurs and the assembly of the dinosaur body plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Butler, Richard J; Ezcurra, Martín D; Barrett, Paul M; Stocker, Michelle R; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Smith, Roger M H; Sidor, Christian A; Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz; Sennikov, Andrey G; Charig, Alan J

    2017-04-27

    The relationship between dinosaurs and other reptiles is well established, but the sequence of acquisition of dinosaurian features has been obscured by the scarcity of fossils with transitional morphologies. The closest extinct relatives of dinosaurs either have highly derived morphologies or are known from poorly preserved or incomplete material. Here we describe one of the stratigraphically lowest and phylogenetically earliest members of the avian stem lineage (Avemetatarsalia), Teleocrater rhadinus gen. et sp. nov., from the Middle Triassic epoch. The anatomy of T. rhadinus provides key information that unites several enigmatic taxa from across Pangaea into a previously unrecognized clade, Aphanosauria. This clade is the sister taxon of Ornithodira (pterosaurs and birds) and shortens the ghost lineage inferred at the base of Avemetatarsalia. We demonstrate that several anatomical features long thought to characterize Dinosauria and dinosauriforms evolved much earlier, soon after the bird-crocodylian split, and that the earliest avemetatarsalians retained the crocodylian-like ankle morphology and hindlimb proportions of stem archosaurs and early pseudosuchians. Early avemetatarsalians were substantially more species-rich, widely geographically distributed and morphologically diverse than previously recognized. Moreover, several early dinosauromorphs that were previously used as models to understand dinosaur origins may represent specialized forms rather than the ancestral avemetatarsalian morphology.

  7. Upper Cretaceous chalk facies and depositional history recorded in the Mona-1 core, Mona Ridge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anderskouv, Kresten; Surlyk, Finn

    2011-01-01

    , including mudflow, debris flow, and slumping. Pelagic deposits vary mainly in terms of the concentration of siliciclastic material, the trace-fossil assemblage, and the presence or ab­sence of primary sedimentary structures. Pelagic sedimentation was probably punctuated by the deposition of thin turbidites...... slump packages (14–18 in total) are interpreted, forming over 40% of the succession; debrites appear to be the most common precursor facies involved in slumping. The vertical succession of facies records an earliest Cenomanian facies shift from dominantly siliciclastic to chalk deposition...

  8. Fossil Hunting: Intracluster Stars in Virgo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murphy, Eric; Bridge, Carrie; Desai, Vandana; Kenney, Jeffrey; Krick, Jessica; Surace, Jason; van Gorkom, Jacqueline

    2009-01-01

    In dense clusters, galaxy interactions and mergers play a significant role in galaxy evolution. During these interactions, tidal forces can lead to the ejection of stars from their parent galaxies; these stars are a fossil record of environmentally-driven galaxy evolution. We propose to map the

  9. Fossil power plant automation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Divakaruni, S.M.; Touchton, G.

    1991-01-01

    This paper elaborates on issues facing the utilities industry and seeks to address how new computer-based control and automation technologies resulting from recent microprocessor evolution, can improve fossil plant operations and maintenance. This in turn can assist utilities to emerge stronger from the challenges ahead. Many presentations at the first ISA/EPRI co-sponsored conference are targeted towards improving the use of computer and control systems in the fossil and nuclear power plants and we believe this to be the right forum to share our ideas

  10. Fossil energy research meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kropschot, R. H.; Phillips, G. C.

    1977-12-01

    U.S. ERDA's research programs in fossil energy are reviewed with brief descriptions, budgets, etc. Of general interest are discussions related to the capabilities for such research of national laboratories, universities, energy centers, etc. Of necessity many items are treated briefly, but a general overview of the whole program is provided. (LTN)

  11. Fossils and decapod phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schram, Frederick R.; Dixon, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    An expanded series of morphological characters developed for a cladistic analysis of extant decapods has yielded a new hypothesis for the phylogeny of the group. Application of this database to selected fossil genera produces some interesting results and demonstrates the feasibility of treating

  12. A new genus and species of micro bee fly from the Earliest Eocene French amber (Diptera: Mythicomyiidae: Psiloderoidinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myskowiak, Justine; Garrouste, Romain; Nel, Andre

    2016-05-26

    Mythicomyiidae, or micro bee flies, are tiny flies (0.5-5.0 mm) that are found throughout most parts of the world except the highest altitudes and latitudes (Greathead & Evenhuis 2001). Including all extinct and extant taxa, the Mythicomyiidae currently comprise more than 380 valid taxonomic species distributed among 30 genera. The subfamily Psiloderoidinae is especially well represented among the fossil Mythicomyiidae by seven Cretaceous or Cenozoic genera. We here describe a new genus and a new species of this subfamily based on fossils from the Earliest Eocene of Oise (France). A Psiloderoidinae, Proplatypygus matilei Nel & DePloëg, 2004, is already described in this amber. Another mythicomyiid, Eurodoliopteryx inexpectatus Nel, 2006, is the most frequent bombylioid in this amber (Nel & DePloëg, 2004; Nel, 2006).

  13. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage.

  14. Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: A study across three reptile clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Alan H; Pritchard, Adam C; Matzke, Nicholas J

    2017-01-01

    Estimating divergence times on phylogenies is critical in paleontological and neontological studies. Chronostratigraphically-constrained fossils are the only direct evidence of absolute timing of species divergence. Strict temporal calibration of fossil-only phylogenies provides minimum divergence estimates, and various methods have been proposed to estimate divergences beyond these minimum values. We explore the utility of simultaneous estimation of tree topology and divergence times using BEAST tip-dating on datasets consisting only of fossils by using relaxed morphological clocks and birth-death tree priors that include serial sampling (BDSS) at a constant rate through time. We compare BEAST results to those from the traditional maximum parsimony (MP) and undated Bayesian inference (BI) methods. Three overlapping datasets were used that span 250 million years of archosauromorph evolution leading to crocodylians. The first dataset focuses on early Sauria (31 taxa, 240 chars.), the second on early Archosauria (76 taxa, 400 chars.) and the third on Crocodyliformes (101 taxa, 340 chars.). For each dataset three time-calibrated trees (timetrees) were calculated: a minimum-age timetree with node ages based on earliest occurrences in the fossil record; a 'smoothed' timetree using a range of time added to the root that is then averaged over zero-length internodes; and a tip-dated timetree. Comparisons within datasets show that the smoothed and tip-dated timetrees provide similar estimates. Only near the root node do BEAST estimates fall outside the smoothed timetree range. The BEAST model is not able to overcome limited sampling to correctly estimate divergences considerably older than sampled fossil occurrence dates. Conversely, the smoothed timetrees consistently provide node-ages far older than the strict dates or BEAST estimates for morphologically conservative sister-taxa when they sit on long ghost lineages. In this latter case, the relaxed-clock model appears to

  15. Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: A study across three reptile clades.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan H Turner

    Full Text Available Estimating divergence times on phylogenies is critical in paleontological and neontological studies. Chronostratigraphically-constrained fossils are the only direct evidence of absolute timing of species divergence. Strict temporal calibration of fossil-only phylogenies provides minimum divergence estimates, and various methods have been proposed to estimate divergences beyond these minimum values. We explore the utility of simultaneous estimation of tree topology and divergence times using BEAST tip-dating on datasets consisting only of fossils by using relaxed morphological clocks and birth-death tree priors that include serial sampling (BDSS at a constant rate through time. We compare BEAST results to those from the traditional maximum parsimony (MP and undated Bayesian inference (BI methods. Three overlapping datasets were used that span 250 million years of archosauromorph evolution leading to crocodylians. The first dataset focuses on early Sauria (31 taxa, 240 chars., the second on early Archosauria (76 taxa, 400 chars. and the third on Crocodyliformes (101 taxa, 340 chars.. For each dataset three time-calibrated trees (timetrees were calculated: a minimum-age timetree with node ages based on earliest occurrences in the fossil record; a 'smoothed' timetree using a range of time added to the root that is then averaged over zero-length internodes; and a tip-dated timetree. Comparisons within datasets show that the smoothed and tip-dated timetrees provide similar estimates. Only near the root node do BEAST estimates fall outside the smoothed timetree range. The BEAST model is not able to overcome limited sampling to correctly estimate divergences considerably older than sampled fossil occurrence dates. Conversely, the smoothed timetrees consistently provide node-ages far older than the strict dates or BEAST estimates for morphologically conservative sister-taxa when they sit on long ghost lineages. In this latter case, the relaxed

  16. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental

  17. Dental development in living and fossil orangutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tanya M

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies have investigated molar development in extant and fossil hominoids, yet relatively little is known about orangutans, the only great ape with an extensive fossil record. This study characterizes aspects of dental development, including cuspal enamel daily secretion rate, long-period line periodicities, cusp-specific molar crown formation times and extension rates, and initiation and completion ages in living and fossil orangutan postcanine teeth. Daily secretion rate and periodicities in living orangutans are similar to previous reports, while crown formation times often exceed published values, although direct comparisons are limited. One wild Bornean individual died at 4.5 years of age with fully erupted first molars (M1s), while a captive individual and a wild Sumatran individual likely erupted their M1s around five or six years of age. These data underscore the need for additional samples of orangutans of known sex, species, and developmental environment to explore potential sources of variation in molar emergence and their relationship to life history variables. Fossil orangutans possess larger crowns than living orangutans, show similarities in periodicities, and have faster daily secretion rate, longer crown formation times, and slower extension rates. Molar crown formation times exceed reported values for other fossil apes, including Gigantopithecus blacki. When compared to African apes, both living and fossil orangutans show greater cuspal enamel thickness values and periodicities, resulting in longer crown formation times and slower extension rates. Several of these variables are similar to modern humans, representing examples of convergent evolution. Molar crown formation does not appear to be equivalent among extant great apes or consistent within living and fossil members of Pongo or Homo. Copyright © 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Renewables vs fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, K. (Energy Research and Development Corporation (Australia))

    1992-01-01

    The paper examines some of the factors which will influence the future mix of energy from fossil fuels and renewable sources in Australia. Aspects covered include: the present energy situation; impact of environmental issues; potential for renewable energy; motivators for change; and research and development. It is concluded that the future for fossil fuels and renewable energy is dependent on a number of complex factors, many of which are currently unknown. The key factor is economic viability and that will be influenced by a range of factors such as policies of the Australian and overseas governments in relation to pollution and environment protection (reflected in the cost of meeting such requirements), exploration and production costs (also influenced by government policies), availability of supply, rate of technological development and the size of export markets. 8 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  19. A fossils detector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffetaut, E.

    1998-01-01

    Because fossil bones are often rich in uraninite they can be detected using a portable gamma-ray detector run over the prospected site. Zones with higher radioactivity are possible accumulations of bones or skeletons. This method invented by R. Jones from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, USA) has been successfully used in the field and led to the discovery of new dinosaur skeletons. Short paper. (J.S.)

  20. Earliest Recollections and Birth Order: Two Adlerian Exercises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Les

    1992-01-01

    Presents two exercises designed to demonstrate the influence of two Adlerian principles on personality. Includes exercises dealing with birth order and earliest recollection. Concludes that the exercises actively demonstrate major concepts for counseling courses in Adlerian psychotherapy. Reports that students rated both exercises highly, with…

  1. Your Earliest Memory May Be Earlier than You Think: Prospective Studies of Children's Dating of Earliest Childhood Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Peterson, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Theories of childhood amnesia and autobiographical memory development have been based on the assumption that the age estimates of earliest childhood memories are generally accurate, with an average age of 3.5 years among adults. It is also commonly believed that early memories will by default become inaccessible later on and this eventually…

  2. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Fossil birds in the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia: composition, development and scientific value

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boev, Z.N.

    2005-01-01

    A review of the fossil and subfossil avian record kept in Bulgaria is presented. The only collection of fossil birds in Bulgaria was established in the 1980s. 99.6% originates from 98 localities throughout Bulgaria. Foreign fossils originate from Azerbaijan, Greece, Hungary, Namibia and New Zealand.

  4. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular

  5. Corrected placement of Mus-Rattus fossil calibration forces precision in the molecular tree of rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Kimura, Yuri; Hawkins, Melissa T. R.; McDonough, Molly M.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Flynn, Lawrence J.

    2015-01-01

    Time calibration derived from the fossil record is essential for molecular phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Fossil mice and rats, discovered in the Siwalik Group of Pakistan, have served as one of the best-known fossil calibration points in molecular phylogenic studies. Although these fossils have been widely used as the 12 Ma date for the Mus/Rattus split or a more basal split, conclusive paleontological evidence for the nodal assignments has been absent. This study analyzes newly reco...

  6. Fossil Microorganisms in Archaean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astafleva, Marina; Hoover, Richard; Rozanov, Alexei; Vrevskiy, A.

    2006-01-01

    Ancient Archean and Proterozoic rocks are the model objects for investigation of rocks comprising astromaterials. The first of Archean fossil microorganisms from Baltic shield have been reported at the last SPIE Conference in 2005. Since this confeence biomorphic structures have been revealed in Archean rocks of Karelia. It was determined that there are 3 types of such bion structures: 1. structures found in situ, in other words microorganisms even-aged with rock matrix, that is real Archean fossils biomorphic structures, that is to say forms inhabited early formed rocks, and 3. younger than Archean-Protherozoic minerali microorganisms, that is later contamination. We made attempt to differentiate these 3 types of findings and tried to understand of burial of microorganisms. The structures belongs (from our point of view) to the first type, or real Archean, forms were under examination. Practical investigation of ancient microorganisms from Green-Stone-Belt of Northern Karelia turns to be very perspective. It shows that even in such ancient time as Archean ancient diverse world existed. Moreover probably such relatively highly organized cyanobacteria and perhaps eukaryotic formes existed in Archean world.

  7. Ice-core evidence of earliest extensive copper metallurgy in the Andes 2700 years ago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichler, A.; Gramlich, G.; Kellerhals, T.; Tobler, L.; Rehren, Th.; Schwikowski, M.

    2017-01-01

    The importance of metallurgy for social and economic development is indisputable. Although copper (Cu) was essential for the wealth of pre- and post-colonial societies in the Andes, the onset of extensive Cu metallurgy in South America is still debated. Comprehensive archaeological findings point to first sophisticated Cu metallurgy during the Moche culture ~200-800 AD, whereas peat-bog records from southern South America suggest earliest pollution potentially from Cu smelting as far back as ~2000 BC. Here we present a 6500-years Cu emission history for the Andean Altiplano, based on ice-core records from Illimani glacier in Bolivia, providing the first complete history of large-scale Cu smelting activities in South America. We find earliest anthropogenic Cu pollution during the Early Horizon period ~700-50 BC, and attribute the onset of intensified Cu smelting in South America to the activities of the central Andean Chiripa and Chavin cultures ~2700 years ago. This study provides for the first time substantial evidence for extensive Cu metallurgy already during these early cultures.

  8. Ice-core evidence of earliest extensive copper metallurgy in the Andes 2700 years ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichler, A; Gramlich, G; Kellerhals, T; Tobler, L; Rehren, Th; Schwikowski, M

    2017-01-31

    The importance of metallurgy for social and economic development is indisputable. Although copper (Cu) was essential for the wealth of pre- and post-colonial societies in the Andes, the onset of extensive Cu metallurgy in South America is still debated. Comprehensive archaeological findings point to first sophisticated Cu metallurgy during the Moche culture ~200-800 AD, whereas peat-bog records from southern South America suggest earliest pollution potentially from Cu smelting as far back as ~2000 BC. Here we present a 6500-years Cu emission history for the Andean Altiplano, based on ice-core records from Illimani glacier in Bolivia, providing the first complete history of large-scale Cu smelting activities in South America. We find earliest anthropogenic Cu pollution during the Early Horizon period ~700-50 BC, and attribute the onset of intensified Cu smelting in South America to the activities of the central Andean Chiripa and Chavin cultures ~2700 years ago. This study provides for the first time substantial evidence for extensive Cu metallurgy already during these early cultures.

  9. Lapa vermelha IV Hominid 1: morphological affinities of the earliest known American

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neves Walter A.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Several studies concerning the extra-continental morphological affinities of Paleo-Indian skeletons, carried out independently in South and North America, have indicated that the Americas were first occupied by non-Mongoloids that made their way to the New World through the Bering Strait in ancient times. The first South Americans show a clear resemblance to modern South Pacific and African populations, while the first North Americans seem to be at an unresolved morphological position between modern South Pacific and Europeans. In none of these analyses the first Americans show any resemblance to either northeast Asians or modern native Americans. So far, these studies have included affirmed and putative early skeletons thought to date between 8,000 and 10,000 years B.P. In this work the extra-continental morphological affinities of a Paleo-Indian skeleton well dated between 11,000 and 11,500 years B.P. (Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1, or "Luzia" is investigated, using as comparative samples Howells' (1989 world-wide modern series and Habgood's (1985 Old World Late Pleistocene fossil hominids. The comparison between Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1 and Howells' series was based on canonical variate analysis, including 45 size-corrected craniometric variables, while the comparison with fossil hominids was based on principal component analysis, including 16 size-corrected variables. In the first case, Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1 exhibited an undisputed morphological affinity firstly with Africans and secondly with South Pacific populations. In the second comparison, the earliest known American skeleton had its closest similarities with early Australians, Zhoukoudian Upper Cave 103, and Taforalt 18. The results obtained clearly confirm the idea that the Americas were first colonized by a generalized Homo sapiens population which inhabited East Asia in the Late Pleistocene, before the definition of the classic Mongoloid morphology.

  10. Do fossil vertebrate biominerals hold the key to the Palaeozoic climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Žigaitė, Ž.

    2012-04-01

    Fossil vertebrate hard tissues - teeth and dermoskeleton - are considered among the most geochemically stable biominerals, and therefore are widely used for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstructions. Elemental and isotopic compositions of fossil dental tissues may provide unique palaeoenvironmental information, ranging from the diet and trophic positions on a food chain, to the palaeosalinity and water temperatures of ancient seas. However, the post-mortem alteration and re-crystallisation of fossil hard tissues may hamper these interpretations. Chemical composition and isotopic equilibrium of the biomineral change readily at any time from the earliest diagenesis to the final laboratory acid treatment during the fossil preparation. This is why particular attention shall be given to the preservation of fossil tissues, evaluating carefully the level of possible alteration in the primary geochemical composition. Pre-evaluation of fossil preservation can be made by semi-quantitative spot geochemistry analyses on fine polished teeth and scale thin sections using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), and help to preview the chemical composition of biomineral. The Electron Backscatter Diffractometry (EBSD) is useful to examine the cristallinity and possible structural alterations. In addition, rare earth element (REE) abundances can be measured in situ within the fine fossil tissues (such as enamel) using Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), giving evidence on the selective geochemical resilience between separate vertebrate hard tissues. Therefore, in order to decipher the geochemical signal correctly, the evaluation of preservation is a necessary starting point to any further studies of fossil biomineral geochemistry.

  11. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

  12. Organic preservation of fossil musculature with ultracellular detail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver-Mollá, Enrique

    2010-02-07

    The very labile (decay-prone), non-biomineralized, tissues of organisms are rarely fossilized. Occurrences thereof are invaluable supplements to a body fossil record dominated by biomineralized tissues, which alone are extremely unrepresentative of diversity in modern and ancient ecosystems. Fossil examples of extremely labile tissues (e.g. muscle) that exhibit a high degree of morphological fidelity are almost invariably replicated by inorganic compounds such as calcium phosphate. There is no consensus as to whether such tissues can be preserved with similar morphological fidelity as organic remains, except when enclosed inside amber. Here, we report fossilized musculature from an approximately 18 Myr old salamander from lacustrine sediments of Ribesalbes, Spain. The muscle is preserved organically, in three dimensions, and with the highest fidelity of morphological preservation yet documented from the fossil record. Preserved ultrastructural details include myofilaments, endomysium, layering within the sarcolemma, and endomysial circulatory vessels infilled with blood. Slight differences between the fossil tissues and their counterparts in extant amphibians reflect limited degradation during fossilization. Our results provide unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely labile tissues is not only feasible, but likely to be common. This is supported by the discovery of similarly preserved tissues in the Eocene Grube Messel biota.

  13. New hominin fossils from Kanapoi, Kenya, and the mosaic evolution of canine teeth in early hominins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Michael Plavcan

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Whilst reduced size, altered shape and diminished sexual dimorphism of the canine–premolar complex are diagnostic features of the hominin clade, little is known about the rate and timing of changes in canine size and shape in early hominins. The earliest Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis, had canine crowns similar in size to those of its descendant Australopithecus afarensis, but a single large root alveolus has suggested that this species may have had larger and more dimorphic canines than previously recognised. Here we present three new associated dentitions attributed to A. anamensis, recently recovered from the type site of Kanapoi, Kenya, that provide evidence of canine evolution in early Australopithecus. These fossils include the largest mandibular canine root in the hominin fossil record. We demonstrate that, although canine crown height did not differ between these species, A. anamensis had larger and more dimorphic roots, more like those of extant great apes and Ardipithecus ramidus, than those of A. afarensis. The canine and premolar occlusal shapes of A. anamensis also resemble those of Ar. ramidus, and are intermediary between extant great apes and A. afarensis. A. afarensis achieved Homo-like maxillary crown basal proportions without a reduction in crown height. Thus, canine crown size and dimorphism remained stable during the early evolution of Australopithecus, but mandibular root dimensions changed only later within the A. anamensis–afarensis lineage, coincident with morphological changes in the canine–premolar complex. These observations suggest that selection on canine tooth crown height, shape and root dimensions was not coupled in early hominin evolution, and was not part of an integrated adaptive package.

  14. Contrasting developmental trajectories in the earliest known tetrapod forelimbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callier, Viviane; Clack, Jennifer A; Ahlberg, Per E

    2009-04-17

    Ichthyostega and Acanthostega are the earliest tetrapods known from multiple near-complete skeletons, with Acanthostega generally considered the more primitive. New material indicates differing ontogenetic trajectories for their forelimbs: In Ichthyostega, the pattern of muscle attachment processes on small humeri (upper arm bones) resembles that in "fish" members of the tetrapod stem group such as Tiktaalik, whereas large humeri approach (but fail to attain) the tetrapod crown-group condition; in Acanthostega, both small and large humeri exhibit the crown-group pattern. We infer that Ichthyostega underwent greater locomotory terrestrialization during ontogeny. The newly recognized primitive characteristics also suggest that Ichthyostega could be phylogenetically more basal than Acanthostega.

  15. Equatorial Precession Drove Mid-Latitude Changes in ENSO-Scale Variation in the Earliest Miocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, B.; D'Andrea, W. J.; Lee, D. E.; Wilson, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Foulden Maar is an annually laminated lacustrine diatomite deposit from the South Island of New Zealand. The deposit was laid down over ~100 kyr of the latest Oligocene and earliest Miocene, during the peak and deglaciation phase of the Mi-1 Antarctic glaciation event. At this time, New Zealand was located at approximately the same latitude as today (~45°S). Evidence from organic geochemical proxies (δD, δ13C) and physical properties (density, colour) indicates the presence of an 11-kyr cycle at the site. Although it is known that 11-kyr insolation (half-precession) cycles occur between the Tropics, this cycle is rarely seen in sedimentary archives deposited outside the immediate vicinity of the Equator. Records from Foulden Maar correlate well with the amplitude and phase of the modelled equatorial half-precession cycle for the earliest Miocene. High-resolution (50 µm) colour intensity measurements and lamina thickness measurements both indicate the presence of significant ENSO-like (2-8 year) variation in the Foulden Maar sediments. Early results from targeted lamina thickness measurements suggest that ENSO-band variation is modulated by the 11-kyr cycle, with power in the ENSO band increasing during periods of increased insolation at the Equator. This implies that equatorial half-precession had a significant effect on ENSO-like variation in the early Miocene, and that this effect was felt as far afield as the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

  16. Fossil fuel furnace reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, William J.

    1987-01-01

    A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

  17. Evaluation of hard fossil fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zivkovic, S.; Nuic, J.

    1999-01-01

    Because of its inexhaustible supplies hard fossil fuel will represent the pillar of the power systems of the 21st century. Only high-calorie fossil fuels have the market value and participate in the world trade. Low-calorie fossil fuels ((brown coal and lignite) are fuels spent on the spot and their value is indirectly expressed through manufactured kWh. For the purpose of determining the real value of a tonne of low-calorie coal, the criteria that help in establishing the value of a tonne of hard coal have to be corrected and thus evaluated and assessed at the market. (author)

  18. The rise of fire: Fossil charcoal in late Devonian marine shales as an indicator of expanding terrestrial ecosystems, fire, and atmospheric change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimmer, Susan M.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Scott, Andrew C.; Cressler, Walter L.

    2015-01-01

    Fossil charcoal provides direct evidence for fire events that, in turn, have implications for the evolution of both terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Most of the ancient charcoal record is known from terrestrial or nearshore environments and indicates the earliest occurrences of fire in the Late Silurian. However, despite the rise in available fuel through the Devonian as vascular land plants became larger and trees and forests evolved, charcoal occurrences are very sparse until the Early Mississippian where extensive charcoal suggests well-established fire systems. We present data from the latest Devonian and Early Mississippian of North America from terrestrial and marine rocks indicating that fire became more widespread and significant at this time. This increase may be a function of rising O2 levels and the occurrence of fire itself may have contributed to this rise through positive feedback. Recent atmospheric modeling suggests an O2 low during the Middle Devonian (around 17.5%), with O2 rising steadily through the Late Devonian and Early Mississippian (to 21–22%) that allowed for widespread burning for the first time. In Devonian-Mississippian marine black shales, fossil charcoal (inertinite) steadily increases up-section suggesting the rise of widespread fire systems. There is a concomitant increase in the amount of vitrinite (preserved woody and other plant tissues) that also suggests increased sources of terrestrial organic matter. Even as end Devonian glaciation was experienced, fossil charcoal continued to be a source of organic matter being introduced into the Devonian oceans. Scanning electron and reflectance microscopy of charcoal from Late Devonian terrestrial sites indicate that the fires were moderately hot (typically 500–600 °C) and burnt mainly surface vegetation dominated by herbaceous zygopterid ferns and lycopsids, rather than being produced by forest crown fires. The occurrence and relative abundance of fossil charcoal in

  19. Earliest evidence for commensal processes of cat domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yaowu; Hu, Songmei; Wang, Weilin; Wu, Xiaohong; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Xianglong; Hou, Liangliang; Wang, Changsui

    2014-01-07

    Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets globally, but the process of their domestication is not well understood. Near Eastern wildcats are thought to have been attracted to food sources in early agricultural settlements, following a commensal pathway to domestication. Early evidence for close human-cat relationships comes from a wildcat interred near a human on Cyprus ca. 9,500 y ago, but the earliest domestic cats are known only from Egyptian art dating to 4,000 y ago. Evidence is lacking from the key period of cat domestication 9,500-4,000 y ago. We report on the presence of cats directly dated between 5560-5280 cal B.P. in the early agricultural village of Quanhucun in Shaanxi, China. These cats were outside the wild range of Near Eastern wildcats and biometrically smaller, but within the size-range of domestic cats. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of human and animal bone collagen revealed substantial consumption of millet-based foods by humans, rodents, and cats. Ceramic storage containers designed to exclude rodents indicated a threat to stored grain in Yangshao villages. Taken together, isotopic and archaeological data demonstrate that cats were advantageous for ancient farmers. Isotopic data also show that one cat ate less meat and consumed more millet-based foods than expected, indicating that it scavenged among or was fed by people. This study offers fresh perspectives on cat domestication, providing the earliest known evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats.

  20. Status of fossil fuel reserves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laherrere, J.

    2005-01-01

    Reserves represent the sum of past and future productions up to the end of production. In most countries the reserve data of fields are confidential. Therefore, fossil fuel reserves are badly known because the published data are more political than technical and many countries make a confusion between resources and reserves. The cumulated production of fossil fuels represents only between a third and a fifth of the ultimate reserves. The production peak will take place between 2020 and 2050. In the ultimate reserves, which extrapolate the past, the fossil fuels represent three thirds of the overall energy. This document analyses the uncertainties linked with fossil fuel reserves: reliability of published data, modeling of future production, comparison with other energy sources, energy consumption forecasts, reserves/production ratio, exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons (tar sands, extra-heavy oils, bituminous shales, coal gas, gas shales, methane in overpressure aquifers, methane hydrates), technology impacts, prices impact, and reserves growth. (J.S.)

  1. Dating fossil opal phytoliths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lentfer, C.; Boyd, B.; Torrence, R.

    1999-01-01

    Full text: Opal phytoliths are microscopic silica bodies formed by the precipitation of hydrated silica dioxide (SiO 2 nH 2 0) in, around and between cell walls. They are relatively resistant to degradation in most environments and thus, can occur in large quantities in palaeosediments. Consequently, they are valuable tools for environmental reconstruction. Furthermore, phytoliths are often the only recoverable organic material in well oxidised sediments, the occluded carbon provides the opportunity for dating sediment whose ages have previously been difficult to determine, and thus, increase the potential for fine resolution determination of environmental change. This poster describes the results of an investigation assessing the viability of AMS radiocarbon dating of fossil phytolith inclusions using samples from Garua Island, West New Britain, PNG. Thirteen phytolith samples, isolated from sediments previously dated using tephrastratigraphy and C14 dating of macroremains of nutshells and wood charcoal, were used in the analysis. As a control measure, thirteen parallel samples of microscopic charcoal were also dated using AMS. The results show that the AMS dates for the microscopic charcoal samples are consistent with ages anticipated from the other dating methods, for all but one sample. However, the dates for eight of the thirteen phytolith samples are considerably younger than expected. This bias could be explained by several factors, including downwashing of phytolith through soils, bioturbation, carbon exchange through the siliceous matrix of the phytolith bodies, and contamination from extraneous sources of modern carbon retained in the samples. Research is currently focusing on the investigation of these issues and selected samples are in the process of being retreated with strong oxidising agents to clear contaminants prior to re-dating. Further to this, a full investigation of one profile with a long sequence is underway. High concentrations of

  2. The legacy of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. The legacy of fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armaroli, N.; Balzani, V. [CNR, Bologna (Italy)

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production.

  4. Right-handed fossil humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Marina; Estalrrich, Almudena; Bondioli, Luca; Fiore, Ivana; Bermúdez de Castro, José-Maria; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Carbonell, Eudald; Rosas, Antonio; Frayer, David W

    2017-11-01

    Fossil hominids often processed material held between their upper and lower teeth. Pulling with one hand and cutting with the other, they occasionally left impact cut marks on the lip (labial) surface of their incisors and canines. From these actions, it possible to determine the dominant hand used. The frequency of these oblique striations in an array of fossil hominins documents the typically modern pattern of 9 right- to 1 left-hander. This ratio among living Homo sapiens differs from that among chimpanzees and bonobos and more distant primate relatives. Together, all studies of living people affirm that dominant right-handedness is a uniquely modern human trait. The same pattern extends deep into our past. Thus far, the majority of inferred right-handed fossils come from Europe, but a single maxilla from a Homo habilis, OH-65, shows a predominance of right oblique scratches, thus extending right-handedness into the early Pleistocene of Africa. Other studies show right-handedness in more recent African, Chinese, and Levantine fossils, but the sample compiled for non-European fossil specimens remains small. Fossil specimens from Sima del los Huesos and a variety of European Neandertal sites are predominately right-handed. We argue the 9:1 handedness ratio in Neandertals and the earlier inhabitants of Europe constitutes evidence for a modern pattern of handedness well before the appearance of modern Homo sapiens. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Age of the earliest known hominids in Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swisher, C C; Curtis, G H; Jacob, T; Getty, A G; Suprijo, A; Widiasmoro

    1994-02-25

    40Ar/39Ar laser-incremental heating of hornblende separated from pumice recovered at two hominid sites in Java, Indonesia, has yielded well-defined plateaus with weighted mean ages of 1.81 +/- 0.04 and 1.66 +/- 0.04 million years ago (Ma). The hominid fossils, a juvenile calvaria of Pithecanthropus and a partial face and cranial fragments of Meganthropus, commonly considered part of the Asian Homo erectus hypodigm, are at least 0.6 million years older than fossils referred to as Homo erectus (OH-9) from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and comparable in age with the oldest Koobi Fora Homo cf. erectus (Homo ergaster) in Kenya. These ages lend further credence to the view that Homo erectus may have evolved outside of Africa. If the ancestor of Homo erectus ventured out of Africa before 1.8 Ma, the dispersal would have predated the advent of the Acheulean culture at 1.4 Ma, possibly explaining the absence of these characteristic stone cleavers and hand axes in East Asia.

  6. The Hand of Cercopithecoides williamsi (Mammalia, Primates: Earliest Evidence for Thumb Reduction among Colobine Monkeys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R Frost

    Full Text Available Thumb reduction is among the most important features distinguishing the African and Asian colobines from each other and from other Old World monkeys. In this study we demonstrate that the partial skeleton KNM-ER 4420 from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dated to 1.9 Ma and assigned to the Plio-Pleistocene colobine species Cercopithecoides williamsi, shows marked reduction of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals. Thus, KNM-ER 4420 is the first documented occurrence of cercopithecid pollical reduction in the fossil record. In the size of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals, C. williamsi is similar to extant African colobines, but different from cercopithecines, extant Asian colobines and the Late Miocene colobines Microcolobus and Mesopithecus. This feature clearly links the genus Cercopithecoides with the extant African colobine clade and makes it the first definitive African colobine in the fossil record. The postcranial adaptations to terrestriality in Cercopithecoides are most likely secondary, while ancestral colobinans (and colobines were arboreal. Finally, the absence of any evidence for pollical reduction in Mesopithecus implies either independent thumb reduction in African and Asian colobines or multiple colobine dispersal events out of Africa. Based on the available evidence, we consider the first scenario more likely.

  7. The Hand of Cercopithecoides williamsi (Mammalia, Primates): Earliest Evidence for Thumb Reduction among Colobine Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Stephen R; Gilbert, Christopher C; Pugh, Kelsey D; Guthrie, Emily H; Delson, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Thumb reduction is among the most important features distinguishing the African and Asian colobines from each other and from other Old World monkeys. In this study we demonstrate that the partial skeleton KNM-ER 4420 from Koobi Fora, Kenya, dated to 1.9 Ma and assigned to the Plio-Pleistocene colobine species Cercopithecoides williamsi, shows marked reduction of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals. Thus, KNM-ER 4420 is the first documented occurrence of cercopithecid pollical reduction in the fossil record. In the size of its first metacarpal relative to the medial metacarpals, C. williamsi is similar to extant African colobines, but different from cercopithecines, extant Asian colobines and the Late Miocene colobines Microcolobus and Mesopithecus. This feature clearly links the genus Cercopithecoides with the extant African colobine clade and makes it the first definitive African colobine in the fossil record. The postcranial adaptations to terrestriality in Cercopithecoides are most likely secondary, while ancestral colobinans (and colobines) were arboreal. Finally, the absence of any evidence for pollical reduction in Mesopithecus implies either independent thumb reduction in African and Asian colobines or multiple colobine dispersal events out of Africa. Based on the available evidence, we consider the first scenario more likely.

  8. Uranium concentrations in fossils measured by SIMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uyeda, Chiaki; Okano, Jun

    1988-01-01

    Semiquantitative analyses of uranium in fossil bones and teeth were carried out by SIMS. The results show a tendency that uranium concentrations in the fossils increase with the ages of the fossils. It is noticed that fossil bones and teeth having uranium concentration of more than several hundred ppm are not rare. (author)

  9. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exc...

  10. Fossilization History of Fossil Resin from Jambi Province (Sumatra, Indonesia Based on Physico-Chemical Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Naglik

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A unique specimen of fossil resin originating from the Dipterocarpaceae tree family found in Miocene brown coal deposits in Jambi Province (Sumatra, Indonesia was investigated via microscopic observations, microhardness testing and infrared and Raman spectroscopic methods. Its form is rare in nature, being an aggregate of three varieties of resin differing in colour, transparency and internal structure. This suggests the formation of the resins at different stages. Further alteration processes, including fossilization and maturation of the resin in a swamp environment resulted in stepwise aromatization of the cyclohexane ring in steroids and cross-linking through formation of ester bonds as well as carbon–carbon bonds between steroid molecules. The various environmental and geological conditions affecting the formation processes of the resins were recorded in their physico-chemical properties. Additionally, heating conditions accelerated by volcanism were proposed as a factor determining the maturation grade of the resin.

  11. Volutidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of the Lakhra Formation (Earliest Eocene, Sindh, Pakistan): systematics, biostratigraphy and paleobiogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merle, Didier; Pacaud, Jean-Michel; Métais, Grégoire; Bartolini, Annachiara; Lashari, Rafiq A; Brohi, Imdad A; Solangi, Sarfraz H; Marivaux, Laurent; Welcomme, Jean-Loup

    2014-06-27

    The paleobiodiversity of the Volutidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) of the Ranikot Group (Sindh, Pakistan) and particularly of the Lakhra Formation (SBZ 5 biozone, Earliest Eocene), is reconsidered on the basis of new material collected during recent field trips. Ten new species are described (Mitreola brohii sp. nov., Lyrischapa vredenburgi sp. nov., L. brevispira sp. nov., Athleta (Volutopupa) citharopsis sp. nov., A. (Volutocorbis) lasharii sp. nov., Volutilithes welcommei sp. nov., V. sindhiensis sp. nov., Pseudaulicina coxi sp. nov., Sindhiluta lakhraensis sp. nov. and Pakiluta solangii sp. nov.) and one species is in open nomenclature (Lyria sp.). Three new genera are described: Lyriopsis gen. nov. [Volutinae, ?Lyriini, type species: Lyriopsis cossmanni (Vredenburg, 1923)], Sindhiluta gen. nov. [Volutilithinae, type species: Sindhiluta lakhraensis n. sp.] and Pakiluta gen. nov. [?Volutodermatinae, type species: Pakiluta solangii n. sp.]. Two new combinations are proposed: Lyriopsis cossmanni (Vredenburg, 1923) comb. nov. and Athleta (Volutopupa) intercrenatus (Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909) comb. nov. Lectotypes are designated for Lyria cossmanni Vredenburg, 1923, L. feddeni Vredenburg, 1923, Volutospina noetlingi Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909, V. intercrenata Cossmann & Pissarro, 1909 and Athleta (Volutocorbis) victoriae Vredenburg, 1923. With 21 species, this volutid fauna is the most diverse recorded from the Tethys Ocean during Earliest Eocene time. The assemblage is characterized by a strong turnover marked by regional speciation and the appearance of many western Tethyan invaders. Although at the species level, the assemblage documents a strong provincialism, at the genus level, the high number of shared genera between Eastern Tethyan and Old World Tethyan realms begins a phase of long-term homogeneity of volutid assemblages from the Tethyan paleobiogeographic province.

  12. Digging up the Earliest Astronomical Observatory in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei-Boa; Chen, Jiu-Jin

    2007-09-01

    At the town of Taosi, county of Xiangfen, Shanxi province the earliest (up to date about 4000 years ago) astronomical observatory and sacrificial altar relic was dug up, which consists of an observing site, some tamped soil columniations and slits between those columniations. This construction was used to observe the variations of the sunrise azimuth and determine the tropical year length in order to constitute the calendar. It is indicated from the simulated observations that the two slits located in the southeast and the northwest could be precisely used to determine the dates of the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Between those two slits there are 10 columniations which could indicate that the visual Sun moving from one columniation to another is a solar term. It implies that in the Emperor Yao time the calendar was the solar calendar in which one year was divided into 20 solar terms. The Yin-Yang five-element calendar, a 10-month calendar, in the very ancient time was based on this calendar.

  13. Discovery of the earliest-known tetrapod stapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clack, J A

    1989-11-23

    The evolution of the middle ear is central to the discussion of how the first tetrapods adapted to life on land as well as their phylogeny. Here I report the discovery of the stapes of Acanthostega gunnari, from the Upper Devonian of east Greenland. This is the earliest tetrapod stapes so far described, and it throws new light on both these aspects of early tetrapod biology. It has been assumed that the common inheritance of all early tetrapods was a light, rod-like stapes associated with a temporal notch in the otic region that was thought to have supported a tympanum, or eardrum. The stapes would have conducted vibrations from the tympanum to the otic capsule. By contrast, the stapes of Acanthostega was stout with a broad distal ramus associated with the temporal notch. I suggest that the temporal notch of Acanthostega and other early tetrapods supported a spiracular opening rather than a tympanum, and that the stapes controlled palatal and spiracular movements in ventilation.

  14. Earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monge, Guadalupe; Jimenez-Espejo, Francisco J; García-Alix, Antonio; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Mattielli, Nadine; Finlayson, Clive; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Sánchez, Miguel Cortés; de Castro, Jose María Bermúdez; Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Carrión, José; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Finlayson, Geraldine

    2015-09-21

    Homo species were exposed to a new biogeochemical environment when they began to occupy caves. Here we report the first evidence of palaeopollution through geochemical analyses of heavy metals in four renowned archaeological caves of the Iberian Peninsula spanning the last million years of human evolution. Heavy metal contents reached high values due to natural (guano deposition) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. combustion) in restricted cave environments. The earliest anthropogenic pollution evidence is related to Neanderthal hearths from Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar), being one of the first milestones in the so-called "Anthropocene". According to its heavy metal concentration, these sediments meet the present-day standards of "contaminated soil". Together with the former, the Gibraltar Vanguard Cave, shows Zn and Cu pollution ubiquitous across highly anthropic levels pointing to these elements as potential proxies for human activities. Pb concentrations in Magdalenian and Bronze age levels at El Pirulejo site can be similarly interpreted. Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo populations. Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence.

  15. Corrected placement of Mus-Rattus fossil calibration forces precision in the molecular tree of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Hawkins, Melissa T R; McDonough, Molly M; Jacobs, Louis L; Flynn, Lawrence J

    2015-09-28

    Time calibration derived from the fossil record is essential for molecular phylogenetic and evolutionary studies. Fossil mice and rats, discovered in the Siwalik Group of Pakistan, have served as one of the best-known fossil calibration points in molecular phylogenic studies. Although these fossils have been widely used as the 12 Ma date for the Mus/Rattus split or a more basal split, conclusive paleontological evidence for the nodal assignments has been absent. This study analyzes newly recognized characters that demonstrate lineage separation in the fossil record of Siwalik murines and examines the most reasonable nodal placement of the diverging lineages in a molecular phylogenetic tree by ancestral state reconstruction. Our specimen-based approach strongly indicates that Siwalik murines of the Karnimata clade are fossil members of the Arvicanthini-Otomyini-Millardini clade, which excludes Rattus and its relatives. Combining the new interpretation with the widely accepted hypothesis that the Progonomys clade includes Mus, the lineage separation event in the Siwalik fossil record represents the Mus/Arvicanthis split. Our test analysis on Bayesian age estimates shows that this new calibration point provides more accurate estimates of murine divergence than previous applications. Thus, we define this fossil calibration point and refine two other fossil-based points for molecular dating.

  16. Fossil Groups as Cosmological Labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Onghia, Elena

    Optical and X-ray measurements of fossil groups (FGs) suggest that they are old and relaxed systems. If FGs are assembled at higher redshift, there is enough time for intermediate-luminosity galaxies to merge, resulting in the formation of the brightest group galaxy (BGG). We carry out the first, systematic study of a large sample of FGs, the "FOssil Group Origins'' (FOGO) based on an International Time Project at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. For ten FOGO FGs we have been awarded time at SUZAKU Telescope to measure the temperature of the hot intragroup gas (IGM). For these systems we plan to evaluate and correlate their X-ray luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lx-Tx, optical luminosity and X-ray temperature, Lopt-Tx, and group velocity dispersion with their X-ray temperature, sigma V-Tx, as compared to the non fossil systems. By combining these observations with state-of-art cosmological hydrodynamical simulations we will open a new window into the study of the IGM and the nature of fossil systems. Our proposed work will be of direct relevance for the understanding and interpretation of data from several NASA science missions. Specifically, the scaling relations obtained from these data combined with our predictions obtained using state-of-the-art hydrodynamical simulation numerical adopting a new hydrodynamical scheme will motivate new proposal on CHANDRA X-ray telescope for fossil groups and clusters. We will additionally create a public Online Planetarium Show. This will be an educational site, containing an interactive program called: "A Voyage to our Universe''. In the show we will provide observed images of fossil groups and similar images and movies obtained from the numerical simulations showing their evolution. The online planetarium show will be a useful reference and an interactive educational tool for both students and the public.

  17. Avian fossils from the Early Miocene Moghra Formation of Egypt ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Avian remains from the Early Miocene (~17 Ma) Moghra Formation of Egypt include new records of 'waterbirds' (storks, herons, pelicans and allies) and a ratite. Only a single avian fossil has been previously reported from Wadi Moghra and, thus, additional knowledge of the avifauna complements previously documented ...

  18. Fossilized Mammalian Erythrocytes Associated With a Tick Reveal Ancient Piroplasms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinar, George

    2017-07-01

    Ticks transmit a variety of pathogenic organisms to vertebrates, especially mammals. The fossil record of such associations is extremely rare. An engorged nymphal tick of the genus Ambylomma in Dominican amber was surrounded by erythrocytes from its mammalian host. Some of the exposed erythrocytes contained developmental stages of a hemoprotozoan resembling members of the Order Piroplasmida. The fossil piroplasm is described, its stages compared with those of extant piroplasms, and reasons provided why the mammalian host could have been a primate. The parasites were also found in the gut epithelial cells and body cavity of the fossil tick. Aside from providing the first fossil mammalian red blood cells and the first fossil intraerythrocytic hemoparasites, the present discovery shows that tick-piroplasm associations were already well established in the Tertiary. This discovery provides a timescale that can be used in future studies on the evolution of the Piroplasmida. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com Version of Record, first published online March 20, 2017 with fixed content and layout in compliance with Art. 8.1.3.2 ICZN.

  19. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

  20. Magnetic Reconnection at the Earliest Stage of Solar Flux Emergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Hui; Zhu, Xiaoshuai; Peter, Hardi; Zhao, Jie; Samanta, Tanmoy; Chen, Yajie

    2018-02-01

    On 2016 September 20, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph observed an active region during its earliest emerging phase for almost 7 hr. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory observed continuous emergence of small-scale magnetic bipoles with a rate of ∼1016 Mx s‑1. The emergence of magnetic fluxes and interactions between different polarities lead to the frequent occurrence of ultraviolet (UV) bursts, which exhibit as intense transient brightenings in the 1400 Å images. In the meantime, discrete small patches with the same magnetic polarity tend to move together and merge, leading to the enhancement of the magnetic fields and thus the formation of pores (small sunspots) at some locations. The spectra of these UV bursts are characterized by the superposition of several chromospheric absorption lines on the greatly broadened profiles of some emission lines formed at typical transition region temperatures, suggesting heating of the local materials to a few tens of thousands of kelvin in the lower atmosphere by magnetic reconnection. Some bursts reveal blue- and redshifts of ∼100 km s‑1 at neighboring pixels, indicating the spatially resolved bidirectional reconnection outflows. Many such bursts appear to be associated with the cancellation of magnetic fluxes with a rate of the order of ∼1015 Mx s‑1. We also investigate the three-dimensional magnetic field topology through a magnetohydrostatic model and find that a small fraction of the bursts are associated with bald patches (magnetic dips). Finally, we find that almost all bursts are located in regions of large squashing factor at the height of ∼1 Mm, reinforcing our conclusion that these bursts are produced through reconnection in the lower atmosphere.

  1. Revisiting the earliest electrophysiological correlate of familiar face recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wanyi; Wu, Xia; Hu, Liping; Wang, Lei; Ding, Yulong; Qu, Zhe

    2017-10-01

    The present study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to reinvestigate the earliest face familiarity effect (FFE: ERP differences between familiar and unfamiliar faces) that genuinely reflects cognitive processes underlying recognition of familiar faces in long-term memory. To trigger relatively early FFEs, participants were required to categorize upright and inverted famous faces and unknown faces in a task that placed high demand on face recognition. More importantly, to determine whether an observed FFE was linked to on-line face recognition, systematical investigation about the relationship between the FFE and behavioral performance of face recognition was conducted. The results showed significant FFEs on P1, N170, N250, and P300 waves. The FFEs on occipital P1 and N170 (faces, and were not correlated with any behavioral measure (accuracy, response time) or modulated by learning, indicating that they might merely reflect low-level visual differences between face sets. In contrast, the later FFEs on occipito-temporal N250 (~230ms) and centro-parietal P300 (~350ms) showed consistent polarities for upright and inverted faces. The N250 FFE was individually correlated with recognition speed for upright faces, and could be obtained for inverted faces through learning. The P300 FFE was also related to behavior in many aspects. These findings provide novel evidence supporting that cognitive discrimination of familiar and unfamiliar faces starts no less than 200ms after stimulus onset, and the familiarity effect on N250 may be the first electrophysiological correlate underlying recognition of familiar faces in long-term memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. New fossil fuel combustion technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minghetti, E.; Palazzi, G.

    1995-01-01

    The aim of the present article is to supply general information concerning fossil fuels that represent, today and for the near future, the main energy source of our Planet. New fossil fuel technologies are in continual development with two principal goals: to decrease environmental impact and increase transformation process efficiency. Examples of this efforts are: 1) gas-steam combined cycles integrated with coal gasification plants, or with pressurized-fluidized-bed combustors; 2) new cycles with humid air or coal direct fired turbine, now under development. In the first part of this article the international and national energy situations and trends are shown. After some brief notes on environmental problems and alternative fuels, such as bio masses and municipal wastes, technological aspects, mainly relevant to increase fossil-fueled power plant performances, are examined in greater depth. Finally the research and technological development activities of ENEA (Italian Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment) Engineering Branch, in order to improve fossil fuels energy and environmental use are presented

  3. Progress of fossil fuel science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demirbas, M.F.

    2007-07-01

    Coal is the most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel. More than 45% of the world's electricity is generated from coal, and it is the major fuel for generating electricity worldwide. The known coal reserves in the world are enough for more than 215 years of consumption, while the known oil reserves are only about 39 times of the world's consumption and the known natural gas reserves are about 63 times of the world's consumption level in 1998. In recent years, there have been effective scientific investigations on Turkish fossil fuels, which are considerable focused on coal resources. Coal is a major fossil fuel source for Turkey. Turkish coal consumption has been stable over the past decade and currently accounts for about 24% of the country's total energy consumption. Lignite coal has had the biggest share in total fossil fuel production, at 43%, in Turkey. Turkish researchers may investigate ten broad pathways of coal species upgrading, such as desulfurization and oxydesulfurization, pyrolysis and hydropyrolysis, liquefaction and hydroliquefaction, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction, gasification, oxidation, briquetting, flotation, and structure identification.

  4. Fossil Polypodiaceae and their spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uffelen, van Gerda A.

    1991-01-01

    In this publication emphasis is laid on the modern definition of the family Polypodiaceae (Filicales), which is based on an extensive study of Recent material and which is much restricted with respect to older circumscriptions of the family as usually applied by palaeobotanists. Fossils of fems

  5. Fossil energy and food security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Folke, G.

    2001-01-01

    To fulfil the basic goal of delivering food for the tables of the citizens, modern Western agriculture is extremely dependent on supporting material flows, infrastructure, and fossil energy. According to several observers, fossil fuel production is about to peak, i.e., oil extraction is no longer capable of keeping pace with the increasing demand. This situation may trigger an unprecedented increase in fossil energy prices, which may make the current highly energy dependent food production-distribution system highly vulnerable. The paper starts with a survey of this vulnerability. Also, the supply of phosphorus, a key factor in agriculture, may be at stake under such circumstances. The paper analyses this situation and discusses settlement structures integrated with agriculture that might increase food security by reducing energy demands. In the proposed ideal societal structure, agriculture is integrated with settlements and most of the food needed by the population is produced locally, and the nutrients for food production are recycled from households and animals by means of biological processes demanding considerably less mechanical investment and fossil support energy than the conventional type of agriculture. The vulnerability of this structure would be considerably lower, than that of the current system. (author)

  6. Retrieving chronological age from dental remains of early fossil hominins to reconstruct human growth in the past

    OpenAIRE

    Dean, M. Christopher

    2010-01-01

    A chronology of dental development in Pan troglodytes is arguably the best available model with which to compare and contrast reconstructed dental chronologies of the earliest fossil hominins. Establishing a time scale for growth is a requirement for being able to make further comparative observations about timing and rate during both dento-skeletal growth and brain growth. The absolute timing of anterior tooth crown and root formation appears not to reflect the period of somatic growth. In c...

  7. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prothero, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  8. Scaldiporia vandokkumi, a new pontoporiid (Mammalia, Cetacea, Odontoceti from the Late Miocene to earliest Pliocene of the Westerschelde estuary (The Netherlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaas Post

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background The family Pontoporiidae (Cetacea, Odontoceti, Inioidea is currently represented in our oceans by just one species of diminutive dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei, franciscana. Although P. blainvillei is limited to coastal waters of the South Atlantic along Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, multiple Miocene and Pliocene fossils indicate the past presence of members of the family in the South Atlantic, South Paciifc and North Atlantic oceans. Our comprehension of the origin and diversity of this clade and of the relationships of its members with other inioids is hampered by the fact that part of the described fossil specimens, especially from the North Atlantic realm, are cranial fragments often associated to limited stratigraphic information. Methods Based on an almost complete fossil cranium of pontoporiid from the Westerschelde estuary, The Netherlands, whose preservation allows for detailed morphological observations, we describe a new genus and species. The latter is compared to other pontoporiids, as well as a few non-pontoporiid inioids. A phylogenetic analysis is performed to investigate the relationship of S. vandokkumi with the best-known extinct and extant inioids. Palynological analysis of the sediment associated to the holotype is used to assess its geological age. Results and discussion The new genus and species Scaldiporia vandokkumi is characterized among others by greatly thickened premaxillary eminences reaching the level of the antorbital notch. Palynologically dated from the late Tortonian—earliest Zanclean (7.6–5 Ma, Late Miocene—earliest Pliocene, this new pontoporiid confirms the surprising past diversity of marine inioids in the North Atlantic area. Finally the content of the pontoporiid subfamily Brachydelphininae is briefly discussed.

  9. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon

    OpenAIRE

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America...

  10. Sanitary effects of fossil fuels; Effets sanitaires des combustibles fossiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nifenecker, H. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (IN2P3/CNRS), 38 - Grenoble (France)

    2006-07-01

    In this compilation are studied the sanitary effects of fossil fuels, behavioral and environmental sanitary risks. The risks in connection with the production, the transport and the distribution(casting) are also approached for the oil(petroleum), the gas and the coal. Accidents in the home are evoked. The risks due to the atmospheric pollution are seen through the components of the atmospheric pollution as well as the sanitary effects of this pollution. (N.C.)

  11. The oldest Mahonia (Berberidaceae) fossil from East Asia and its biogeographic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian; Su, Tao; Lebereton-Anberrée, Julie; Zhang, Shi-Tao; Zhou, Zhe-Kun

    2016-03-01

    Interpretation of the biogeography of the genus Mahonia (Berberidaceae) is limited by the lack of fossil records in East Asia. Compressed fossil foliage, described here as Mahonia mioasiatica sp. nov., were collected from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan, Yunnan, southwest China. These specimens represent the oldest reliable fossil record of Mahonia in East Asia. This new fossil species shows a general similarity to Group Orientales and is most similar to the extant eastern Asian Mahonia conferta. Considering other fossil evidence of Mahonia, we propose a migration route of this genus to Asia over the North Atlantic Land Bridge rather than the Bering Land Bridge. Our results also suggest that North America, Europe and East Asia have been successive centers of diversity for the genus, as a consequence of diversification in Group Orientales potentially related to historical climate change.

  12. News technology utilization fossil fuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blišanová Monika

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Fossil fuel – “alternative energy“ is coal, petroleum, natural gas. Petroleum and natural gas are scarce resources, but they are delimited. Reserves petroleum will be depleted after 39 years and reserves natural gas after 60 years.World reserves coal are good for another 240 years. Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel. It is the least expensive energy source for generating electricity. Many environmental problems associated with use of coal:in coal production, mining creates environmental problems.On Slovakia representative coal only important internal fuel – power of source and coal is produced in 5 locality. Nowadays, oneself invest to new technology on utilization coal. Perspective solution onself shows UCG, IGCC.

  13. Clustering fossils in solid inflation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akhshik, Mohammad, E-mail: m.akhshik@ipm.ir [Department of Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2015-05-01

    In solid inflation the single field non-Gaussianity consistency condition is violated. As a result, the long tenor perturbation induces observable clustering fossils in the form of quadrupole anisotropy in large scale structure power spectrum. In this work we revisit the bispectrum analysis for the scalar-scalar-scalar and tensor-scalar-scalar bispectrum for the general parameter space of solid. We consider the parameter space of the model in which the level of non-Gaussianity generated is consistent with the Planck constraints. Specializing to this allowed range of model parameter we calculate the quadrupole anisotropy induced from the long tensor perturbations on the power spectrum of the scalar perturbations. We argue that the imprints of clustering fossil from primordial gravitational waves on large scale structures can be detected from the future galaxy surveys.

  14. Sanitary effects of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nifenecker, H.

    2006-01-01

    In this compilation are studied the sanitary effects of fossil fuels, behavioral and environmental sanitary risks. The risks in connection with the production, the transport and the distribution(casting) are also approached for the oil(petroleum), the gas and the coal. Accidents in the home are evoked. The risks due to the atmospheric pollution are seen through the components of the atmospheric pollution as well as the sanitary effects of this pollution. (N.C.)

  15. Earliest land plants created modern levels of atmospheric oxygen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenton, Timothy M.; Dahl, Tais Wittchen; Daines, Stuart J.

    2016-01-01

    ) weathered from rocks. Combining these effects in a model of long-term biogeochemical cycling, we reproduce a sustained +2‰ increase in the carbonate carbon isotope (δ(13)C) record by ∼445 Ma, and predict a corresponding rise in O2 to present levels by 420-400 Ma, consistent with geochemical data...

  16. Highly derived eutherian mammals from the earliest Cretaceous of southern Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C. Sweetman

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Eutherian mammals (Placentalia and all mammals phylogenetically closer to placentals than to marsupials comprise the vast majority of extant Mammalia. Among these there is a phenomenal range of forms and sizes, but the origins of crown group placentals are obscure. They lie within the generally tiny mammals of the Mesozoic, represented for the most part by isolated teeth and jaws, and there is strongly conflicting evidence from phenomic and molecular data as to the date of origin of both Eutheria and Placentalia. The oldest purported eutherians are Juramaia from the Upper Jurassic of China, and Eomaia and Acristatherium from the Lower Cretaceous, also of China. Based on dental characters and analyses of other morphological and molecular data, doubt has recently been cast on the eutherian affinities of the Chinese taxa and consequently on the date of emergence of Eutheria. Until now, the only tribosphenic mammal recorded from the earliest Cretaceous (Berriasian Purbeck Group of Britain was the stem tribosphenidan Tribactonodon. Here we document two new tribosphenic mammals from the Purbeck Group, Durlstotherium gen. nov. and Durlstodon gen. nov., showing highly derived eutherian molar characters that support the early emergence of this clade, prior to the Cretaceous.

  17. From Fossil Parasitoids to Vectors: Insects as Parasites and Hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, Christina; Haug, Joachim T

    2015-01-01

    Within Metazoa, it has been proposed that as many as two-thirds of all species are parasitic. This propensity towards parasitism is also reflected within insects, where several lineages independently evolved a parasitic lifestyle. Parasitic behaviour ranges from parasitic habits in the strict sense, but also includes parasitoid, phoretic or kleptoparasitic behaviour. Numerous insects are also the host for other parasitic insects or metazoans. Insects can also serve as vectors for numerous metazoan, protistan, bacterial and viral diseases. The fossil record can report this behaviour with direct (parasite associated with its host) or indirect evidence (insect with parasitic larva, isolated parasitic insect, pathological changes of host). The high abundance of parasitism in the fossil record of insects can reveal important aspects of parasitic lifestyles in various evolutionary lineages. For a comprehensive view on fossil parasitic insects, we discuss here different aspects, including phylogenetic systematics, functional morphology and a direct comparison of fossil and extant species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Implications of a fossil stickleback assemblage for Darwinian gradualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M A

    2009-11-01

    Darwin postulated that a complete fossil record would contain numerous gradual transitions between ancestral and descendant species, but 150 years after publication of The Origin of Species, few such transitions have materialized. The fossil stickleback Gasterosteus doryssus and the deposit in which it occurs provide excellent conditions to detect such transitions. Abundant, well-preserved fossils occur in a stratigraphic setting with fine temporal resolution. The paleoecology of G. doryssus resembles the ecology of modern lakes that harbour the phenotypically similar three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Gasterosteus aculeatus are primitively highly armoured, but G. doryssus comprised two contemporaneous biological species with relatively weak armour, including a near-shore, benthic feeder (benthic) and an offshore planktivore (limnetic). The benthic species expanded its range into the limnetic zone of the lake, where it apparently switched to planktivory and evolved reduced armour within c. 5000 years in response to directional selection. Although gradual evolution of mean phenotypes occurred, a single major gene caused much of evolutionary change of the pelvic skeleton. Thus, Darwin's expectation that transitions between species in the fossil record would be gradual was met at a fine time scale, but for pelvic structure, a well-studied trait, his expectation that gradual change would depend entirely on numerous, small, heritable differences among individuals was incorrect.

  19. First report of fossil "keratose" demosponges in Phanerozoic carbonates: preservation and 3-D reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Cui; Reitner, Joachim

    2014-06-01

    Fossil record of Phanerozoic non-spicular sponges, beside of being important with respect to the lineage evolution per se, could provide valuable references for the investigation of Precambrian ancestral animal fossils. However, although modern phylogenomic studies resolve non-spicular demosponges as the sister group of the remaining spiculate demosponges, the fossil record of the former is extremely sparse or unexplored compared to that of the latter; the Middle Cambrian Vauxiidae Walcott 1920, is the only confirmed fossil taxon of non-spicular demosponges. Here, we describe carbonate materials from Devonian (Upper Givetian to Lower Frasnian) bioherms of northern France and Triassic (Anisian) microbialites of Poland that most likely represent fossil remnants of keratose demosponges. These putative fossils of keratose demosponges are preserved as automicritic clumps. They are morphologically distinguishable from microbial fabrics but similar to other spiculate sponge fossils, except that the skeletal elements consist of fibrous networks instead of assembled spicules. Consistent with the immunological behavior of sponges, these fibrous skeletons often form a rim at the edge of the automicritic aggregate, separating the inner part of the aggregate from foreign objects. To confirm the architecture of these fibrous networks, two fossil specimens and a modern thorectid sponge for comparison were processed for three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction using serial grinding tomography. The resulting fossil reconstructions are three-dimensionally anastomosing, like modern keratose demosponges, but their irregular and nonhierarchical meshes indicate a likely verongid affinity, although a precise taxonomic conclusion cannot be made based on the skeletal architecture alone. This study is a preliminary effort, but an important start to identify fossil non-spicular demosponges in carbonates and to re-evaluate their fossilization potential.

  20. Earliest Mysticete from the Late Eocene of Peru Sheds New Light on the Origin of Baleen Whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier; Martínez-Cáceres, Manuel; Bianucci, Giovanni; Di Celma, Claudio; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Steurbaut, Etienne; Urbina, Mario; de Muizon, Christian

    2017-05-22

    Although combined molecular and morphological analyses point to a late middle Eocene (38-39 million years ago) origin for the clade Neoceti (Odontoceti, echolocating toothed whales plus Mysticeti, baleen whales, and relatives), the oldest known mysticete fossil dates from the latest Eocene (about 34 million years ago) of Antarctica [1, 2]. Considering that the latter is not the most stemward mysticete in recent phylogenies and that Oligocene toothed mysticetes display a broad morphological disparity most likely corresponding to contrasted ecological niches, the origin of mysticetes from a basilosaurid ancestor and its drivers are currently poorly understood [1, 3-8]. Based on an articulated cetacean skeleton from the early late Eocene (Priabonian, around 36.4 million years ago) of the Pisco Basin, Peru, we describe a new archaic tooth-bearing mysticete, Mystacodon selenensis gen. et sp. nov. Being the geologically oldest neocete (crown group cetacean) and the earliest mysticete to branch off described so far, the new taxon is interpreted as morphologically intermediate between basilosaurids and later toothed mysticetes, providing thus crucial information about the anatomy of the skull, forelimb, and innominate at these critical initial stages of mysticete evolution. Major changes in the morphology of the oral apparatus (including tooth wear) and flipper compared to basilosaurids suggest that suction and possibly benthic feeding represented key, early ecological traits accompanying the emergence of modern filter-feeding baleen whales' ancestors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Prudence in a fossil generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruschak, R.R.; Yost, R.E.

    1991-01-01

    During the last decade, regulatory agencies have increasingly required that to be reimbursed for an investment in facilities, utilities must first prove their generating facility construction projects were prudently managed. The proof was almost always solicited when the plants were nearing completion. Utilities failing this retrospective prudence test have often suffered severe financial penalties. Thus far fossil plants have been spared the brunt of the prudence challenge. However, this situation may change. Regulatory agencies are honing the prudence concept into a broad tool. Application of this regulatory method is not likely to wane but rather just change its focus - from that of nuclear to other large utility expenditures. The primary ones being fossil construction, fuel purchases, and transmission facilities. For new plant construction to begin again and successfully pass the prudence challenge, the industry must learn from the troubles of the nuclear era, and change the way that decisions are made, documented and archived. Major decisions resulting in the commitment of millions of dollars over extended time periods (and governmental administrations) must be appropriately structured, packaged, collated to key issues and stored for ease of retrieval when the Prudence questions are asked. This paper describes how utilities can anticipate fossil-related prudence and shield themselves from extensive retrospective reconstruction of decisions made years ago. Through the establishment of a formal program of prudence safeguards, utility management can reduce its exposure to potentially adverse prudence reviews. In many cases, the resulting focus on, and improvements in, the decision making process can have beneficial side effects - such as better decisions that lead to lower project costs

  2. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F Gillooly

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy.

  3. Developing fossil fuel based technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manzoori, A.R.; Lindner, E.R.

    1991-01-01

    Some of the undesirable effects of burning fossil fuels in the conventional power generating systems have resulted in increasing demand for alternative technologies for power generation. This paper describes a number of new technologies and their potential to reduce the level of atmospheric emissions associated with coal based power generation, such as atmospheric and pressurized fluid bed combustion systems and fuel cells. The status of their development is given and their efficiency is compared with that of conventional pc fired power plants. 1 tab., 7 figs

  4. The fossil record of crocodilian tracks and traces: an overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lockley, Martin G.; Lucas, Spencer; Milàn, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    This volume fills a gap in the ichnological literature on crocodylian tracks and other traces (bite marks and coprolites). The definition of Crocodylia is presently in flux as both crown-based and stem-based definitions are present in the literature. The present volume provides articles focused o...

  5. Climatic influences on species: Evidence from the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, T. M.; Schneider, C.E.

    1990-01-01

    The detailed Neogene and Quaternary paleoclimatic reconstructions now available provide a means to test how species respond to environmental change. Paleontologic studies of marine organisms show that climatic change causes evolution (via cladogenesis and anagenesis), ecophenotypic variation, migration, morphologic stasis and extinction. Evolution during climatic change is a rare event relative to the number of climatic cycles that have occurred, but climate-related environmental barriers, usually temperature, may play an important role in the isolation of populations during allopatric speciation.

  6. Fossils mollusc asemblage found at Zagarzazu, marine Pleistocene, Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rojas, A. . E mail: alejandra@fcien.edu.uy

    2004-01-01

    There are presented the results of the paleoecological analysis of the mollusc assemblage found at Zagarzazu, Colonia department. The fossils are well preserved, arranged in thin shell-beds with some specimens in life position. The assemblage is indicative of higher temperatures than present, and a strong marine influence. It is important to stress that new thermophilic molluscs for the marine Quaternary were found and that this locality represents a new Pleistocene marine record in Uruguay [es

  7. An extraordinary gobioid fish fossil from Southern France.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Gierl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The classification of gobioid fishes is still under discussion. Several lineages, including the Eleotridae and Butidae, remain difficult to characterize because synapomorphies are rare (Eleotridae or have not yet been determined (Butidae. Moreover, the fossil record of these groups is scarce. RESULTS: Exceptionally well-preserved fish fossils with otoliths in situ from uppermost Oligocene sediments (≈23-24 Mio. y. ago in Southern France provide the most in-depth description of a fossil gobioid to date. The species was initially described as Cottus aries Agassiz, then transferred to †Lepidocottus Sauvage, and subsequently assigned to Gobius. Based on a comparative analysis of meristic, osteological and otolith data, this species most likely is a member of the family Butidae. This discovery is important because it represents the first record of a fossil butid fish based on articulated skeletons from Europe. SIGNIFICANCE: The Butidae and Eleotridae are currently distributed in W-Africa, Madagascar, Asia and Australia, but they do not appear in Europe and also not in the Mediterranean Sea. The new results indicate that several species of the Butidae thrived in Europe during the Oligocene and Early Miocene. Similar to the recent Butidae and Eleotridae, these fishes were adapted to a wide range of salinities and thrived in freshwater, brackish and marginal marine habitats. The fossil Butidae disappeared from Europe and the Mediterranean and Paratethys areas during the Early Miocene, due probably to their lack of competitiveness compared to other Gobioidei that radiated during this period of time. In addition, this study documents the great value of otoliths for gobioid systematics.

  8. Fossil energy program. Summary document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-05-01

    This program summary document presents a comprehensive overview of the research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) activities that will be performed in FY 1981 by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE), US Department of Energy (DOE). The ASFE technology programs for the fossil resources of coal, petroleum (including oil shale) and gas have been established with the goal of making substantive contributions to the nation's future supply and efficienty use of energy. On April 29, 1977, the Administration submitted to Congress the National Energy Plan (NEP) and accompanying legislative proposals designed to establish a coherent energy policy structure for the United States. Congress passed the National Energy Act (NEA) on October 15, 1978, which allows implementation of the vital parts of the NEP. The NEP was supplemented by additional energy policy statements culminating in the President's address on July 15, 1979, presenting a program to further reduce dependence on imported petroleum. The passage of the NEA-related energy programs represent specific steps by the Administration and Congress to reorganize, redirect, and clarify the role of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of national energy policy and programs. The energy technology RD and D prog4rams carried out by ASFE are an important part of the Federal Government's effort to provide the combination and amounts of energy resources needed to ensure national security and continued economic growth.

  9. Earliest Known Use of Marine Resources by Neanderthals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés-Sánchez, Miguel; Morales-Muñiz, Arturo; Simón-Vallejo, María D.; Lozano-Francisco, María C.; Vera-Peláez, José L.; Finlayson, Clive; Rodríguez-Vidal, Joaquín; Delgado-Huertas, Antonio; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Martínez-Ruiz, Francisca; Martínez-Aguirre, M. Aranzazu; Pascual-Granged, Arturo J.; Bergadà-Zapata, M. Mercè; Gibaja-Bao, Juan F.; Riquelme-Cantal, José A.; López-Sáez, J. Antonio; Rodrigo-Gámiz, Marta; Sakai, Saburo; Sugisaki, Saiko; Finlayson, Geraldine; Fa, Darren A.; Bicho, Nuno F.

    2011-01-01

    Numerous studies along the northern Mediterranean borderland have documented the use of shellfish by Neanderthals but none of these finds are prior to Marine Isotopic Stage 3 (MIS 3). In this paper we present evidence that gathering and consumption of mollusks can now be traced back to the lowest level of the archaeological sequence at Bajondillo Cave (Málaga, Spain), dated during the MIS 6. The paper describes the taxonomical and taphonomical features of the mollusk assemblages from this level Bj19 and briefly touches upon those retrieved in levels Bj18 (MIS 5) and Bj17 (MIS 4), evidencing a continuity of the shellfishing activity that reaches to MIS 3. This evidence is substantiated on 29 datings through radiocarbon, thermoluminescence and U series methods. Obtained dates and paleoenvironmental records from the cave include isotopic, pollen, lithostratigraphic and sedimentological analyses and they are fully coherent with paleoclimate conditions expected for the different stages. We conclude that described use of shellfish resources by Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) in Southern Spain started ∼150 ka and were almost contemporaneous to Pinnacle Point (South Africa), when shellfishing is first documented in archaic modern humans. PMID:21935371

  10. The earliest evidence for Upper Paleolithic occupation in the Armenian Highlands at Aghitu-3 Cave.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandel, Andrew W; Gasparyan, Boris; Allué, Ethel; Bigga, Gerlinde; Bruch, Angela A; Cullen, Victoria L; Frahm, Ellery; Ghukasyan, Robert; Gruwier, Ben; Jabbour, Firas; Miller, Christopher E; Taller, Andreas; Vardazaryan, Varduhi; Vasilyan, Davit; Weissbrod, Lior

    2017-09-01

    With its well-preserved archaeological and environmental records, Aghitu-3 Cave permits us to examine the settlement patterns of the Upper Paleolithic (UP) people who inhabited the Armenian Highlands. We also test whether settlement of the region between ∼39-24,000 cal BP relates to environmental variability. The earliest evidence occurs in archaeological horizon (AH) VII from ∼39-36,000 cal BP during a mild, moist climatic phase. AH VI shows periodic occupation as warm, humid conditions prevailed from ∼36-32,000 cal BP. As the climate becomes cooler and drier at ∼32-29,000 cal BP (AH V-IV), evidence for occupation is minimal. However, as cooling continues, the deposits of AH III demonstrate that people used the site more intensively from ∼29-24,000 cal BP, leaving behind numerous stone artifacts, faunal remains, and complex combustion features. Despite the climatic fluctuations seen across this 15,000-year sequence, lithic technology remains attuned to one pattern: unidirectional reduction of small cores geared towards the production of bladelets for tool manufacture. Subsistence patterns also remain stable, focused on medium-sized prey such as ovids and caprids, as well as equids. AH III demonstrates an expansion of social networks to the northwest and southwest, as the transport distance of obsidian used to make stone artifacts increases. We also observe the addition of bone tools, including an eyed needle, and shell beads brought from the east, suggesting that these people manufactured complex clothing and wore ornaments. Remains of micromammals, birds, charcoal, pollen, and tephra relate the story of environmental variability. We hypothesize that UP behavior was linked to shifts in demographic pressures and climatic changes. Thus, by combining archaeological and environmental data, we gain a clearer picture about the first UP inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawa Sugiyama

    Full Text Available From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550, one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24 and felids (n = 29.

  12. Paleoradiology. Imaging mummies and fossils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chhem, Rethy K. [Western Ontario Univ. London Health Sciences Centre, ON (Canada). Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine; Brothwell, Don R. [York Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Archaeology

    2008-07-01

    This is an important work on a topic of huge interest to archaeologists and related scientists, since the use of imaging techniques in the field has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Paleoradiology involves the use of X-rays and advanced medical imaging modalities to evaluate ancient human and animal skeletons as well as biological materials from archaeological sites. Paleoradiological studies have been performed on mummies, skeletal remains and fossils to determine their sex and age at death. Diagnostic paleoradiology is the use of X-ray studies to detect ancient diseases. The broad range of themes and imaging techniques in this volume reflects four decades of research undertaken by Don Brothwell in the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, combined with two decades of skeletal radiology experience during which Rethy Chhem read over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies. (orig.)

  13. Paleoradiology. Imaging mummies and fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chhem, Rethy K.; Brothwell, Don R.

    2008-01-01

    This is an important work on a topic of huge interest to archaeologists and related scientists, since the use of imaging techniques in the field has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Paleoradiology involves the use of X-rays and advanced medical imaging modalities to evaluate ancient human and animal skeletons as well as biological materials from archaeological sites. Paleoradiological studies have been performed on mummies, skeletal remains and fossils to determine their sex and age at death. Diagnostic paleoradiology is the use of X-ray studies to detect ancient diseases. The broad range of themes and imaging techniques in this volume reflects four decades of research undertaken by Don Brothwell in the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, combined with two decades of skeletal radiology experience during which Rethy Chhem read over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies. (orig.)

  14. Retrofitting for fossil fuel flexibility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newell, J.; Trueblood, R.C.; Lukas, R.W.; Worster, C.M.; Marx, P.D.

    1991-01-01

    Described in this paper are two fossil plant retrofits recently completed by the Public Service Company of New Hampshire that demonstrate the type of planning and execution required for a successful project under the current regulatory and budget constraints. Merrimack Units 1 and 2 are 120 MW and 338 MW nominal cyclone-fired coal units in Bow, New Hampshire. The retrofits recently completed at these plants have resulted in improved particulate emissions compliance, and the fuel flexibility to allow switching to lower sulphur coals to meet current and future SO 2 emission limits. Included in this discussion are the features of each project including the unique precipitator procurement approach for the Unit 1 Retrofit, and methods used to accomplish both retrofits within existing scheduled maintenance outages through careful planning and scheduling, effective use of pre-outage construction, 3-D CADD modeling, modular construction and early procurement. Operating experience while firing various coals in the cyclone fired boilers is also discussed

  15. Fossils and living taxa agree on patterns of body mass evolution: a case study with Afrotheria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttick, Mark N; Thomas, Gavin H

    2015-12-22

    Most of life is extinct, so incorporating some fossil evidence into analyses of macroevolution is typically seen as necessary to understand the diversification of life and patterns of morphological evolution. Here we test the effects of inclusion of fossils in a study of the body size evolution of afrotherian mammals, a clade that includes the elephants, sea cows and elephant shrews. We find that the inclusion of fossil tips has little impact on analyses of body mass evolution; from a small ancestral size (approx. 100 g), there is a shift in rate and an increase in mass leading to the larger-bodied Paenungulata and Tubulidentata, regardless of whether fossils are included or excluded from analyses. For Afrotheria, the inclusion of fossils and morphological character data affect phylogenetic topology, but these differences have little impact upon patterns of body mass evolution and these body mass evolutionary patterns are consistent with the fossil record. The largest differences between our analyses result from the evolutionary model, not the addition of fossils. For some clades, extant-only analyses may be reliable to reconstruct body mass evolution, but the addition of fossils and careful model selection is likely to increase confidence and accuracy of reconstructed macroevolutionary patterns. © 2015 The Authors.

  16. New Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossils from Ecuador: Invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, and microfossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadena, Edwin A.; Mejia-Molina, Alejandra; Brito, Carla M.; Peñafiel, Sofia; Sanmartin, Kleber J.; Sarmiento, Luis B.

    2018-04-01

    Ecuador is well known for its extensive extant biodiversity, however, its paleobiodiversity is still poorly explored. Here we report seven new Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossil localities from the Pacific coast, inter-Andean depression and Napo basin of Ecuador, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and microfossils. The first of these localities is called El Refugio, located near the small town of Chota, Imbabura Province, from where we report several morphotypes of fossil leaves and a mycetopodid freshwater mussel of the Upper Miocene Chota Formation. A second site is also located near the town of Chota, corresponding to potentially Pleistocene to Holocene lake deposits from which we report the occurrence of leaves and fossil diatoms. A third locality is at the Pacific coast of the country, near Rocafuerte, a town in Esmeraldas Province, from which we report a late Miocene palm leaf. We also report the first partially articulated skull with teeth from a Miocene scombridid (Mackerels) fish from El Cruce locality, and completely preserved seeds from La Pila locality, both sites from Manabí Province. Two late Cretaceous fossil sites from the Napo Province, one near Puerto Napo showing a good record of fossil shrimps and a second near the town of Loreto shows the occurrence of granular amber and small gymnosperms seeds and cuticles. All these new sites and fossils show the high potential of the sedimentary sequences and basins of Ecuador for paleontological studies and for a better understanding of the fossil record of the country and northern South America.

  17. New findings of Pleistocene fossil turtles (Geoemydidae, Kinosternidae and Chelydridae from Santa Elena Province, Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin A. Cadena

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available New Pleistocene fossilized turtle remains from five localities of western Ecuador (Santa Elena Province are described here. All these shell (carapace and plastron fossil remains come from the Tablazo Formation and belong to three different lineages of cryptodires (“hidden-necked” turtles. The most abundant remains belong to geoemydids, attributed here to the genus Rhinoclemmys (indeterminate species. Less abundant in occurrence are the kinosternidids, attributed to Kinosternon (indeterminate species, and the first fossil record of chelydrids, Chelydra(indeterminate species, in the entirety of Central and South America.

  18. New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens

    OpenAIRE

    Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed; Bailey, Shara E.; Freidline, Sarah E.; Neubauer, Simon; Skinner, Matthew M.; Bergmann, Inga; Le Cabec, Adeline; Benazzi, Stefano; Harvati, Katerina; Gunz, Philipp

    2017-01-01

    Fossil evidence points to an African origin of Homo sapiens from a group called either H. heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis. However, the exact place and time of emergence of H. sapiens remain obscure because the fossil record is scarce and the chronological age of many key specimens remains uncertain. In particular, it is unclear whether the present day ‘modern’ morphology rapidly emerged approximately 200 thousand years ago (ka) among earlier representatives of H. sapiens1 or evolved gradu...

  19. Improved age control on early Homo fossils from the upper Burgi Member at Koobi Fora, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Joordens , Josephine ,; Dupont-Nivet , Guillaume; Feibel , Craig ,; Spoor , Fred; Sier , Mark ,; Van Der Lubbe , Jeroen ,; Nielsen , Trine; Knul , Monika ,; Davies , Gareth ,; Vonhof , Hubert ,

    2013-01-01

    International audience; To address questions regarding the evolutionary origin, radiation and dispersal of the genus Homo, it is crucial to be able to place the occurrence of hominin fossils in a high-resolution chronological framework. The period around 2 Ma (millions of years ago) in eastern Africa is of particular interest as it is at this time that a more substantial fossil record of the genus Homo is first found. Here we combine magnetostratigraphy and strontium (Sr) isotope stratigraphy...

  20. The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns)—a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes

    OpenAIRE

    Benjamin Bomfleur; Guido W. Grimm; Stephen McLoughlin

    2017-01-01

    The Osmundales (Royal Fern order) originated in the late Paleozoic and is the most ancient surviving lineage of leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to its low diversity today (less than 20 species in six genera), it has the richest fossil record of any extant group of ferns. The structurally preserved trunks and rhizomes alone are referable to more than 100 fossil species that are classified in up to 20 genera, four subfamilies, and two families. This diverse fossil record constitutes an exce...

  1. The original colours of fossil beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Briggs, Derek E G; Orr, Patrick J; Noh, Heeso; Cao, Hui

    2012-03-22

    Structural colours, the most intense, reflective and pure colours in nature, are generated when light is scattered by complex nanostructures. Metallic structural colours are widespread among modern insects and can be preserved in their fossil counterparts, but it is unclear whether the colours have been altered during fossilization, and whether the absence of colours is always real. To resolve these issues, we investigated fossil beetles from five Cenozoic biotas. Metallic colours in these specimens are generated by an epicuticular multi-layer reflector; the fidelity of its preservation correlates with that of other key cuticular ultrastructures. Where these other ultrastructures are well preserved in non-metallic fossil specimens, we can infer that the original cuticle lacked a multi-layer reflector; its absence in the fossil is not a preservational artefact. Reconstructions of the original colours of the fossils based on the structure of the multi-layer reflector show that the preserved colours are offset systematically to longer wavelengths; this probably reflects alteration of the refractive index of the epicuticle during fossilization. These findings will allow the former presence, and original hue, of metallic structural colours to be identified in diverse fossil insects, thus providing critical evidence of the evolution of structural colour in this group.

  2. Fossil energy: From laboratory to marketplace

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-03-01

    The purpose of this work is to provide a summary description of the role of advanced research in the overall Fossil Energy R ampersand D program successes. It presents the specific Fossil Energy advanced research products that have been adopted commercially or fed into other R ampersand D programs as part of the crosscutting enabling technology base upon which advanced systems are based

  3. Fossil Fuels, Backstop Technologies, and Imperfect Substitution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meijden, G.C.; Pittel, Karen; van der Ploeg, Frederick; Withagen, Cees

    2014-01-01

    This chapter studies the transition from fossil fuels to backstop technologies in a general equilibrium model in which growth is driven by research and development. The analysis generalizes the existing literature by allowing for imperfect substitution between fossil fuels and the new energy

  4. New fossil seeds of Eurya (Theaceae from East Asia and their paleobiogeographic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai Zhu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Eurya has an excellent fossil record in Europe, but it has only a few fossil occurrences in East Asia though this vast area houses the highest modern diversity of the genus. In this study, three-dimensionally preserved fossil seeds of Eurya stigmosa (Ludwig Mai from the late Pliocene of northwestern Yunnan, southwestern China are described. The seeds are compressed and flattened, slightly campylotropous, and nearly circular to slightly angular in shape. The surface of the seeds is sculptured by a distinctive foveolate pattern, consisting of funnel-shaped and finely pitted cells. Each seed valve contains a reniform or horseshoe-shaped embryo cavity, a characteristic condyle structure and an internal raphe. These fossil seeds represent one of the few fossil records of Eurya in East Asia. This new finding therefore largely extends the distributional ranges of Eurya during Neogene. Fossil records summarized here show that Eurya persisted in Europe until the early Pleistocene, but disappeared thereafter. The genus might have first appeared in East Asia no later than the late Oligocene, and dispersed widely in regions such as Japan, Nepal, and southwestern China.

  5. Geologic History of Eocene Stonerose Fossil Beds, Republic, Washington, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Mustoe

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Eocene lakebed sediments at Stonerose Interpretive Center in Republic, Washington, USA are one of the most important Cenozoic fossil sites in North America, having gained international attention because of the abundance and diversity of plant, insect, and fish fossils. This report describes the first detailed geologic investigation of this unusual lagerstätten. Strata are gradationally divided into three units: Siliceous shale that originated as diatomite, overlain by laminated mudstone, which is in turn overlain by massive beds of lithic sandstone. The sedimentary sequence records topographic and hydrologic changes that caused a deep lake to become progressively filled with volcaniclastic detritus from earlier volcanic episodes. The location of the ancient lake within an active graben suggests that displacements along the boundary faults were the most likely trigger for changes in depositional processes.

  6. Supply of fossil heating and motor fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaegi, W.; Siegrist, S.; Schaefli, M.; Eichenberger, U.

    2003-01-01

    This comprehensive study made for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) within the framework of the Energy Economics Fundamentals research programme examines if it can be guaranteed that Swiss industry can be supplied with fossil fuels for heating and transport purposes over the next few decades. The results of a comprehensive survey of literature on the subject are presented, with a major focus being placed on oil. The study examines both pessimistic and optimistic views and also presents an overview of fossil energy carriers and the possibilities of substituting them. Scenarios and prognoses on the availability of fossil fuels and their reserves for the future are presented. Also, new technologies for exploration and the extraction of fossil fuels are discussed, as are international interdependencies that influence supply. Market and price scenarios are presented that take account of a possible increasing scarcity of fossil fuels. The implications for industry and investment planning are examined

  7. Environmental costs of fossil fuel energy production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riva, A.; Trebeschi, C.

    1997-01-01

    The costs of environmental impacts caused by fossil fuel energy production are external to the energy economy and normally they are not reflected in energy prices. To determine the environmental costs associated with an energy source a detailed analysis of all environmental impacts of the complete energy cycle is required. The economic evaluation of environmental damages is presented caused by atmospheric emissions produced by fossil fuel combustion for different uses. Considering the emission factors of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, dust and carbon dioxide and the economic evaluation of their environmental damages reported in literature, a range of environmental costs associated with different fossil fuels and technologies is presented. A comparison of environmental costs resulting from atmospheric emissions produced by fossil-fuel combustion for energy production shows that natural gas has a significantly higher environmental value than other fossil fuels. (R.P.)

  8. The first fossil of a bolbitidoid fern belongs to the early-divergent lineages of Elaphoglossum (Dryopteridaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lóriga, Josmaily; Schmidt, Alexander R; Moran, Robbin C; Feldberg, Kathrin; Schneider, Harald; Heinrichs, Jochen

    2014-09-01

    • Closing gaps in the fossil record and elucidating phylogenetic relationships of mostly incomplete fossils are major challenges in the reconstruction of the diversification of fern lineages through time. The cosmopolitan family Dryopteridaceae represents one of the most species-rich families of leptosporangiate ferns, yet its fossil record is sparse and poorly understood. Here, we describe a fern inclusion in Miocene Dominican amber and investigate its relationships to extant Dryopteridaceae.• The morphology of the fossil was compared with descriptions of extant ferns, resulting in it being tentatively assigned to the bolbitidoid fern genus Elaphoglossum. This assignment was confirmed by reconstructing the evolution of the morphological characters preserved in the inclusion on a molecular phylogeny of 158 extant bolbitidoid ferns. To assess the morphology-based assignment of the fossil to Elaphoglossum, we examined DNA-calibrated divergence time estimates against the age of the amber deposits from which it came.• The fossil belongs to Elaphoglossum and is the first of a bolbitidoid fern. Its assignment to a particular section of Elaphoglossum could not be determined; however, sects. Lepidoglossa, Polytrichia, and Setosa can be discounted because the fossil lacks subulate scales or scales with acicular marginal hairs. Thus, the fossil might belong to either sects. Amygdalifolia, Wrightiana, Elaphoglossum, or Squamipedia or to an extinct lineage.• The discovery of a Miocene Elaphoglossum fossil provides remarkable support to current molecular clock-based estimates of the diversification of these ferns. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  9. Using extant taxa to inform studies of fossil footprints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkingham, Peter; Gatesy, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    Attempting to use the fossilized footprints of extinct animals to study their palaeobiology and palaeoecology is notoriously difficult. The inconvenient extinction of the trackmaker makes direct correlation between footprints and foot far from straightforward. However, footprints are the only direct evidence of vertebrate motion recorded in the fossil record, and are potentially a source of data on palaeobiology that cannot be obtained from osteological remains alone. Our interests lie in recovering information about the movements of dinosaurs from their tracks. In particular, the Hitchcock collection of early Jurassic tracks held at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst, provide a rare look into the 3D form of tracks at and below the surface the animal walked on. Breaking naturally along laminations into 'track books', the specimens present sediment deformation at multiple levels, and in doing so record more of the foot's motion than a single surface might. In order to utilize this rich information source to study the now extinct trackmakers, the process of track formation must be understood at a fundamental level; the interaction of the moving foot and compliant substrate. We used bi-planar X-ray techniques (X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology) to record the limb and foot motions of a Guineafowl traversing both granular and cohesive substrates. This data was supplemented with photogrammetric records of the resultant track surfaces, as well as the motion of metal beads within the sediment, to provide a full experimental dataset of foot and footprint formation. The physical experimental data was used to generate computer simulations of the process using high performance computing and the Discrete Element Method. The resultant simulations showed excellent congruence with reality, and enabled visualization within the sediment volume, and throughout the track-forming process. This physical and virtual experimental set-up has provided major insight into

  10. Antelope--Fossil rebuild project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-04-01

    The Columbia Power Cooperative Association (CPCA), Monument, Oregon, proposes to upgrade a 69-kV transmission line in Wasco and Wheeler Counties, Oregon, between the Antelope Substation and the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) Fossil Substation. The project involves rebuilding and reconductoring 23.2 miles of transmission line, including modifying it for future use at 115 kV. Related project activities will include setting new wood pole structures, removing and disposing of old structures, conductors, and insulators, and stringing new conductor, all within the existing right-of-way. No new access roads will be required. A Borrower's Environmental Report was prepared for the 1992--1993 Work Plan for Columbia Power Cooperative Association in March 1991. This report investigated cultural resources, threatened or endangered species, wetlands, and floodplains, and other environmental issues, and included correspondence with appropriate Federal, state, and local agencies. The report was submitted to the Rural Electrification Administration for their use in preparing their environmental documentation for the project

  11. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies. © 2016 The Authors.

  12. Fossil nutlets of Boraginaceae from the continental Eocene of Hamada of Méridja (southwestern Algeria): The first fossil of the Borage family in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammouda, Sid Ahmed; Weigend, Maximilian; Mebrouk, Fateh; Chacón, Juliana; Bensalah, Mustapha; Ensikat, Hans-Jürgen; Adaci, Mohammed

    2015-12-01

    The Paleogene deposits of the Hamada of Méridja, southwestern Algeria, are currently dated as lower-to-middle Eocene in age based on fossil gastropods and charophytes. Here we report the presence of fruits that can be assigned to the Boraginaceae s.str., apparently representing the first fossil record for this family in Africa, shedding new light on the historical biogeography of this group. Microscopic studies of the fossil nutlets were carried out and compared to extant Boraginaceae nutlets, and to types reported in the literature for this family. The fossils are strikingly similar in general size and morphology, particularly in the finer details of the attachment scar and ornamentation, to nutlets of extant representatives of the Boraginaceae tribe Echiochileae, and especially the genus Ogastemma. We believe that these nutlets represent an extinct member of this lineage. The Ogastemma-like fossils indicate that the Echiochileae, which are most diverse in northern Africa and southwestern Asia, have a long history in this region, dating back to the Eocene. This tribe corresponds to the basal-most clade in Boraginaceae s.str., and the fossils described here agree well with an assumed African origin of the family and the Boraginales I, providing an important additional calibration point for dating the phylogenies of this clade. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  13. Spitzer Digs Up Galactic Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1 [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 2 This false-color image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a globular cluster previously hidden in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Globular clusters are compact bundles of old stars that date back to the birth of our galaxy, 13 or so billion years ago. Astronomers use these galactic 'fossils' as tools for studying the age and formation of the Milky Way. Most clusters orbit around the center of the galaxy well above its dust-enshrouded disc, or plane, while making brief, repeated passes through the plane that each last about a million years. Spitzer, with infrared eyes that can see into the dusty galactic plane, first spotted the newfound cluster during its current pass. A visible-light image (inset of Figure 1) shows only a dark patch of sky. The red streak behind the core of the cluster is a dust cloud, which may indicate the cluster's interaction with the Milky Way. Alternatively, this cloud may lie coincidentally along Spitzer's line of sight. Follow-up observations with the University of Wyoming Infrared Observatory helped set the distance of the new cluster at about 9,000 light-years from Earth - closer than most clusters - and set the mass at the equivalent of 300,000 Suns. The cluster's apparent size, as viewed from Earth, is comparable to a grain of rice held at arm's length. It is located in the constellation Aquila. Astronomers believe that this cluster may be one of the last in our galaxy to be uncovered. This image composite was taken on April 21, 2004, by Spitzer's infrared array camera. It is composed of images obtained at four wavelengths: 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8 microns (red). Galactic Fossil Found Behind Curtain of Dust In Figure 2, the image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the visible-light image (left) shows a dark sky speckled

  14. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Alexei J; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-07-19

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth-death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the 'morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using

  15. Fossil gaps inferred from phylogenies alter the apparent nature of diversification in dragonflies and their relatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholson David B

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The fossil record has suggested that clade growth may differ in marine and terrestrial taxa, supporting equilibrial models in the former and expansionist models in the latter. However, incomplete sampling may bias findings based on fossil data alone. To attempt to correct for such bias, we assemble phylogenetic supertrees on one of the oldest clades of insects, the Odonatoidea (dragonflies, damselflies and their extinct relatives, using MRP and MRC. We use the trees to determine when, and in what clades, changes in taxonomic richness have occurred. We then test whether equilibrial or expansionist models are supported by fossil data alone, and whether findings differ when phylogenetic information is used to infer gaps in the fossil record. Results There is broad agreement in family-level relationships between both supertrees, though with some uncertainty along the backbone of the tree regarding dragonflies (Anisoptera. "Anisozygoptera" are shown to be paraphyletic when fossil information is taken into account. In both trees, decreases in net diversification are associated with species-poor extant families (Neopetaliidae, Hemiphlebiidae, and an upshift is associated with Calopterygidae + Polythoridae. When ghost ranges are inferred from the fossil record, many families are shown to have much earlier origination dates. In a phylogenetic context, the number of family-level lineages is shown to be up to twice as high as the fossil record alone suggests through the Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and a logistic increase in richness is detected in contrast to an exponential increase indicated by fossils alone. Conclusions Our analysis supports the notion that taxa, which appear to have diversified exponentially using fossil data, may in fact have diversified more logistically. This in turn suggests that one of the major apparent differences between the marine and terrestrial fossil record may simply be an artifact of incomplete sampling

  16. The Fossil Calibration Database-A New Resource for Divergence Dating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Parham, James F; Allman, James F; Benton, Michael J; Carrano, Matthew T; Cranston, Karen A; Donoghue, Philip C J; Head, Jason J; Hermsen, Elizabeth J; Irmis, Randall B; Joyce, Walter G; Kohli, Manpreet; Lamm, Kristin D; Leehr, Dan; Patané, Josés L; Polly, P David; Phillips, Matthew J; Smith, N Adam; Smith, Nathan D; Van Tuinen, Marcel; Ware, Jessica L; Warnock, Rachel C M

    2015-09-01

    Fossils provide the principal basis for temporal calibrations, which are critical to the accuracy of divergence dating analyses. Translating fossil data into minimum and maximum bounds for calibrations is the most important-often least appreciated-step of divergence dating. Properly justified calibrations require the synthesis of phylogenetic, paleontological, and geological evidence and can be difficult for nonspecialists to formulate. The dynamic nature of the fossil record (e.g., new discoveries, taxonomic revisions, updates of global or local stratigraphy) requires that calibration data be updated continually lest they become obsolete. Here, we announce the Fossil Calibration Database (http://fossilcalibrations.org), a new open-access resource providing vetted fossil calibrations to the scientific community. Calibrations accessioned into this database are based on individual fossil specimens and follow best practices for phylogenetic justification and geochronological constraint. The associated Fossil Calibration Series, a calibration-themed publication series at Palaeontologia Electronica, will serve as a key pipeline for peer-reviewed calibrations to enter the database. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Earliest Memories and Recent Memories of Highly Salient Events--Are They Similar?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Carole; Fowler, Tania; Brandeau, Katherine M.

    2015-01-01

    Four- to 11-year-old children were interviewed about 2 different sorts of memories in the same home visit: recent memories of highly salient and stressful events--namely, injuries serious enough to require hospital emergency room treatment--and their earliest memories. Injury memories were scored for amount of unique information, completeness…

  18. Earliest Ga-Dangme culture from a linguistic point of view | Dakubu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper explores what linguistic research can tell us about the earliest history of the Ga and the Dangme languages: how they came to develop as separate languages, and where their early speakers may have come from. Hypotheses proposed in earlier writings by this author are refined. In addition, linguistic evidence is ...

  19. 'Do not quench the Spirit!' The discourse of the Holy Spirit in earliest ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Trinitarian discourse of the 4th and 5th centuries grew out of earlier developments, whilst at the same time reflecting a renewal over against the language of the earliest Christian sources. This article reflects on the way in which early Christianity thought about the Holy Spirit and developed a new discourse on the basis ...

  20. Activation Of Wild-Type Hras Suppresses The Earliest Stages Of Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie Weyandt

    2015-08-01

    Conclusions: Loss of wild-type Hras promotes the earliest stages of pancreatic tumorigenesis, and moreover results in more rapid progression of the disease. As such, mechanisms leading to activation of wild-type Ras proteins, including but not limited to redox-dependent reactions, may influence the development of pancreatic cancer.

  1. Infantile Amnesia across the Years: A 2-Year Follow-Up of Children's Earliest Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Carole; Warren, Kelly L.; Short, Megan M.

    2011-01-01

    Although infantile amnesia has been investigated for many years in adults, only recently has it been investigated in children. This study was a 2-year follow-up and extension of an earlier study. Children (4-13 years old) were asked initially and 2 years later for their earliest 3 memories. At follow-up, their age at the time of these memories…

  2. New methods reveal oldest known fossil epiphyllous moss: Bryiidites utahensis gen. et sp. nov. (Bryidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Richard S; McElwain, Jennifer C; Duckett, Jeffrey G; van Es, Maarten H; Mostaert, Anika S; Pressel, Silvia; Sageman, Bradley B

    2013-12-01

    Epiphyllous bryophytes are a highly characteristic feature of many humid tropical forest ecosystems. In contrast to the extensive fossil record for the leaves of their host plants, the record is virtually nonexistent for the epiphylls themselves, despite a fossil record for mosses that begins in the Middle Carboniferous Period, 330 million years ago. Epifluorescence optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were employed to investigate an intimate association between a newly discovered epiphyllous moss and a Lauraceae plant host from the middle Cretaceous. We describe the oldest fossil specimen of an epiphyllous moss, Bryiidites utahensis gen. et sp. nov., identified from an individual specimen only 450 µm long, situated on an approximately one millimeter square fossil leaf fragment. The moss epiphyll is exquisitely preserved as germinating spores and short-celled protonemata with transverse and oblique cross-walls closely matching those of extant epiphyllous mosses on the surface of the plant-leaf hosts. The extension of the epiphyll record back to the middle Cretaceous provides fossil evidence for the appearance of epiphyllous mosses during the diversification of flowering plants, at least 95 million years ago. It also provides substantive evidence for a tropical maritime climate in central North America during the middle Cretaceous.

  3. Fossil fuel support mechanisms in Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lampinen, Ari

    2013-10-15

    Fossil fuel subsidies and other state support for fossil fuels are forbidden by the Kyoto Protocol and other international treaties. However, they are still commonly used. This publication presents and analyses diverse state support mechanisms for fossil fuels in Finland in 2003-2010. Total of 38 support mechanisms are covered in quantitative analysis and some other mechanisms are mentioned qualitatively only. For some mechanisms the study includes a longer historical perspective. This is the case for tax subsidies for crude oil based traffic fuels that have been maintained in Finland since 1965.

  4. A geochronologic framework for the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Shannon; Gray, Harrison J.; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Wilson, Jim; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Paces, James B.; Blaauw, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    The Ziegler Reservoir fossil site near Snowmass Village, Colorado, provides a unique opportunity to reconstruct high-altitude paleoenvironmental conditions in the Rocky Mountains during the last interglacial period. We used four different techniques to establish a chronological framework for the site. Radiocarbon dating of lake organics, bone collagen, and shell carbonate, and in situ cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al ages on a boulder on the crest of a moraine that impounded the lake suggest that the ages of the sediments that hosted the fossils are between ~ 140 ka and > 45 ka. Uranium-series ages of vertebrate remains generally fall within these bounds, but extremely low uranium concentrations and evidence of open-system behavior limit their utility. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages (n = 18) obtained from fine-grained quartz maintain stratigraphic order, were replicable, and provide reliable ages for the lake sediments. Analysis of the equivalent dose (DE) dispersion of the OSL samples showed that the sediments were fully bleached prior to deposition and low scatter suggests that eolian processes were likely the dominant transport mechanism for fine-grained sediments into the lake. The resulting ages show that the fossil-bearing sediments span the latest part of marine isotope stage (MIS) 6, all of MIS 5 and MIS 4, and the earliest part of MIS 3.

  5. Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, M.; Raup, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    The incompleteness of the fossil record hinders the inference of evolutionary rates and patterns. Here, we derive relationships among true taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and observed taxonomic ranges. We use these relationships to estimate original distributions of taxonomic durations, preservation probability, and completeness (proportion of taxa preserved), given only the observed ranges. No data on occurrences within the ranges of taxa are required. When preservation is random and the original distribution of durations is exponential, the inference of durations, preservability, and completeness is exact. However, reasonable approximations are possible given non-exponential duration distributions and temporal and taxonomic variation in preservability. Thus, the approaches we describe have great potential in studies of taphonomy, evolutionary rates and patterns, and genealogy. Analyses of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician trilobite species, Paleozoic crinoid genera, Jurassic bivalve species, and Cenozoic mammal species yield the following results: (1) The preservation probability inferred from stratigraphic ranges alone agrees with that inferred from the analysis of stratigraphic gaps when data on the latter are available. (2) Whereas median durations based on simple tabulations of observed ranges are biased by stratigraphic resolution, our estimates of median duration, extinction rate, and completeness are not biased.(3) The shorter geologic ranges of mammalian species relative to those of bivalves cannot be attributed to a difference in preservation potential. However, we cannot rule out the contribution of taxonomic practice to this difference. (4) In the groups studied, completeness (proportion of species [trilobites, bivalves, mammals] or genera [crinoids] preserved) ranges from 60% to 90%. The higher estimates of completeness at smaller geographic scales support previous suggestions that the incompleteness of the fossil record reflects loss of

  6. Fossil energy use and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sage, P.W.

    1994-01-01

    Energy demand projections indicate that fossil energy will provide some ninety per cent of global primary energy demand for the foreseeable future. This paper considers the principal environmental impacts associated with fossil energy use and describes approaches to minimise them. Technologies are now available to reduce significantly pollutant emissions from fossil fuel use. Emerging technologies offer higher conversion efficiencies to reduce still further specific emissions per unit of energy output. It is essential, particularly in those areas of rapid growth in energy use, that best practice and technology are deployed. Technology transfer and training will help to achieve this and enable fossil energy use to be fully compatible with increasingly stringent environmental requirements. (author) 4 figs., 12 refs

  7. Developments in fossil fuel electricity generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, A.; Argiri, M.

    1993-01-01

    A major part of the world's electricity is generated by the combustion of fossil fuels, and there is a significant environmental impact due to the production of fossil fuels and their combustion. Coal is responsible for 63% of the electricity generated from fossil fuels; natural gas accounts for about 20% and fuel oils for 17%. Because of developments in supply and improvements in generating efficiencies there is apparently a considerable shift towards a greater use of natural gas, and by the year 2000 it could provide 25% of the world electricity output. At the same time the amount of fuel oil burned will have decreased. The means to minimize the environmental impact of the use of fossil fuels, particularly coal, in electricity production are considered, together with the methods of emission control. Cleaner coal technologies, which include fluidized bed combustion and an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), can reduce the emissions of NO x , SO 2 and CO 2 . (author)

  8. Pollution and exhaustibility of fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, C.A.A.M.

    1994-01-01

    The use of fossil fuels causes environmental damage. This is modeled and the ‘optimal’ rate of depletion is derived. Also this trajectory is compared with the case where there occurs no environmental damage.

  9. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.

    2012-01-01

    . The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic...... ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber....

  10. Fossil fuels in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincoln, Stephen F

    2005-12-01

    An overview of the importance of fossil fuels in supplying the energy requirements of the 21st century, their future supply, and the impact of their use on global climate is presented. Current and potential alternative energy sources are considered. It is concluded that even with substantial increases in energy derived from other sources, fossil fuels will remain a major energy source for much of the 21st century and the sequestration of CO2 will be an increasingly important requirement.

  11. Persian Records by the Lindström Company: Triangle of Political Relationships, Local Agents and Recording Company

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mohammadi, M.

    2011-01-01

    The earliest engagement of German gramophone companies in recording Persian music dates back to 1906-7, when three tracks were recorded for the Beka Company and a dozen recordings were issued on the Globophon label. About twenty years later the Lindström company was engaged in the process of

  12. Progress in ESR dating of fossils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikeya, M.

    1983-01-01

    In this review the progress of ESR dating is briefly described together with its historical development. Examples of fossil dating include shells and corals in geological sediments, fossil bones and teeth in anthropology and fossil woods in geology. The total dose of natural radiation (TD) equivalent to the archaeological dose in TL dating was obtained by the additive dose method. Initially, the TDs were plotted against the known ages; using the apparent annual dose-rate thus obtained gives the ESR age within a factor of 2 or 3 for a fossil. Precise assessment of the radiation environment was made later taking the disequilibrium of uranium series disintegration into account. ESR ages of corals agreed well with those obtained by radiocarbon and uranium-thorium methods. The time-independent accumulation rate or a linear accumulation or uranium was adopted as a first sensible model for the opensystem fossil bones: the relation between the TD and the age explains the ages of anthropologically important bones. Lastly, geological assessment of fossil woods was made by ESR based on the organic radicals and electron traps in the silicified part. (author)

  13. Two fossil species of Metrosideros (Myrtaceae) from the Oligo-Miocene Golden Fleece locality in Tasmania, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarran, Myall; Wilson, Peter G; Macphail, Michael K; Jordan, Greg J; Hill, Robert S

    2017-06-01

    The capsular-fruited genus Metrosideros (Myrtaceae) is one of the most widely distributed flowering plant genera in the Pacific but is extinct in Australia today. The center of geographic origin for the genus and the reason for and timing of its extinction in Australia remain uncertain. We identify fossil Metrosideros fruits from the newly discovered Golden Fleece fossil flora in the Oligo-Miocene of Tasmania, Australia, shedding further light on these problems. Standard paleopalynological techniques were used to date the fossil-bearing sediments. Scanning electron microscopy and an auto-montage camera system were used to take high-resolution images of fossil and extant fruits taken from herbarium specimens. Fossils are identified using a nearest-living-relative approach. The fossil-bearing sediments are palynostratigraphically dated as being Proteacidites tuberculatus Zone Equivalent (ca. 33-16 Ma) in age and provide a confident Oligo-Miocene age for the macrofossils. Two new fossil species of Metrosideros are described and are here named Metrosideros dawsonii sp. nov. and Metrosideros wrightii sp. nov. These newly described fossil species of Metrosideros provide a second record of the genus in the Cenozoic of Australia, placing them in the late Early Oligocene to late Early Miocene. It is now apparent not only that Metrosideros was present in Australia, where the genus is now extinct, but that at least several Metrosideros species were present during the Cenozoic. These fossils further strengthen the case for an Australian origin of the genus. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  14. A cosmopolitan late Ediacaran biotic assemblage: new fossils from Nevada and Namibia support a global biostratigraphic link

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, E. F.; Nelson, L. L.; Tweedt, S. M.; Zeng, H.; Workman, Jeremiah B.

    2017-01-01

    Owing to the lack of temporally well-constrained Ediacaran fossil localities containing overlapping biotic assemblages, it has remained uncertain if the latest Ediacaran (ca 550–541 Ma) assemblages reflect systematic biological turnover or environmental, taphonomic or biogeographic biases. Here, we report new latest Ediacaran fossil discoveries from the lower member of the Wood Canyon Formation in Nye County, Nevada, including the first figured reports of erniettomorphs, Gaojiashania, Conotubus and other problematic fossils. The fossils are spectacularly preserved in three taphonomic windows and occur in greater than 11 stratigraphic horizons, all of which are below the first appearance of Treptichnus pedum and the nadir of a large negative δ13C excursion that is a chemostratigraphic marker of the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary. The co-occurrence of morphologically diverse tubular fossils and erniettomorphs in Nevada provides a biostratigraphic link among latest Ediacaran fossil localities globally. Integrated with a new report of Gaojiashania from Namibia, previous fossil reports and existing age constraints, these finds demonstrate a distinctive late Ediacaran fossil assemblage comprising at least two groups of macroscopic organisms with dissimilar body plans that ecologically and temporally overlapped for at least 6 Myr at the close of the Ediacaran Period. This cosmopolitan biotic assemblage disappeared from the fossil record at the end of the Ediacaran Period, prior to the Cambrian radiation.

  15. A Total-Evidence Approach to Dating with Fossils, Applied to the Early Radiation of the Hymenoptera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronquist, Fredrik; Klopfstein, Seraina; Vilhelmsen, Lars; Schulmeister, Susanne; Murray, Debra L.; Rasnitsyn, Alexandr P.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Phylogenies are usually dated by calibrating interior nodes against the fossil record. This relies on indirect methods that, in the worst case, misrepresent the fossil information. Here, we contrast such node dating with an approach that includes fossils along with the extant taxa in a Bayesian total-evidence analysis. As a test case, we focus on the early radiation of the Hymenoptera, mostly documented by poorly preserved impression fossils that are difficult to place phylogenetically. Specifically, we compare node dating using nine calibration points derived from the fossil record with total-evidence dating based on 343 morphological characters scored for 45 fossil (4--20 complete) and 68 extant taxa. In both cases we use molecular data from seven markers (∼5 kb) for the extant taxa. Because it is difficult to model speciation, extinction, sampling, and fossil preservation realistically, we develop a simple uniform prior for clock trees with fossils, and we use relaxed clock models to accommodate rate variation across the tree. Despite considerable uncertainty in the placement of most fossils, we find that they contribute significantly to the estimation of divergence times in the total-evidence analysis. In particular, the posterior distributions on divergence times are less sensitive to prior assumptions and tend to be more precise than in node dating. The total-evidence analysis also shows that four of the seven Hymenoptera calibration points used in node dating are likely to be based on erroneous or doubtful assumptions about the fossil placement. With respect to the early radiation of Hymenoptera, our results suggest that the crown group dates back to the Carboniferous, ∼309 Ma (95% interval: 291--347 Ma), and diversified into major extant lineages much earlier than previously thought, well before the Triassic. [Bayesian inference; fossil dating; morphological evolution; relaxed clock; statistical phylogenetics.] PMID:22723471

  16. When a 520 million-year-old Chengjiang fossil meets a modern micro-CT--a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Scholtz, Gerhard; Hou, Xianguang

    2015-08-04

    The 520 million-year-old Chengjiang biota of China (UNESCO World Heritage) presents the earliest known evidence of the so-called Cambrian Explosion. Studies, however, have mainly been limited to the information exposed on the surface of the slabs. Thus far, structures preserved inside the slabs were accessed by careful removal of the matrix, in many cases with the unfortunate sacrifice of some "less important" structures, which destroys elements of exceptionally preserved specimens. Here, we show for the first time that microtomography (micro-CT) can reveal structures situated inside a Chengjiang fossil slab without causing any damage. In the present study a trilobitomorph arthropod (Xandarella spectaculum) can be reliably identified only with the application of micro-CT. We propose that this technique is an important tool for studying three-dimensionally preserved Chengjiang fossils and, most likely, also those from other biota with a comparable type of preservation, specifically similar iron concentrations.

  17. When a 520 million-year-old Chengjiang fossil meets a modern micro-CT – a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Scholtz, Gerhard; Hou, Xianguang

    2015-01-01

    The 520 million-year-old Chengjiang biota of China (UNESCO World Heritage) presents the earliest known evidence of the so-called Cambrian Explosion. Studies, however, have mainly been limited to the information exposed on the surface of the slabs. Thus far, structures preserved inside the slabs were accessed by careful removal of the matrix, in many cases with the unfortunate sacrifice of some “less important” structures, which destroys elements of exceptionally preserved specimens. Here, we show for the first time that microtomography (micro-CT) can reveal structures situated inside a Chengjiang fossil slab without causing any damage. In the present study a trilobitomorph arthropod (Xandarella spectaculum) can be reliably identified only with the application of micro-CT. We propose that this technique is an important tool for studying three-dimensionally preserved Chengjiang fossils and, most likely, also those from other biota with a comparable type of preservation, specifically similar iron concentrations. PMID:26238773

  18. Statistical Models for Inferring Vegetation Composition from Fossil Pollen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paciorek, C.; McLachlan, J. S.; Shang, Z.

    2011-12-01

    Fossil pollen provide information about vegetation composition that can be used to help understand how vegetation has changed over the past. However, these data have not traditionally been analyzed in a way that allows for statistical inference about spatio-temporal patterns and trends. We build a Bayesian hierarchical model called STEPPS (Spatio-Temporal Empirical Prediction from Pollen in Sediments) that predicts forest composition in southern New England, USA, over the last two millenia based on fossil pollen. The critical relationships between abundances of tree taxa in the pollen record and abundances in actual vegetation are estimated using modern (Forest Inventory Analysis) data and (witness tree) data from colonial records. This gives us two time points at which both pollen and direct vegetation data are available. Based on these relationships, and incorporating our uncertainty about them, we predict forest composition using fossil pollen. We estimate the spatial distribution and relative abundances of tree species and draw inference about how these patterns have changed over time. Finally, we describe ongoing work to extend the modeling to the upper Midwest of the U.S., including an approach to infer tree density and thereby estimate the prairie-forest boundary in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This work is part of the PalEON project, which brings together a team of ecosystem modelers, paleoecologists, and statisticians with the goal of reconstructing vegetation responses to climate during the last two millenia in the northeastern and midwestern United States. The estimates from the statistical modeling will be used to assess and calibrate ecosystem models that are used to project ecological changes in response to global change.

  19. Mummified fossil woods of Fagaceae from the upper Oligocene of Guangxi, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Luliang; Jin, Jianhua; Quan, Cheng; Oskolski, Alexei A.

    2018-02-01

    Three new fossil species, two attributed to the genus Castanopsis (C. nanningensis and C. guangxiensis) and one to the organ genus Lithocarpoxylon (L. nanningensis) are described on the basis of well-preserved mummified wood from the upper Oligocene of Yongning Formation in the Nanning Basin, Guangxi Province, South China. The two species of Castanopsis represent the most ancient reliable wood record of this genus in China and also southeastern Asia, which is the center of diversity of extant species. The fossil leaf records of Castanopsis indicated this genus has migrated to South China in the late Eocene. This fossil wood evidence confirms the presence and persistence of Castanopsis in this region in the late Oligocene. In the Yongning Formation, the presence of numerous Fagaceae woods with faint or absent growth ring boundaries (in C. nanningensis) occasionally associated with prominent ring-porous patterns, suggests that Guangxi (South China) had a seasonal (probably monsoonal) tropical climate during the late Oligocene.

  20. Putting fossils on the map: Applying a geographical information system to heritage resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merrill van der Walt

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A geographical information system (GIS database was compiled of Permo-Triassic tetrapod fossils from the Karoo Supergoup in South African museum collections. This database is the first of its kind and has great time applicability for understanding tetrapod biodiversity change though time more than 200 million years ago. Because the museum catalogues all differed in recorded information and were not compliant with field capture requirements, this information had to be standardised to a format that could be utilised for archival and research application. Our paper focuses on the processes involved in building the GIS project, capturing metadata on fossil collections and formulating future best practices. The result is a multi-layered GIS database of the tetrapod fossil record of the Beaufort Group of South Africa for use as an accurate research tool in palaeo- and geoscience research with applications for ecology, ecosystems, stratigraphy and basin development.

  1. Experiencing patient death in clinical practice: nurses' recollections of their earliest memorable patient death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Natalie Elizabeth; Kent, Bridie; Owens, R Glynn

    2015-03-01

    Death and dying are inevitable life encounters, but a nurse's first experience with patient death may pose considerable cognitive, emotional and clinical challenges. This paper reports the findings of the second phase of a study; the first has been reported elsewhere. This phase explored the earliest memorable patient death experiences of New Zealand registered nurses. A purposeful, self-selected sub-sample of a larger study of New Zealand registered nurses, took part in individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was utilised to seek to understand participants' experiences. Thematic analysis was undertaken to identify emerging themes, with participants' own words used as theme headings, where their phrases provided succinct or powerful descriptors. A diverse participant group of twenty, currently practising, New Zealand registered nurses provided rich and detailed descriptions of their earliest memorable experience with patient death. Participants from a variety of training backgrounds described patient deaths, which occurred in a range of settings - some only a few months prior, others - more than thirty years ago. Seven emergent themes, and features of more positive, or negative experiences were identified: Event Significance; Emotional Challenges; Sharing the Experience; Learning; Feeling Unprepared, Responses to Death and Finding Benefits. For participants in this study, there was considerable evidence that their earliest memorable patient death was a significant event. Furthermore, although most participants' experiences were characterised by emphatic or poignant description, there was most often a balance of challenges and rewards. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Virtual endocranial cast of earliest Eocene Diacodexis (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and morphological diversity of early artiodactyl brains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orliac, M. J.; Gilissen, E.

    2012-01-01

    The study of brain evolution, particularly that of the neocortex, is of primary interest because it directly relates to how behavioural variations arose both between and within mammalian groups. Artiodactyla is one of the most diverse mammalian clades. However, the first 10 Myr of their brain evolution has remained undocumented so far. Here, we used high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to investigate the endocranial cast of Diacodexis ilicis of earliest Eocene age. Its virtual reconstruction provides unprecedented access to both metric parameters and fine anatomy of the most complete endocast of the earliest artiodactyl. This picture is assessed in a broad comparative context by reconstructing endocasts of 14 other Early and Middle Eocene representatives of basal artiodactyls, allowing the tracking of the neocortical structure of artiodactyls back to its simplest pattern. We show that the earliest artiodactyls share a simple neocortical pattern, so far never observed in other ungulates, with an almond-shaped gyrus instead of parallel sulci as previously hypothesized. Our results demonstrate that artiodactyls experienced a tardy pulse of encephalization during the Late Neogene, well after the onset of cortical complexity increase. Comparisons with Eocene perissodactyls show that the latter reached a high level of cortical complexity earlier than the artiodactyls. PMID:22764165

  3. The oldest gibbon fossil (Hylobatidae) from insular Southeast Asia: evidence from Trinil, (East Java, Indonesia), Lower/Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingicco, Thomas; de Vos, John; Huffman, O Frank

    2014-01-01

    A fossil femur excavated by Eugène Dubois between 1891-1900 in the Lower/Middle Pleistocene bonebed of the Trinil site (Java, Indonesia) was recognised by us as that of a Hylobatidae. The specimen, Trinil 5703 of the Dubois Collection (Leiden, The Netherlands), has the same distinctive form of fossilization that is seen in many of the bonebed fossils from Trinil in the collection. Anatomical comparison of Trinil 5703 to a sample of carnivore and primate femora, supported by morphometric analyses, lead to the attribution of the fossil to gibbon. Trinil 5703 therefore provides the oldest insular record of this clade, one of the oldest known Hylobatidae fossils from Southeast Asia. Because living Hylobatidae only inhabit evergreen rain forests, the paleoenvironment within the river drainage in the greater Trinil area evidently included forests of this kind during the Lower/Middle Pleistocene as revealed here.

  4. Taxing fossil fuels under speculative storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tumen, Semih; Unalmis, Deren; Unalmis, Ibrahim; Unsal, D. Filiz

    2016-01-01

    Long-term environmental consequences of taxing fossil fuel usage have been extensively studied in the literature. However, these taxes may also impose several short-run macroeconomic policy challenges, the nature of which remains underexplored. This paper investigates the mechanisms through which environmental taxes on fossil fuel usage can affect the main macroeconomic variables in the short-run. We concentrate on a particular mechanism: speculative storage. Formulating and using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model, calibrated for the United States, with an explicit storage facility and nominal rigidities, we show that in designing environmental tax policies it is crucial to account for the fact that fossil fuel prices are subject to speculation. The existence of forward-looking speculators in the model improves the effectiveness of tax policies in reducing fossil fuel usage. Improved policy effectiveness, however, is costly: it drives inflation and interest rates up, while impeding output. Based on this tradeoff, we seek an answer to the question how monetary policy should interact with environmental tax policies in our DSGE model of fossil fuel storage. We show that, in an environment with no speculative storers, monetary policy should respond to output along with CPI inflation in order to minimize the welfare losses brought by taxes. However, when the storage facility is activated, responding to output in the monetary policy rule becomes less desirable.

  5. When will fossil fuel reserves be diminished?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafiee, Shahriar; Topal, Erkan

    2009-01-01

    Crude oil, coal and gas are the main resources for world energy supply. The size of fossil fuel reserves and the dilemma that 'when non-renewable energy will be diminished' is a fundamental and doubtful question that needs to be answered. This paper presents a new formula for calculating when fossil fuel reserves are likely to be depleted and develops an econometrics model to demonstrate the relationship between fossil fuel reserves and some main variables. The new formula is modified from the Klass model and thus assumes a continuous compound rate and computes fossil fuel reserve depletion times for oil, coal and gas of approximately 35, 107 and 37 years, respectively. This means that coal reserves are available up to 2112, and will be the only fossil fuel remaining after 2042. In the Econometrics model, the main exogenous variables affecting oil, coal and gas reserve trends are their consumption and respective prices between 1980 and 2006. The models for oil and gas reserves unexpectedly show a positive and significant relationship with consumption, while presenting a negative and significant relationship with price. The econometrics model for coal reserves, however, expectedly illustrates a negative and significant relationship with consumption and a positive and significant relationship with price. Consequently, huge reserves of coal and low-level coal prices in comparison to oil and gas make coal one of the main energy substitutions for oil and gas in the future, under the assumption of coal as a clean energy source

  6. Fossil fuel usage and the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klass, D.L.

    1991-01-01

    The Greenhouse Effect and global warming, ozone formation in the troposphere, ozone destruction in the stratosphere, and acid rain are important environmental issues. The relationship of fossil fuel usage to some of these issues is discussed. Data on fossil fuel consumption and the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and ozone indicate that natural gas provides lower emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen and sulfur oxides than other fossil fuels. Global emissions of methane from the gas industry are significantly less than those from other anthropogenic activities and natural sources, and methane plays an important role along with carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in tropospheric ozone formation. Reductions in any or all of these air pollutants would reduce ozone in the lower atmosphere. Several remedial measures have been or are being implemented in certain countries to reduce fossil fuel emissions. These include removal of emissions from the atmosphere by new biomass growth, fuel substitution by use of cleaner burning fuels for stationary and mobile sources, and fossil fuel combustion at higher efficiencies. It is unlikely that concerted environmental action by all governments of the world will occur soon, but much progress has been made to achieve clean air

  7. Children's Ideas about Fossils and Foundational Concepts Related to Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.; Raven, Sara

    2018-01-01

    Many standards documents and learning progressions recommend evolution learning in elementary grades. Given young children's interest in dinosaurs and other fossils, fossil investigations can provide a rich entry into evolutionary biology for young learners. Educational psychology literature has addressed children's reasoning about foundational…

  8. The fossilized birth–death process for coherent calibration of divergence-time estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Tracy A.; Huelsenbeck, John P.; Stadler, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Time-calibrated species phylogenies are critical for addressing a wide range of questions in evolutionary biology, such as those that elucidate historical biogeography or uncover patterns of coevolution and diversification. Because molecular sequence data are not informative on absolute time, external data—most commonly, fossil age estimates—are required to calibrate estimates of species divergence dates. For Bayesian divergence time methods, the common practice for calibration using fossil information involves placing arbitrarily chosen parametric distributions on internal nodes, often disregarding most of the information in the fossil record. We introduce the “fossilized birth–death” (FBD) process—a model for calibrating divergence time estimates in a Bayesian framework, explicitly acknowledging that extant species and fossils are part of the same macroevolutionary process. Under this model, absolute node age estimates are calibrated by a single diversification model and arbitrary calibration densities are not necessary. Moreover, the FBD model allows for inclusion of all available fossils. We performed analyses of simulated data and show that node age estimation under the FBD model results in robust and accurate estimates of species divergence times with realistic measures of statistical uncertainty, overcoming major limitations of standard divergence time estimation methods. We used this model to estimate the speciation times for a dataset composed of all living bears, indicating that the genus Ursus diversified in the Late Miocene to Middle Pliocene. PMID:25009181

  9. Biogeographic distribution and metric dental variation of fossil and living orangutans (Pongo spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tshen, Lim Tze

    2016-01-01

    The genus Pongo has a relatively richer Quaternary fossil record than those of the African great apes. Fossil materials are patchy in terms of anatomical parts represented, limited almost exclusively to isolated teeth, jaw and bone fragments. Fossil evidence indicates that the genus Pongo had a broadly continuous distribution across the southern part of the Indomalayan biogeographic region, ranging in time from Early Pleistocene to Holocene: southern China (77 fossil sites), Vietnam (15), Laos (6), Cambodia (2), Thailand (4), Peninsular Malaysia (6), Sumatra (4), Borneo (6) and Java (4). Within this distribution range, there are major geographical gaps with no known orangutan fossils, notably central and southern Indochina, central and southern Thailand, eastern Peninsular Malaysia, northern and southern Sumatra, and Kalimantan. The geological time and place of origin of the genus remain unresolved. Fossil orangutan assemblages usually show greater extent of dental metrical variation than those of modern-day populations. Such variability shown in prehistoric populations has partially contributed to confusion regarding past taxonomic diversity and systematic relationships among extinct and living forms. To date, no fewer than 14 distinct taxa have been identified and named for Pleistocene orangutans. Clear cases suggestive of predation by prehistoric human are few in number, and limited to terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene sites in Borneo and a Late Pleistocene site in Vietnam.

  10. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong

    2014-10-28

    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous.

  11. An Oligocene toadfish (Teleostei, Percomorpha) from Moravia, Czech Republic: The earliest skeletal record for the order Batrachoidiformes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Přikryl, Tomáš; Carnevale, G.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 92, č. 1 (2017), s. 123-131 ISSN 1214-1119 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-21523S Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Teleostei * Batrachoidiformes * Oligocene * Menilitic Formation * Paratethys Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Paleontology Impact factor: 1.175, year: 2016

  12. The Middle Triassic insect radiation revealed by isotopic age and iconic fossils from NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Daran; Chang, Su-Chin; Wang, He; Fang, Yan; Wang, Jun; Feng, Chongqing; Xie, Guwei; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Zhang, Haichun; Wang, Bo

    2017-04-01

    Following the end-Permian mass extinction, the Triassic represented an important period witnessing the recovery and radiation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Terrestrial plants and vertebrates have been widely investigated; however the insects, the most diverse organisms on earth, remain enigmatic due to the rarity of Early-Middle Triassic fossils. Here we report new fossils from a Ladinian deposit dated at 238-237 Ma and a Carnian deposit in northwestern China, including the earliest definite caddisfly cases (Trichoptera) and water boatmen (Hemiptera), diverse polyphagan beetles (Coleoptera) and scorpionflies (Mecoptera). Our findings suggest that the Holometabola, comprising the majority of modern-day insect species, experienced an extraordinary diversification in the Middle Triassic and was already been dominant in some Middle and Late Triassic insect faunas, after the extinction of several ecologically dominant, Paleozoic insect groups in the latest Permian and earliest Triassic. This turnover is perhaps related to notable episodes of extreme warming and drying, leading to the eventual demise of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. The forest revival during the Middle Triassic probably stimulated the rapid radiation and evolution of insects including some key aquatic lineages which built new associations that persist to the present day. Our results provide not only new insights into the early evolution of insect diversity and ecology, but also robust evidence for the view that the Triassic is the "Dawn of the Modern World". Besides, LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating initially gave a late Ladinian age for the Tongchuan entomnfauna after the results: 237.41 ± 0.91 Ma and 238 ± 0.97 Ma. The age is in agreement with that of the marine Ladinian-Carnian boundary, representing a novel age constraint for the terrestrial strata near this boundary. This age can provide a calibration for marine and terrestrial correlation near Ladinian

  13. Upward revision of global fossil fuel methane emissions based on isotope database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwietzke, Stefan; Sherwood, Owen A; Bruhwiler, Lori M P; Miller, John B; Etiope, Giuseppe; Dlugokencky, Edward J; Michel, Sylvia Englund; Arling, Victoria A; Vaughn, Bruce H; White, James W C; Tans, Pieter P

    2016-10-06

    Methane has the second-largest global radiative forcing impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases after carbon dioxide, but our understanding of the global atmospheric methane budget is incomplete. The global fossil fuel industry (production and usage of natural gas, oil and coal) is thought to contribute 15 to 22 per cent of methane emissions to the total atmospheric methane budget. However, questions remain regarding methane emission trends as a result of fossil fuel industrial activity and the contribution to total methane emissions of sources from the fossil fuel industry and from natural geological seepage, which are often co-located. Here we re-evaluate the global methane budget and the contribution of the fossil fuel industry to methane emissions based on long-term global methane and methane carbon isotope records. We compile the largest isotopic methane source signature database so far, including fossil fuel, microbial and biomass-burning methane emission sources. We find that total fossil fuel methane emissions (fossil fuel industry plus natural geological seepage) are not increasing over time, but are 60 to 110 per cent greater than current estimates owing to large revisions in isotope source signatures. We show that this is consistent with the observed global latitudinal methane gradient. After accounting for natural geological methane seepage, we find that methane emissions from natural gas, oil and coal production and their usage are 20 to 60 per cent greater than inventories. Our findings imply a greater potential for the fossil fuel industry to mitigate anthropogenic climate forcing, but we also find that methane emissions from natural gas as a fraction of production have declined from approximately 8 per cent to approximately 2 per cent over the past three decades.

  14. Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oskam, Charlotte L; Haile, James Seymour; McLay, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Owing to exceptional biomolecule preservation, fossil avian eggshell has been used extensively in geochronology and palaeodietary studies. Here, we show, to our knowledge, for the first time that fossil eggshell is a previously unrecognized source of ancient DNA (aDNA). We describe the successful...... isolation and amplification of DNA from fossil eggshell up to 19 ka old. aDNA was successfully characterized from eggshell obtained from New Zealand (extinct moa and ducks), Madagascar (extinct elephant birds) and Australia (emu and owl). Our data demonstrate excellent preservation of the nucleic acids......, evidenced by retrieval of both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from many of the samples. Using confocal microscopy and quantitative PCR, this study critically evaluates approaches to maximize DNA recovery from powdered eggshell. Our quantitative PCR experiments also demonstrate that moa eggshell has...

  15. Lessons learned from fossil FAC assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dooley, R. Barry; Shields, Kevin J. [Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Oakville, ON (Canada); Shulder, Stephen J. [Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Annapolis, MD (United States)

    2010-09-15

    In their work the authors have noted great diversity in the Flow-Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) Programs used at conventional fossil power plants. The results and findings of FAC Program assessments conducted at 22 conventional plants are summarized and discussed. By comparing the FAC Program characteristics and relevant unit features with damage and failure experiences, a number of common factors requiring attention from fossil utility organizations have been identified. The assessment experiences have also provided a picture of trends in specific FAC activities and general awareness within the conventional fossil fleet. One of the most important aspects of these studies is that while a few new locations of FAC have been found, there is some consolidation of the most frequently found locations. (orig.)

  16. Education Program on Fossil Resources Including Coal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usami, Masahiro

    Fossil fuels including coal play a key role as crucial energies in contributing to economic development in Asia. On the other hand, its limited quantity and the environmental problems causing from its usage have become a serious global issue and a countermeasure to solve such problems is very much demanded. Along with the pursuit of sustainable development, environmentally-friendly use of highly efficient fossil resources should be therefore, accompanied. Kyushu-university‧s sophisticated research through long years of accumulated experience on the fossil resources and environmental sectors together with the advanced large-scale commercial and empirical equipments will enable us to foster cooperative research and provide internship program for the future researchers. Then, this program is executed as a consignment business from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from 2007 fiscal year to 2009 fiscal year. The lecture that uses the textbooks developed by this program is scheduled to be started a course in fiscal year 2010.

  17. 17. Annotations to the map of the more important fossil localities in the Netherlands East Indies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krijnen, W.F.

    1931-01-01

    For the compilation of the map of fossil localities I have followed the example of Dr. A. Tobler (bibl. 194), arranging the localities according to age. The localities from which more than one formation has been recorded, are numbered for the oldest formation found. In the list these numbers are

  18. The first fossil salmonfly (Insecta: Plecoptera: Pteronarcyidae), back to the Middle Jurassic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yingying; Béthoux, Olivier; Kondratieff, Boris; Shih, Chungkun; Ren, Dong

    2016-10-18

    The fossil record of Plecoptera (stoneflies) is considered relatively complete, with stem-groups of each of the three major lineages, viz. Antarctoperlaria, Euholognatha and Systellognatha (and some of their families) represented in the Mesozoic. However, the family Pteronarcyidae (the salmonflies; including two genera, Pteronarcys and Pteronarcella) has no fossil record to date, and the family has been suggested to have diverged recently. In this paper, we report on a set of specimens belonging to a new fossil species of stonefly, discovered from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou locality (China). Our comparative analysis of wing venation and body characters demonstrates that the new species belongs to the Pteronarcyidae, and is more closely related to Pteronarcys than to Pteronarcella. However, it differs from all known species of the former genus. It is therefore assigned to a new genus and named Pteroliriope sinitshenkovae gen. et sp. nov. under the traditional nomenclatural procedure. The cladotypic nomenclatural procedure is also employed, with the resulting combination Pteroliriope nec Pteronarcys sinitshenkovae sp. nov. The first discovery of a fossil member of the Pteronarcyidae demonstrates that the corresponding lineage is not a very recent offshoot but was already present ca. 165 million years ago. This discovery concurs with the view that divergence of most stonefly families took place very early, probably in the Triassic, or even in the Permian. This contribution demonstrates the need for (re-)investigations of the systematics of fossil stoneflies to refine divergence date estimates for Plecoptera lineages.

  19. Discovery of the fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae (Carnivora, Mammalia) in Mexico reconciles a palaeozoogeographic mystery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Z Jack; Pacheco-Castro, Adolfo; Carranza-Castañeda, Oscar; Aranda-Gómez, José Jorge; Wang, Xiaoming; Troncoso, Hilda

    2017-06-01

    The North American fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae is thought to be partially convergent in ecological niche with the living sea otter Enhydra lutris , both having low-crowned crushing teeth and a close association with marine environments. Fossil records of Enhydritherium are found in mostly marginal marine deposits in California and Florida; despite presence of very rich records of fossil terrestrial mammals in contemporaneous localities inland, no Enhydritherium fossils are hitherto known in interior North America. Here we report the first occurrence of Enhydritherium outside of Florida and California, in a land-locked terrestrial mammal fauna of the upper Miocene deposits of Juchipila Basin, Zacatecas State, Mexico. This new occurrence of Enhydritherium is at least 200 km from the modern Pacific coastline, and nearly 600 km from the Gulf of Mexico. Besides providing further evidence that Enhydritherium was not dependent on coastal marine environments as originally interpreted, this discovery leads us to propose a new east-to-west dispersal route between the Florida and California Enhydritherium populations through central Mexico. The proximity of the fossil locality to nearby populations of modern neotropical otters Lontra longicaudis suggests that trans-Mexican freshwater corridors for vertebrate species in riparian habitats may have persisted for a prolonged period of time, pre-dating the Great American Biotic Interchange. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. A dating success story: genomes and fossils converge on placental mammal origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goswami Anjali

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The timing of the placental mammal radiation has been a source of contention for decades. The fossil record of mammals extends over 200 million years, but no confirmed placental mammal fossils are known prior to 64 million years ago, which is approximately 1.5 million years after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg mass extinction that saw the end of non-avian dinosaurs. Thus, it came as a great surprise when the first published molecular clock studies suggested that placental mammals originated instead far back in the Cretaceous, in some cases doubling divergence estimates based on fossils. In the last few decades, more than a hundred new genera of Mesozoic mammals have been discovered, and molecular divergence studies have grown from simple clock-like models applied to a few genes to sophisticated analyses of entire genomes. Yet, molecular and fossil-based divergence estimates for placental mammal origins have remained remote, with knock-on effects for macro-scale reconstructions of mammal evolution. A few recent molecular studies have begun to converge with fossil-based estimates, and a new phylogenomic study in particular shows that the palaeontological record was mostly correct; most placental mammal orders diversified after the K-Pg mass extinction. While a small gap still remains for Late Cretaceous supraordinal divergences, this study has significantly improved the congruence between molecular and palaeontological data and heralds a broader integration of these fields of evolutionary science.

  1. Problems related to fossil fuels utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rota, R.

    1999-01-01

    Fossil fuels still present the main energy source in the world since about 90% of the energy produced comes from combustion. This paper, based on the lectures given at the conference of Energy and Environment hold at the Accademia dei Lincei in 1998, presents a short review of some of the problems related to the utilization of fossil fuels, such as their availability in the medium period, the effect of pollutant dispersion in the atmosphere as well as the available technologies to deal with such problems [it

  2. Environmental damage caused by fossil fuels consumption

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbir, F.; Veziroglu, T.N.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the objectives of this study is to identify the negative effects of the fossil fuels use and to evaluate their economic significance. An economic value of the damage for each of the analyzed effects has been estimated in US dollars per unit energy of the fuel used ($/GJ). This external costs of fossil fuel use should be added to their existing market price, and such real costs should be compared with the real costs of other, environmentally acceptable, energy alternatives, such as hydrogen

  3. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  4. Identification of the earliest collagen- and plant-based coatings from Neolithic artefacts (Nahal Hemar cave, Israel).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solazzo, Caroline; Courel, Blandine; Connan, Jacques; van Dongen, Bart E; Barden, Holly; Penkman, Kirsty; Taylor, Sheila; Demarchi, Beatrice; Adam, Pierre; Schaeffer, Philippe; Nissenbaum, Arie; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Buckley, Michael

    2016-08-09

    Mortuary practices in human evolution record cognitive, social changes and technological innovations. The Neolithic Revolution in the Levant was a watershed in this domain that has long fascinated the archaeological community. Plaster modelled skulls are well known at Jericho and several other Neolithic sites, and in Nahal Hemar cave (Israel, ca. 8200 -7300 cal. BC) excavations yielded six unique human skulls covered with a black organic coating applied in a net pattern evoking a headdress. This small cave was used as storage for paraphernalia in the semi-arid area of the Judean desert and the dry conditions preserved other artefacts such as baskets coated with a similar dark substance. While previous analysis had revealed the presence of amino acids consistent with a collagen signature, in the present report, specific biomarkers were characterised using combined proteomic and lipid approaches. Basket samples yielded collagen and blood proteins of bovine origin (Bos genus) and a large sequence coverage of a plant protein charybdin (Charybdis genus). The skull residue samples were dominated by benzoate and cinnamate derivatives and triterpenes consistent with a styrax-type resin (Styrax officinalis), thus providing the earliest known evidence of an odoriferous plant resin used in combination with an animal product.

  5. The GB/3D Type Fossils Online Web Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, T.; Howe, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    fossils which can be used in education and public outreach. The audience for the web portal includes both professional paleontologists and the general public. The professional paleontologist can use the portal to discover the whereabouts of the type material for a taxon they are studying, and can use the pictures and 3d models to assess the completeness and preservation quality of the material. This may reduce or negate the need to send specimens (which are often fragile and always irreplaceable) to researchers through the post, or for researchers to make possibly long, expensive and environmentally damaging journeys to visit far-off collections. We hope that the pictures and 3d models will help to stimulate public interest in paleontology and natural history. The ability to digitally image and scan specimens in 3d enables institutions to have an archive record in case specimens are lost or destroyed by accident or warfare. Recent events in Cairo and Baghdad remind us that museum collections are vulnerable to civil and military strife.

  6. The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Daniel; Grün, Rainer; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud; Steele, Teresa E; Amani, Fethi; Rué, Mathieu; Fernandes, Paul; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Geraads, Denis; Ben-Ncer, Abdelouahed; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; McPherron, Shannon P

    2017-06-07

    The timing and location of the emergence of our species and of associated behavioural changes are crucial for our understanding of human evolution. The earliest fossil attributed to a modern form of Homo sapiens comes from eastern Africa and is approximately 195 thousand years old, therefore the emergence of modern human biology is commonly placed at around 200 thousand years ago. The earliest Middle Stone Age assemblages come from eastern and southern Africa but date much earlier. Here we report the ages, determined by thermoluminescence dating, of fire-heated flint artefacts obtained from new excavations at the Middle Stone Age site of Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, which are directly associated with newly discovered remains of H. sapiens. A weighted average age places these Middle Stone Age artefacts and fossils at 315 ± 34 thousand years ago. Support is obtained through the recalculated uranium series with electron spin resonance date of 286 ± 32 thousand years ago for a tooth from the Irhoud 3 hominin mandible. These ages are also consistent with the faunal and microfaunal assemblages and almost double the previous age estimates for the lower part of the deposits. The north African site of Jebel Irhoud contains one of the earliest directly dated Middle Stone Age assemblages, and its associated human remains are the oldest reported for H. sapiens. The emergence of our species and of the Middle Stone Age appear to be close in time, and these data suggest a larger scale, potentially pan-African, origin for both.

  7. A complete Holocene record of trematode-bivalve infection and implications for the response of parasitism to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntley, John Warren; Fürsich, Franz T; Alberti, Matthias; Hethke, Manja; Liu, Chunlian

    2014-12-23

    Increasing global temperature and sea-level rise have led to concern about expansions in the distribution and prevalence of complex-lifecycle parasites (CLPs). Indeed, numerous environmental variables can influence the infectivity and reproductive output of many pathogens. Digenean trematodes are CLPs with intermediate invertebrate and definitive vertebrate hosts. Global warming and sea level rise may affect these hosts to varying degrees, and the effect of increasing temperature on parasite prevalence has proven to be nonlinear and difficult to predict. Projecting the response of parasites to anthropogenic climate change is vital for human health, and a longer term perspective (10(4) y) offered by the subfossil record is necessary to complement the experimental and historical approaches of shorter temporal duration (10(-1) to 10(3) y). We demonstrate, using a high-resolution 9,600-y record of trematode parasite traces in bivalve hosts from the Holocene Pearl River Delta, that prevalence was significantly higher during the earliest stages of sea level rise, significantly lower during the maximum transgression, and statistically indistinguishable in the other stages of sea-level rise and delta progradation. This stratigraphic paleobiological pattern represents the only long-term high-resolution record of pathogen response to global change, is consistent with fossil and recent data from other marine basins, and is instructive regarding the future of disease. We predict an increase in trematode prevalence concurrent with anthropogenic warming and marine transgression, with negative implications for estuarine macrobenthos, marine fisheries, and human health.

  8. Fossil Energy Materials Program conference proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judkins, R.R. (comp.)

    1987-08-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy has recognized the need for materials research and development to assure the adequacy of materials of construction for advanced fossil energy systems. The principal responsibility for identifying needed materials research and for establishing a program to address these needs resides within the Office of Technical Coordination. That office has established the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR and TD) Fossil Energy Materials Program to fulfill that responsibility. In addition to the AR and TD Materials Program, which is designed to address in a generic way the materials needs of fossil energy systems, specific materials support activities are also sponsored by the various line organizations such as the Office of Coal Gasification. A conference was held at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 19-21, 1987, to present and discuss the results of program activities during the past year. The conference program was organized in accordance with the research thrust areas we have established. These research thrust areas include structural ceramics (particularly fiber-reinforced ceramic composites), corrosion and erosion, and alloy development and mechanical properties. Eighty-six people attended the conference. Papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  9. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  10. Fossil rhinoceroses from Hopefield, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.; Singer, R.

    1960-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The fossil specimens of rhinoceroses recovered at the "Elandsfontein" site, Hopefield, Cape Province, belong to the two living species of Africa, viz., Ceratotherium simum (Burchell) and Diceros bicornis (L.) (Singer, 1954). Both are widely distributed in the African Pleistocene (see

  11. The fossil hippopotamus from Hopefield, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.; Singer, R.

    1961-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The fossil remains of Hippopotamus from the Pleistocene "Elandsfontein" site near Hopefield, Cape Province, have already been briefly described by Singer and Keen (1955), who found that the material available at the time was not different from the living Hippopotamus amphibius L.

  12. Carbon Risk and the Fossil Fuel Industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathieu, Carole

    2015-04-01

    As calls for ambitious climate action intensify, questions arise concerning the resilience of the fossil fuel industry in a world ever more inclined to favour climate protection. This article will attempt to assess the extent of present risks and show how the strength of debate can affect practices and strategy employed by companies in this sector. (author)

  13. Direct dating of fossils by the helium-uranium method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaeffer, O.A.

    1967-01-01

    The He-U method has been found to be applicable to the dating of fossil carbonates. This method furnishes a new dating technique particularly applicable to the Pleistocene and the Tertiary periods, especially the Late Tertiary, for which other methods of age dating either fail or are difficult to correlate with the fossil record. The method has been checked for possible losses of helium and uranium from or to the surroundings. It has been found that, while a calcite lattice does not appear to retain helium, if the lattice is aragonite there is good evidence that helium leakage is not a problem. This is true at least for times up to 20 m. y. For corals where the uranium is apparently uniformly distributed within the lattice as a trace element, the uranium does not exchange or undergo concentration changes. As a result aragonite corals yield reliable He-U ages. On the other hand, the uranium in mollusc fossils is apparently mainly in the grain boundaries and is not always a tight system as far as uranium exchange or concentration changes are concerned. To obtain a reliable age for a mollusc one needs additional evidence to ensure lack of changes in uranium concentration. If the measurement of U and He is combined with 238 U, 234 U and 230 Th determinations, it appears that many mollusc shells will also be datable by the method. The resulting evidence for secular equilibrium in the 238 U chain is good evidence for a closed system as far as U concentration changes are concerned. (author)

  14. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070-c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subse...

  15. Electronic inventions and discoveries electronics from its earliest beginnings to the present day

    CERN Document Server

    Dummer, G W A

    1983-01-01

    Electronic Inventions and Discoveries: Electronics from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Present Day provides a summary of the development of the whole field of electronics. Organized into 13 chapters, the book covers and reviews the history of electronics as a whole and its aspects. The opening chapter covers the beginnings of electronics, while the next chapter discusses the development of components, transistors, and integrated circuits. The third chapter tackles the expansion of electronics and its effects on industry. The succeeding chapters discuss the history of the aspects of electronics

  16. [Pietro U. Dini. Prelude to Baltic linguistics : earliest theories about Baltic languages (16th century)] / Stefan Donecker

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Donecker, Stefan, 1977-

    2015-01-01

    Arvustus: Dini, Pietro U. Prelude to Baltic linguistics : earliest theories about Baltic languages (16th century). (On the boundary of two worlds : identity, freedom, and moral imagination in the Baltics, 36). Verlag Rodopi, Amsterdam und New York 2014

  17. An ochered fossil marine shell from the mousterian of fumane cave, Italy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Peresani

    Full Text Available A scanty but varied ensemble of finds challenges the idea that Neandertal material culture was essentially static and did not include symbolic items. In this study we report on a fragmentary Miocene-Pliocene fossil marine shell, Aspamarginata, discovered in a Discoid Mousterian layer of the Fumane Cave, northern Italy, dated to at least 47.6-45.0 Cal ky BP. The shell was collected by Neandertals at a fossil exposure probably located more than 100 kms from the site. Microscopic analysis of the shell surface identifies clusters of striations on the inner lip. A dark red substance, trapped inside micropits produced by bioeroders, is interpreted as pigment that was homogeneously smeared on the outer shell surface. Dispersive X-ray and Raman analysis identify the pigment as pure hematite. Of the four hypotheses we considered to explain the presence of this object at the site, two (tool, pigment container are discarded because in contradiction with observations. Although the other two ("manuport", personal ornament are both possible, we favor the hypothesis that the object was modified and suspended by a 'thread' for visual display as a pendant. Together with contextual and chronometric data, our results support the hypothesis that deliberate transport and coloring of an exotic object, and perhaps its use as pendant, was a component of Neandertal symbolic culture, well before the earliest appearance of the anatomically modern humans in Europe.

  18. Status of fossil fuel reserves; Etat des reserves des combustibles fossiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laherrere, J

    2005-07-01

    Reserves represent the sum of past and future productions up to the end of production. In most countries the reserve data of fields are confidential. Therefore, fossil fuel reserves are badly known because the published data are more political than technical and many countries make a confusion between resources and reserves. The cumulated production of fossil fuels represents only between a third and a fifth of the ultimate reserves. The production peak will take place between 2020 and 2050. In the ultimate reserves, which extrapolate the past, the fossil fuels represent three thirds of the overall energy. This document analyses the uncertainties linked with fossil fuel reserves: reliability of published data, modeling of future production, comparison with other energy sources, energy consumption forecasts, reserves/production ratio, exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons (tar sands, extra-heavy oils, bituminous shales, coal gas, gas shales, methane in overpressure aquifers, methane hydrates), technology impacts, prices impact, and reserves growth. (J.S.)

  19. Earliest floral grave lining from 13,700-11,700-y-old Natufian burials at Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadel, Dani; Danin, Avinoam; Power, Robert C; Rosen, Arlene M; Bocquentin, Fanny; Tsatskin, Alexander; Rosenberg, Danny; Yeshurun, Reuven; Weissbrod, Lior; Rebollo, Noemi R; Barzilai, Omry; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2013-07-16

    Flowering plants possess mechanisms that stimulate positive emotional and social responses in humans. It is difficult to establish when people started to use flowers in public and ceremonial events because of the scarcity of relevant evidence in the archaeological record. We report on uniquely preserved 13,700-11,700-y-old grave linings made of flowers, suggesting that such use began much earlier than previously thought. The only potentially older instance is the questionable use of flowers in the Shanidar IV Neanderthal grave. The earliest cemeteries (ca. 15,000-11,500 y ago) in the Levant are known from Natufian sites in northern Israel, where dozens of burials reflect a wide range of inhumation practices. The newly discovered flower linings were found in four Natufian graves at the burial site of Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel. Large identified plant impressions in the graves include stems of sage and other Lamiaceae (Labiatae; mint family) or Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) species; accompanied by a plethora of phytoliths, they provide the earliest direct evidence now known for such preparation and decoration of graves. Some of the plant species attest to spring burials with a strong emphasis on colorful and aromatic flowers. Cave floor chiseling to accommodate the desired grave location and depth is also evident at the site. Thus, grave preparation was a sophisticated planned process, embedded with social and spiritual meanings reflecting a complex preagricultural society undergoing profound changes at the end of the Pleistocene.

  20. Estimating Age-Dependent Extinction: Contrasting Evidence from Fossils and Phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Oskar; Andermann, Tobias; Quental, Tiago B; Antonelli, Alexandre; Silvestro, Daniele

    2018-05-01

    The estimation of diversification rates is one of the most vividly debated topics in modern systematics, with considerable controversy surrounding the power of phylogenetic and fossil-based approaches in estimating extinction. Van Valen's seminal work from 1973 proposed the "Law of constant extinction," which states that the probability of extinction of taxa is not dependent on their age. This assumption of age-independent extinction has prevailed for decades with its assessment based on survivorship curves, which, however, do not directly account for the incompleteness of the fossil record, and have rarely been applied at the species level. Here, we present a Bayesian framework to estimate extinction rates from the fossil record accounting for age-dependent extinction (ADE). Our approach, unlike previous implementations, explicitly models unobserved species and accounts for the effects of fossil preservation on the observed longevity of sampled lineages. We assess the performance and robustness of our method through extensive simulations and apply it to a fossil data set of terrestrial Carnivora spanning the past 40 myr. We find strong evidence of ADE, as we detect the extinction rate to be highest in young species and declining with increasing species age. For comparison, we apply a recently developed analogous ADE model to a dated phylogeny of extant Carnivora. Although the phylogeny-based analysis also infers ADE, it indicates that the extinction rate, instead, increases with increasing taxon age. The estimated mean species longevity also differs substantially, with the fossil-based analyses estimating 2.0 myr, in contrast to 9.8 myr derived from the phylogeny-based inference. Scrutinizing these discrepancies, we find that both fossil and phylogeny-based ADE models are prone to high error rates when speciation and extinction rates increase or decrease through time. However, analyses of simulated and empirical data show that fossil-based inferences are more

  1. A fossil unicorn crestfish (Teleostei, Lampridiformes, Lophotidae) from the Eocene of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davesne, Donald

    2017-01-01

    Lophotidae, or crestfishes, is a family of rare deep-sea teleosts characterised by an enlarged horn-like crest on the forehead. They are poorly represented in the fossil record, by only three described taxa. One specimen attributed to Lophotidae has been described from the pelagic fauna of the middle-late Eocene Zagros Basin, Iran. Originally considered as a specimen of the fossil lophotid † Protolophotus , it is proposed hereby as a new genus and species † Babelichthys olneyi , gen. et sp. nov., differs from the other fossil lophotids by its relatively long and strongly projecting crest, suggesting a close relationship with the modern unicorn crestfish, Eumecichthys . This new taxon increases the diversity of the deep-sea teleost fauna to which it belongs, improving our understanding of the taxonomic composition of the early Cenozoic mesopelagic ecosystems.

  2. A fossil unicorn crestfish (Teleostei, Lampridiformes, Lophotidae from the Eocene of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald Davesne

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Lophotidae, or crestfishes, is a family of rare deep-sea teleosts characterised by an enlarged horn-like crest on the forehead. They are poorly represented in the fossil record, by only three described taxa. One specimen attributed to Lophotidae has been described from the pelagic fauna of the middle-late Eocene Zagros Basin, Iran. Originally considered as a specimen of the fossil lophotid †Protolophotus, it is proposed hereby as a new genus and species †Babelichthys olneyi, gen. et sp. nov., differs from the other fossil lophotids by its relatively long and strongly projecting crest, suggesting a close relationship with the modern unicorn crestfish, Eumecichthys. This new taxon increases the diversity of the deep-sea teleost fauna to which it belongs, improving our understanding of the taxonomic composition of the early Cenozoic mesopelagic ecosystems.

  3. Earliest Animal Cranial Surgery: from Cow to Man in the Neolithic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez Rozzi, Fernando; Froment, Alain

    2018-04-19

    The earliest cranial surgery (trepanation) has been attested since the Mesolithic period. The meaning of such a practice remains elusive but it is evident that, even in prehistoric times, humans from this period and from the Neolithic period had already achieved a high degree of mastery of surgical techniques practiced on bones. How such mastery was acquired in prehistoric societies remains an open question. The analysis of an almost complete cow cranium found in the Neolithic site of Champ-Durand (France) (3400-3000 BC) presenting a hole in the right frontal bone reveals that this cranium underwent cranial surgery using the same techniques as those used on human crania. If bone surgery on the cow cranium was performed in order to save the animal, Champ-Durant would provide the earliest evidence of veterinary surgical practice. Alternatively, the evidence of surgery on this cranium can also suggest that Neolithic people practiced on domestic animals in order to perfect the technique before applying it to humans.

  4. Earliest economic exploitation of chicken outside East Asia: Evidence from the Hellenistic Southern Levant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry-Gal, Lee; Erlich, Adi; Gilboa, Ayelet; Bar-Oz, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is today one of the most widespread domesticated species and is a main source of protein in the human diet. However, for thousands of years exploitation of chickens was confined to symbolic and social domains such as cockfighting. The question of when and where chickens were first used for economic purposes remains unresolved. The results of our faunal analysis demonstrate that the Hellenistic (fourth–second centuries B.C.E.) site of Maresha, Israel, is the earliest site known today where economic exploitation of chickens was widely practiced. We base our claim on the exceptionally high frequency of chicken bones at that site, the majority of which belong to adult individuals, and on the observed 2:1 ratio of female to male bones. These results are supported further by an extensive survey of faunal remains from 234 sites in the Southern Levant, spanning more than three millennia, which shows a sharp increase in the frequency of chicken during the Hellenistic period. We further argue that the earliest secure evidence for economic exploitation of chickens in Europe dates to the first century B.C.E. and therefore is predated by the finds in the Southern Levant by at least a century. We suggest that the gradual acclimatization of chickens in the Southern Levant and its gradual integration into the local economy, the latter fully accomplished in the Hellenistic period, was a crucial step in the adoption of this species in European husbandry some 100 y later. PMID:26195775

  5. A structural intermediate between triisodontids and mesonychians (Mammalia, Acreodi) from the earliest Eocene of Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabuce, Rodolphe; Clavel, Julien; Antunes, Miguel Telles

    2011-02-01

    A new mammal, Mondegodon eutrigonus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the earliest Eocene locality of Silveirinha, Portugal. This species shows dental adaptations indicative of a carnivorous diet. M. eutrigonus is referred to the order Acreodi and considered, along with the early Paleocene North American species Oxyclaenus cuspidatus, as a morphological intermediate between two groups of ungulate-like mammals, namely, the triisodontids and mesonychians. Considering that triisodontids are early to early-late Paleocene North American taxa, Mondegodon probably belongs to a group that migrated from North America towards Europe during the first part of the Paleocene. Mondegodon could represent thus a relict genus, belonging to the ante-Eocene European mammalian fauna. The occurrence of such a taxon in Southern Europe may reflect a period of isolation of this continental area during the Paleocene/Eocene transition. In this context, the non-occurrence of closely allied forms of Mondegodon in the Eocene North European mammalian faunas is significant. This strengthens the hypothesis that the mammalian fauna from Southern Europe is characterized by a certain degree of endemism during the earliest Eocene. Mondegodon also presents some striking similarities with an unnamed genus from the early Eocene of India which could represent the first Asian known transitional form between the triisodontids and mesonychians.

  6. A fossil brain from the Cretaceous of European Russia and avian sensory evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurochkin, Evgeny N; Dyke, Gareth J; Saveliev, Sergei V; Pervushov, Evgeny M; Popov, Evgeny V

    2007-06-22

    Fossils preserving traces of soft anatomy are rare in the fossil record; even rarer is evidence bearing on the size and shape of sense organs that provide us with insights into mode of life. Here, we describe unique fossil preservation of an avian brain from the Volgograd region of European Russia. The brain of this Melovatka bird is similar in shape and morphology to those of known fossil ornithurines (the lineage that includes living birds), such as the marine diving birds Hesperornis and Enaliornis, but documents a new stage in avian sensory evolution: acute nocturnal vision coupled with well-developed hearing and smell, developed by the Late Cretaceous (ca 90Myr ago). This fossil also provides insights into previous 'bird-like' brain reconstructions for the most basal avian Archaeopteryx--reduction of olfactory lobes (sense of smell) and enlargement of the hindbrain (cerebellum) occurred subsequent to Archaeopteryx in avian evolution, closer to the ornithurine lineage that comprises living birds. The Melovatka bird also suggests that brain enlargement in early avians was not correlated with the evolution of powered flight.

  7. Biofuel: an alternative to fossil fuel for alleviating world energy and economic crises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattarai, Keshav; Stalick, Wayne M; McKay, Scott; Geme, Gija; Bhattarai, Nimisha

    2011-01-01

    The time has come when it is desirable to look for alternative energy resources to confront the global energy crisis. Consideration of the increasing environmental problems and the possible crisis of fossil fuel availability at record high prices dictate that some changes will need to occur sooner rather than later. The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is just another example of the environmental threats that fossil fuels pose. This paper is an attempt to explore various bio-resources such as corn, barley, oat, rice, wheat, sorghum, sugar, safflower, and coniferous and non-coniferous species for the production of biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel). In order to assess the potential production of biofuel, in this paper, countries are organized into three groups based on: (a) geographic areas; (b) economic development; and(c) lending types, as classified by the World Bank. First, the total fossil fuel energy consumption and supply and possible carbon emission from burning fossil fuel is projected for these three groups of countries. Second, the possibility of production of biofuel from grains and vegetative product is projected. Third, a comparison of fossil fuel and biofuel is done to examine energy sustainability issues.

  8. Fossils and palaeontological distributions of Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nucete, M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; van Welzen, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    The correct identification of described plant fossils from the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) needs to be confirmed in order to correctly date their phylogeny and map their palaeontological distributions. Previous identifications of fossil specimens often appear to be

  9. A compendium of fossil marine animal families, 2nd edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    A comprehensive listing of 4075 taxonomic families of marine animals known from the fossil record is presented. This listing covers invertebrates, vertebrates, and animal-like protists, gives time intervals of apparent origination and extinction, and provides literature sources for these data. The time intervals are mostly 81 internationally recognized stratigraphic stages; more than half of the data are resolved to one of 145 substage divisions, providing more highly resolved data for studies of taxic macroevolution. Families are classified by order, class, and phylum, reflecting current classifications in the published literature. This compendium is a new edition of the 1982 publication, correcting errors and presenting greater stratigraphic resolution and more current ideas about acceptable families and their classification.

  10. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul

    2014-06-01

    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  11. Fossil energy waste management. Technology status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bossart, S.J.; Newman, D.A.

    1995-02-01

    This report describes the current status and recent accomplishments of the Fossil Energy Waste Management (FE WM) projects sponsored by the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goal of the Waste Management Program is to identify and develop optimal strategies to manage solid by-products from advanced coal technologies for the purpose of ensuring the competitiveness of advanced coal technologies as a future energy source. The projects in the Fossil Energy Waste Management Program are divided into three types of activities: Waste Characterization, Disposal Technologies, and Utilization Technologies. This technology status report includes a discussion on barriers to increased use of coal by-products. Also, the major technical and nontechnical challenges currently being addressed by the FE WM program are discussed. A bibliography of 96 citations and a list of project contacts is included if the reader is interested in obtaining additional information about the FE WM program.

  12. Mineralogy of Non-Silicified Fossil Wood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Mustoe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The best-known and most-studied petrified wood specimens are those that are mineralized with polymorphs of silica: opal-A, opal-C, chalcedony, and quartz. Less familiar are fossil woods preserved with non-silica minerals. This report reviews discoveries of woods mineralized with calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, various iron and copper minerals, manganese oxide, fluorite, barite, natrolite, and smectite clay. Regardless of composition, the processes of mineralization involve the same factors: availability of dissolved elements, pH, Eh, and burial temperature. Permeability of the wood and anatomical features also plays important roles in determining mineralization. When precipitation occurs in several episodes, fossil wood may have complex mineralogy.

  13. Diatoms: a fossil fuel of the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitan, Orly; Dinamarca, Jorge; Hochman, Gal; Falkowski, Paul G

    2014-03-01

    Long-term global climate change, caused by burning petroleum and other fossil fuels, has motivated an urgent need to develop renewable, carbon-neutral, economically viable alternatives to displace petroleum using existing infrastructure. Algal feedstocks are promising candidate replacements as a 'drop-in' fuel. Here, we focus on a specific algal taxon, diatoms, to become the fossil fuel of the future. We summarize past attempts to obtain suitable diatom strains, propose future directions for their genetic manipulation, and offer biotechnological pathways to improve yield. We calculate that the yields obtained by using diatoms as a production platform are theoretically sufficient to satisfy the total oil consumption of the US, using between 3 and 5% of its land area. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Danmarks Største Fossiler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer; Cuny, Gilles Guy Roger

    2008-01-01

    For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram.......For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram....

  15. Fossil Energy Planning for Navajo Nation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Acedo, Margarita [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-08-11

    This project includes fossil energy transition planning to find optimal solutions that benefit the Navajo Nation and stakeholders. The majority of the tribe’s budget currently comes from fossil energy-revenue. The purpose of this work is to assess potential alternative energy resources including solar photovoltaics and biomass (microalgae for either biofuel or food consumption). This includes evaluating carbon-based reserves related to the tribe’s resources including CO2 emissions for the Four Corners generating station. The methodology for this analysis will consist of data collection from publicly available data, utilizing expertise from national laboratories and academics, and evaluating economic, health, and environmental impacts. Finally, this report will highlight areas of opportunities to implement renewable energy in the Navajo Nation by presenting the technology requirements, cost, and considerations to energy, water, and environment in an educational structure.

  16. Structural coloration in a fossil feather.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinther, Jakob; Briggs, Derek E G; Clarke, Julia; Mayr, Gerald; Prum, Richard O

    2010-02-23

    Investigation of feathers from the famous Middle Eocene Messel Oil Shale near Darmstadt, Germany shows that they are preserved as arrays of fossilized melanosomes, the surrounding beta-keratin having degraded. The majority of feathers are preserved as aligned rod-shaped eumelanosomes. In some, however, the barbules of the open pennaceous, distal portion of the feather vane are preserved as a continuous external layer of closely packed melanosomes enclosing loosely aligned melanosomes. This arrangement is similar to the single thin-film nanostructure that generates an iridescent, structurally coloured sheen on the surface of black feathers in many lineages of living birds. This is, to our knowledge, the first evidence of preservation of a colour-producing nanostructure in a fossil feather and confirms the potential for determining colour differences in ancient birds and other dinosaurs.

  17. Transitional fossils and the origin of turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bever, Gabe S; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Joyce, Walter G; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2010-12-23

    The origin of turtles is one of the most contentious issues in systematics with three currently viable hypotheses: turtles as the extant sister to (i) the crocodile-bird clade, (ii) the lizard-tuatara clade, or (iii) Diapsida (a clade composed of (i) and (ii)). We reanalysed a recent dataset that allied turtles with the lizard-tuatara clade and found that the inclusion of the stem turtle Proganochelys quenstedti and the 'parareptile' Eunotosaurus africanus results in a single overriding morphological signal, with turtles outside Diapsida. This result reflects the importance of transitional fossils when long branches separate crown clades, and highlights unexplored issues such as the role of topological congruence when using fossils to calibrate molecular clocks.

  18. Decarbonisation of fossil energy via methane pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kreysa, G.; Agar, D.W.; Schultz, I. [Technische Univ. Dortmund (Germany)

    2010-12-30

    Despite the rising consumption of energy over the last few decades, the proven reserves of fossil fuels have steadily increased. Additionally, there are potentially tremendous reserves of methane hydrates available, which remain to be exploited. The use of fossil energy sources is thus increasingly being dictated less by supply than by the environmental concerns raised by climate change. In the context of the decarbonisation of the global energy system that this has stimulated, new means must be explored for using methane as energy source. Noncatalytic thermal pyrolysis of methane is proposed here as a promising concept for utilising methane with low to zero carbon dioxide emissions. Following cracking, only the energy content of the hydrogen is used, while the carbon can be stored safely and retrievably in disused coal mines. The thermodynamics and different process engineering concepts for the technical realisation of such a carbon moratorium technology are discussed. The possible contribution of methane pyrolysis to carbon negative geoengineering is also addressed. (orig.)

  19. IGT calculates world reserves of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1986-01-01

    The Institute of Gas Technology has published the IGT World Reserves Survey, giving their latest tabulation of world reserves of fossil fuels and uranium. The report contains 120 Tables and 41 Figures. Estimates are provided for proved reserves, resources, current production, and life indexes of the non-renewable energy sources of the US and of the world as a whole. World regional data are also provided in many cases. The data are summarized here. 2 figures, 5 tables

  20. The phylogeny of fossil whip spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Knecht, Brian J; Hegna, Thomas A

    2017-04-21

    Arachnids are a highly successful group of land-dwelling arthropods. They are major contributors to modern terrestrial ecosystems, and have a deep evolutionary history. Whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi), are one of the smaller arachnid orders with ca. 190 living species. Here we restudy one of the oldest fossil representatives of the group, Graeophonus anglicus Pocock, 1911 from the Late Carboniferous (Duckmantian, ca. 315 Ma) British Middle Coal Measures of the West Midlands, UK. Using X-ray microtomography, our principal aim was to resolve details of the limbs and mouthparts which would allow us to test whether this fossil belongs in the extant, relict family Paracharontidae; represented today by a single, blind species Paracharon caecus Hansen, 1921. Tomography reveals several novel and significant character states for G. anglicus; most notably in the chelicerae, pedipalps and walking legs. These allowed it to be scored into a phylogenetic analysis together with the recently described Paracharonopsis cambayensis Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from the Eocene (ca. 52 Ma) Cambay amber, and Kronocharon prendinii Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber. We recovered relationships of the form ((Graeophonus (Paracharonopsis + Paracharon)) + (Charinus (Stygophrynus (Kronocharon (Charon (Musicodamon + Paraphrynus)))))). This tree largely reflects Peter Weygoldt's 1996 classification with its basic split into Paleoamblypygi and Euamblypygi lineages; we were able to score several of his characters for the first time in fossils. Our analysis draws into question the monophyly of the family Charontidae. Our data suggest that Graeophonus is a crown group amblypygid, and falls within a monophyletic Paleoamblypgi clade, but outside the family Paracharontidae (= Paracharonopsis + Paracharon). Our results also suggest a new placement for the Burmese amber genus Kronocharon, a node further down from its original position. Overall, we offer a

  1. Earliest evidence of modern human life history in North African early Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tanya M; Tafforeau, Paul; Reid, Donald J; Grün, Rainer; Eggins, Stephen; Boutakiout, Mohamed; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2007-04-10

    Recent developmental studies demonstrate that early fossil hominins possessed shorter growth periods than living humans, implying disparate life histories. Analyses of incremental features in teeth provide an accurate means of assessing the age at death of developing dentitions, facilitating direct comparisons with fossil and modern humans. It is currently unknown when and where the prolonged modern human developmental condition originated. Here, an application of x-ray synchrotron microtomography reveals that an early Homo sapiens juvenile from Morocco dated at 160,000 years before present displays an equivalent degree of tooth development to modern European children at the same age. Crown formation times in the juvenile's macrodont dentition are higher than modern human mean values, whereas root development is accelerated relative to modern humans but is less than living apes and some fossil hominins. The juvenile from Jebel Irhoud is currently the oldest-known member of Homo with a developmental pattern (degree of eruption, developmental stage, and crown formation time) that is more similar to modern H. sapiens than to earlier members of Homo. This study also underscores the continuing importance of North Africa for understanding the origins of human anatomical and behavioral modernity. Corresponding biological and cultural changes may have appeared relatively late in the course of human evolution.

  2. Fossil struthionid eggshells from Laetoli, Tanzania: Taxonomic and biostratigraphic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry; Msuya, Charles P.

    2005-04-01

    Recent paleontological investigations at Laetoli and neighboring localities in northern Tanzania have produced a large collection of fossil ostrich eggshells from the Pliocene-aged Laetolil Beds (˜3.5-4.5 Ma) and Ndolanya Beds (˜2.6-2.7 Ma). A detailed analysis of the morphology of the eggshells and their taxonomic affinities indicates that two different species of Struthio are represented. In the Lower Laetolil Beds and in the Upper Laetolil Beds below Tuff 3 a new species is recognized— Struthio kakesiensis. This is replaced in the Upper Laetolil Beds by Struthio camelus, the modern species of ostrich. Since radiometric age determinations are available for the stratigraphic sequence at Laetoli, it is possible to precisely date the first appearance of S. camelus at ˜3.6-3.8 Ma. Comparisons of the Laetoli material with specimens from the well-dated sequences at Lothagam and Kanapoi in northern Kenya, allow the taxonomic and biochronological analysis to be extended back in time to the late Miocene. At about 6.5 Ma, Diamantornis and elephant birds were replaced in East Africa by ostriches belonging to the genus Struthio. Three time-successive species of ostriches are identified in the fossil record of East Africa, beginning with Struthio. cf. karingarabensis (˜6.5-4.2 Ma), followed by S. kakesiensis (˜4.5-3.6 Ma) and then S. camelus (˜3.8 Ma onwards). A similar sequence of taxa has previously been recorded from localities in Namibia, but at these sites there is no possibility to precisely calibrate the ages of the different species using radiometric dating. Nevertheless, the broadly similar evolutionary sequence and the close correspondence in inferred ages for the succession of species in East Africa and Namibia suggest that ostrich eggshells are a very useful tool for biochronological correlation of paleontological sites in sub-Saharan Africa.

  3. Clean fossil-fuelled power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, Tony

    2008-01-01

    Using fossil fuels is likely to remain the dominant means of producing electricity in 2030 and even 2050, partly because power stations have long lives. There are two main ways of reducing CO 2 emissions from fossil-fuelled power plants. These are carbon capture and storage (CCS), which can produce near-zero CO 2 emissions, and increases in plant efficiency, which can give rise to significant reductions in CO 2 emissions and to reduced costs. If a typical UK coal-fired plant was replaced by today's best available technology, it would lead to reductions of around 25% in emissions of CO 2 per MW h of electricity produced. Future technologies are targeting even larger reductions in emissions, as well as providing a route, with CCS, to zero emissions. These two routes are linked and they are both essential activities on the pathway to zero emissions. This paper focuses on the second route and also covers an additional third route for reducing emissions, the use of biomass. It discusses the current status of the science and technologies for fossil-fuelled power generation and outlines likely future technologies, development targets and timescales. This is followed by a description of the scientific and technological developments that are needed to meet these challenges. Once built, a power plant can last for over 40 years, so the ability to upgrade and retrofit a plant during its lifetime is important

  4. The earliest settlers' antiquity and evolutionary history of Indian populations: evidence from M2 mtDNA lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotal M

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The "out of Africa" model postulating single "southern route" dispersal posits arrival of "Anatomically Modern Human" to Indian subcontinent around 66–70 thousand years before present (kyBP. However the contributions and legacy of these earliest settlers in contemporary Indian populations, owing to the complex past population dynamics and later migrations has been an issue of controversy. The high frequency of mitochondrial lineage "M2" consistent with its greater age and distribution suggests that it may represent the phylogenetic signature of earliest settlers. Accordingly, we attempted to re-evaluate the impact and contribution of earliest settlers in shaping the genetic diversity and structure of contemporary Indian populations; using our newly sequenced 72 and 4 published complete mitochondrial genomes of this lineage. Results The M2 lineage, harbouring two deep rooting subclades M2a and M2b encompasses approximately one tenth of the mtDNA pool of studied tribes. The phylogeographic spread and diversity indices of M2 and its subclades among the tribes of different geographic regions and linguistic phyla were investigated in detail. Further the reconstructed demographic history of M2 lineage as a surrogate of earliest settlers' component revealed that the demographic events with pronounced regional variations had played pivotal role in shaping the complex net of populations phylogenetic relationship in Indian subcontinent. Conclusion Our results suggest that tribes of southern and eastern region along with Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic speakers of central India are the modern representatives of earliest settlers of subcontinent. The Last Glacial Maximum aridity and post LGM population growth mechanised some sort of homogeneity and redistribution of earliest settlers' component in India. The demic diffusion of agriculture and associated technologies around 3 kyBP, which might have marginalized hunter-gatherer, is

  5. Retrieving chronological age from dental remains of early fossil hominins to reconstruct human growth in the past.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, M Christopher

    2010-10-27

    A chronology of dental development in Pan troglodytes is arguably the best available model with which to compare and contrast reconstructed dental chronologies of the earliest fossil hominins. Establishing a time scale for growth is a requirement for being able to make further comparative observations about timing and rate during both dento-skeletal growth and brain growth. The absolute timing of anterior tooth crown and root formation appears not to reflect the period of somatic growth. In contrast, the molar dentition best reflects changes to the total growth period. Earlier initiation of molar mineralization, shorter crown formation times, less root length formed at gingival emergence into functional occlusion are cumulatively expressed as earlier ages at molar eruption. Things that are similar in modern humans and Pan, such as the total length of time taken to form individual teeth, raise expectations that these would also have been the same in fossil hominins. The best evidence there is from the youngest fossil hominin specimens suggests a close resemblance to the model for Pan but also hints that Gorilla may be a better developmental model for some. A mosaic of great ape-like features currently best describes the timing of early hominin dental development.

  6. Emissions Scenarios and Fossil-fuel Peaking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecha, R.

    2008-12-01

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios are based on detailed energy system models in which demographics, technology and economics are used to generate projections of future world energy consumption, and therefore, of greenhouse gas emissions. Built into the assumptions for these scenarios are estimates for ultimately recoverable resources of various fossil fuels. There is a growing chorus of critics who believe that the true extent of recoverable fossil resources is much smaller than the amounts taken as a baseline for the IPCC scenarios. In a climate optimist camp are those who contend that "peak oil" will lead to a switch to renewable energy sources, while others point out that high prices for oil caused by supply limitations could very well lead to a transition to liquid fuels that actually increase total carbon emissions. We examine a third scenario in which high energy prices, which are correlated with increasing infrastructure, exploration and development costs, conspire to limit the potential for making a switch to coal or natural gas for liquid fuels. In addition, the same increasing costs limit the potential for expansion of tar sand and shale oil recovery. In our qualitative model of the energy system, backed by data from short- and medium-term trends, we have a useful way to gain a sense of potential carbon emission bounds. A bound for 21st century emissions is investigated based on two assumptions: first, that extractable fossil-fuel resources follow the trends assumed by "peak oil" adherents, and second, that little is done in the way of climate mitigation policies. If resources, and perhaps more importantly, extraction rates, of fossil fuels are limited compared to assumptions in the emissions scenarios, a situation can arise in which emissions are supply-driven. However, we show that even in this "peak fossil-fuel" limit, carbon emissions are high enough to surpass 550 ppm or 2°C climate protection guardrails. Some

  7. Investigating A Unique Open Ocean Geochemical Record Of the End Triassic Mass Extinction from Panthalassa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marroquín, S. M.; Gill, B. C.; Them, T. R., II; Trabucho-Alexandre, J. P.; Aberhan, M.; Owens, J. D.; Gröcke, D. R.; Caruthers, A. H.

    2017-12-01

    The end-Triassic mass extinction ( 201 Ma) was a time of intense disturbance for marine communities. This event is estimated to have produced as much as a loss of 80% of known marine species. The protracted interval of elevated extinction rates is also characterized by a major carbon cycle perturbation and potentially widespread oxygen deficiency within the oceans. While the causes of extinction and environmental feedbacks are still debated it is hypothesized to have been triggered by massive volcanism associated with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province flood basalts. However, our understanding of the Latest Triassic-Earliest Jurassic interval is limited due to the lack of well-preserved stratigraphic successions outside of the Tethys Ocean (present day Europe), with most of the records from epicontinental and marginal marine settings. To expand our understanding of this critical interval, our study seeks to document biological and environmental changes elsewhere. Specifically, we document and reconstruct these changes in the equatorial Panthalassan Ocean. We will present new data from a sedimentary succession preserved in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska that spans the Late Triassic through Early Jurassic. The sedimentary succession represents a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic ramp that was deposited at tropical latitudes, adjacent to an island arc in the open Panthalassan Ocean. This succession affords a unique view of open marine conditions, and also holds the potential for excellent temporal control as it contains abundant ash layers throughout, as well as, key ammonite and bivalve fossil occurrences that provide biostratigraphic control. We will present an integrated geochemical and paleontological record from this site using several geochemical proxies (carbon, δ13Ccarb and % total organic carbon, sulfur, δ34S, as well as pyrite contents and iron speciation) along with ammonite and bivalve occurrence data to reconstruct the record of environmental and

  8. A minute fossil phoretic mite recovered by phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Wirth, Stefan; Penney, David; McNeil, Andrew; Bradley, Robert S.; Withers, Philip J.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2012-01-01

    High-resolution phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography (CT) reveals the phoretic deutonymph of a fossil astigmatid mite (Acariformes: Astigmata) attached to a spider's carapace (Araneae: Dysderidae) in Eocene (44–49 Myr ago) Baltic amber. Details of appendages and a sucker plate were resolved, and the resulting three-dimensional model demonstrates the potential of tomography to recover morphological characters of systematic significance from even the tiniest amber inclusions without the need for a synchrotron. Astigmatids have an extremely sparse palaeontological record. We confirm one of the few convincing fossils, potentially the oldest record of Histiostomatidae. At 176 µm long, we believe this to be the smallest arthropod in amber to be CT-scanned as a complete body fossil, extending the boundaries for what can be recovered using this technique. We also demonstrate a minimum age for the evolution of phoretic behaviour among their deutonymphs, an ecological trait used by extant species to disperse into favourable environments. The occurrence of the fossil on a spider is noteworthy, as modern histiostomatids tend to favour other arthropods as carriers. PMID:22072283

  9. A minute fossil phoretic mite recovered by phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, Jason A; Wirth, Stefan; Penney, David; McNeil, Andrew; Bradley, Robert S; Withers, Philip J; Preziosi, Richard F

    2012-06-23

    High-resolution phase-contrast X-ray computed tomography (CT) reveals the phoretic deutonymph of a fossil astigmatid mite (Acariformes: Astigmata) attached to a spider's carapace (Araneae: Dysderidae) in Eocene (44-49 Myr ago) Baltic amber. Details of appendages and a sucker plate were resolved, and the resulting three-dimensional model demonstrates the potential of tomography to recover morphological characters of systematic significance from even the tiniest amber inclusions without the need for a synchrotron. Astigmatids have an extremely sparse palaeontological record. We confirm one of the few convincing fossils, potentially the oldest record of Histiostomatidae. At 176 µm long, we believe this to be the smallest arthropod in amber to be CT-scanned as a complete body fossil, extending the boundaries for what can be recovered using this technique. We also demonstrate a minimum age for the evolution of phoretic behaviour among their deutonymphs, an ecological trait used by extant species to disperse into favourable environments. The occurrence of the fossil on a spider is noteworthy, as modern histiostomatids tend to favour other arthropods as carriers.

  10. Fossilized microorganisms from the Emperor Seamounts: implications for the search for a subsurface fossil record on Earth and Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivarsson, M; Lausmaa, J; Lindblom, S; Broman, C; Holm, N G

    2008-12-01

    We have observed filamentous carbon-rich structures in samples drilled at 3 different seamounts that belong to the Emperor Seamounts in the Pacific Ocean: Detroit (81 Ma), Nintoku (56 Ma), and Koko Seamounts (48 Ma). The samples consist of low-temperature altered basalts recovered from all 3 seamounts. The maximum depth from which the samples were retrieved was 954 meters below seafloor (mbsf). The filamentous structures occur in veins and fractures in the basalts, where they are attached to the vein walls and embedded in vein-filling minerals like calcite, aragonite, and gypsum. The filaments were studied with a combination of optical microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), Raman spectroscopy, and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Minerals were identified by a combination of optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectrometry, and energy dispersive spectrometry on an environmental scanning electron microscope. Carbon content of the filaments ranges between approximately 10 wt % and approximately 50 wt % and is not associated with carbonates. These results indicate an organic origin of the carbon. The presence of C(2)H(4), phosphate, and lipid-like molecules in the filaments further supports a biogenic origin. We also found microchannels in volcanic glass enriched in carbon (approximately 10-40 wt %) compatible with putative microbial activity. Our findings suggest new niches for life in subseafloor environments and have implications for further exploration of the subseafloor biosphere on Earth and beyond.

  11. Radiocarbon-dating of earthenware of the Earliest Jomon period from Obihiro city, in Hokkaido prefecture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobayashi, Kenichi

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigated radiocarbon dating of earthenware of the Earliest Jomon period from Obihiro City, in Hokkaido Prefecture. The authors investigated radiocarbon age differences among charred woods and charred residues on the surface of potteries. Results of radiocarbon dates of URAHORO-type pottery adhesions showed ca. 7560-7987 14 C BP, and that of charcoals were ca. 7180 14 C BP and 7285 14 C BP. The age of charred residues on the inside surface of potteries show 300-800 yrs older than the 14 C age of the charred woods, which corresponded to the actual age of the archaeological site, respectively. It becomes a cause to have cooked the salmon by earthenware and I think that the marine reservoir effect occurred. (author)

  12. Two Holocene paleofire records from Peten, Guatemala: Implications for natural fire regime and prehispanic Maya land use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Lysanna; Wahl, David

    2016-03-01

    Although fire was arguably the primary tool used by the Maya to alter the landscape and extract resources, little attention has been paid to biomass burning in paleoenvironmental reconstructions from the Maya lowlands. Here we report two new well-dated, high-resolution records of biomass burning based on analysis of macroscopic fossil charcoal recovered from lacustrine sediment cores. The records extend from the early Holocene, through the full arc of Maya prehistory, the Colonial, and post-Colonial periods ( 9000 cal yr BP to the present). (Hereafter BP) The study sites, Lago Paixban and Lago Puerto Arturo, are located in northern Peten, Guatemala. Results provide the first quantitative analysis from the region demonstrating that frequent fires have occurred in the closed canopy forests since at least the early Holocene ( 9000 BP), prior to occupation by sedentary agriculturalists. Following the arrival of agriculture around 4600 BP, the system transitioned from climate controlled to anthropogenic control. During the Maya period, changes in fire regime are muted and do not appear to be driven by changes in climate conditions. Low charcoal influx and fire frequency in the Earliest Preclassic period suggest that land use strategies may have included intensive agriculture much earlier than previously thought. Preliminary results showing concentrations of soot/black-carbon during the middle and late Preclassic periods are lower than modern background values, providing intriguing implications regarding the efficiency of Maya fuel consumption.

  13. Two Holocene paleofire records from Peten, Guatemala: Implications for natural fire regime and prehispanic Maya land use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Lysanna; Wahl, David B.

    2016-01-01

    Although fire was arguably the primary tool used by the Maya to alter the landscape and extract resources, little attention has been paid to biomass burning in paleoenvironmental reconstructions from the Maya lowlands. Here we report two new well-dated, high-resolution records of biomass burning based on analysis of macroscopic fossil charcoal recovered from lacustrine sediment cores. The records extend from the early Holocene, through the full arc of Maya prehistory, the Colonial, and post-Colonial periods (~ 9000 cal yr BP to the present). (Hereafter BP) The study sites, Lago Paixban and Lago Puerto Arturo, are located in northern Peten, Guatemala. Results provide the first quantitative analysis from the region demonstrating that frequent fires have occurred in the closed canopy forests since at least the early Holocene (~ 9000 BP), prior to occupation by sedentary agriculturalists. Following the arrival of agriculture around 4600 BP, the system transitioned from climate controlled to anthropogenic control. During the Maya period, changes in fire regime are muted and do not appear to be driven by changes in climate conditions. Low charcoal influx and fire frequency in the Earliest Preclassic period suggest that land use strategies may have included intensive agriculture much earlier than previously thought. Preliminary results showing concentrations of soot/black-carbon during the middle and late Preclassic periods are lower than modern background values, providing intriguing implications regarding the efficiency of Maya fuel consumption.

  14. Technique: imaging earliest tooth development in 3D using a silver-based tissue contrast agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Muhammad T; Prusinkiewicz, Martin; Cooper, David M L; George, Belev; Webb, M Adam; Boughner, Julia C

    2014-02-01

    Looking in microscopic detail at the 3D organization of initiating teeth within the embryonic jaw has long-proved technologically challenging because of the radio-translucency of these tiny un-mineralized oral tissues. Yet 3D image data showing changes in the physical relationships among developing tooth and jaw tissues are vital to understand the coordinated morphogenesis of vertebrate teeth and jaws as an animal grows and as species evolve. Here, we present a new synchrotron-based scanning solution to image odontogenesis in 3D and in histological detail using a silver-based contrast agent. We stained fixed, intact wild-type mice aged embryonic (E) day 10 to birth with 1% Protargol-S at 37°C for 12-32 hr. Specimens were scanned at 4-10 µm pixel size at 28 keV, just above the silver K-edge, using micro-computed tomography (µCT) at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron. Synchrotron µCT scans of silver-stained embryos showed even the earliest visible stages of tooth initiation, as well as many other tissue types and structures, in histological detail. Silver stain penetration was optimal for imaging structures in intact embryos E15 and younger. This silver stain method offers a powerful yet straightforward approach to visualize at high-resolution and in 3D the earliest stages of odontogenesis in situ, and demonstrates the important of studying the tooth organ in all three planes of view. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Checklist of fossil decapod crustaceans from tropical America. Part I: Anomura and Brachyura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Luque

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Our knowledge of fossil crustaceans from the tropics has increased considerably during recent decades, thanks to novel findings and the re-examination of museum specimens. However, several previous records have been misidentified, numerous museum specimens have never been reported, and many new discoveries are yet to be published. Here, we present a detailed, up-to-date, and revised checklist for every marine, terrestrial, or freshwater fossil decapod crustacean occurrence from tropical America known to us, including their age, geographic occurrences, and related literature. We recognize the occurrence of at least 32 superfamilies, 69 families, 190 genera, and 415 species of brachyurans (‘true’ crabs, and anomurans (‘false’ crabs, hermit crabs, squat lobsters, and allies, several of them previously unknown. The checklist comprises records from three main geographic regions: 1 northern South America (Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela; 2 Central America and southern North America (Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, southern and central Florida; and 3 the Caribbean Islands + Bermuda (Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, The Grenadines, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Bartélemy, Saint Martin, Trinidad. Previous findings, new occurrences, and the revised systematic placement for several problematic/misidentified records, indicate that the fossil record of anomurans and brachyurans in tropical America is more diverse than previously envisioned, with a considerable degree of endemism at the genus- and species-levels.

  16. Miocene Fossils Reveal Ancient Roots for New Zealand's Endemic Mystacina (Chiroptera and Its Rainforest Habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne J Hand

    Full Text Available The New Zealand endemic bat family Mystacinidae comprises just two Recent species referred to a single genus, Mystacina. The family was once more diverse and widespread, with an additional six extinct taxa recorded from Australia and New Zealand. Here, a new mystacinid is described from the early Miocene (19-16 Ma St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. It is the first pre-Pleistocene record of the modern genus and it extends the evolutionary history of Mystacina back at least 16 million years. Extant Mystacina species occupy old-growth rainforest and are semi-terrestrial with an exceptionally broad omnivorous diet. The majority of the plants inhabited, pollinated, dispersed or eaten by modern Mystacina were well-established in southern New Zealand in the early Miocene, based on the fossil record from sites at or near where the bat fossils are found. Similarly, many of the arthropod prey of living Mystacina are recorded as fossils in the same area. Although none of the Miocene plant and arthropod species is extant, most are closely related to modern taxa, demonstrating potentially long-standing ecological associations with Mystacina.

  17. Precambrian evolution and the rock record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awramik, S.

    1985-01-01

    The Precambrian time which refers to geological time prior to the first appearance of animals with mineralized hard parts was investigated. Best estimates for this event are around 570 million years ago. Because the rock record begins some 3,800 million years ago the Precambrian encompasses about 84% of geologic time. The fossil record for this immense span of time is dominated by prokaryotes and the sedimentary structures produced by them. The first fossil remains that are considered eukaryotic are found in 1,000 million year old rocks. The first animals may be as old as 700 million years. The fossil records of the first 84% of the Earth's history are collected and described.

  18. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-10-27

    During the past century, fossil fuels--petroleum liquids, natural gas and coal--were the dominant source of world energy production. From 1950 to 2005, fossil fuels provided 85-93% of all energy production. All fossil fuels grew substantially during this period, their combined growth exceeding the increase in world population. This growth, however, was irregular, providing for rapidly growing per capita production from 1950 to 1980, stable per capita production from 1980 to 2000 and rising per capita production again after 2000. During the past half century, growth in fossil fuel production was essentially limited by energy demand. During the next half century, fossil fuel production will be limited primarily by the amount and characteristics of remaining fossil fuel resources. Three possible scenarios--low, medium and high--are developed for the production of each of the fossil fuels to 2050. These scenarios differ primarily by the amount of ultimate resources estimated for each fossil fuel. Total fossil fuel production will continue to grow, but only slowly for the next 15-30 years. The subsequent peak plateau will last for 10-15 years. These production peaks are robust; none of the fossil fuels, even with highly optimistic resource estimates, is projected to keep growing beyond 2050. World fossil fuel production per capita will thus begin an irreversible decline between 2020 and 2030.

  19. Hawaii energy strategy project 2: Fossil energy review. Task 1: World and regional fossil energy dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breazeale, K. [ed.; Isaak, D.T.; Yamaguchi, N.; Fridley, D.; Johnson, C.; Long, S.

    1993-12-01

    This report in the Hawaii Energy Strategy Project examines world and regional fossil energy dynamics. The topics of the report include fossil energy characteristics, the world oil industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, refining, products and their uses, history and trends in the global oil market and the Asia-Pacific market; world gas industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, processing, gas-based products, international gas market and the emerging Asia-Pacific gas market; the world coal industry including reserves, classification and quality, utilization, transportation, pricing, world coal market, Asia-Pacific coal outlook, trends in Europe and the Americas; and environmental trends affecting fossil fuels. 132 figs., 46 tabs.

  20. Comparative evaluation of solar, fission, fusion, and fossil energy resources. Part 4: Energy from fossil fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    The conversion of fossil-fired power plants now burning oil or gas to burn coal is discussed along with the relaxation of air quality standards and the development of coal gasification processes to insure a continued supply of gas from coal. The location of oil fields, refining areas, natural gas fields, and pipelines in the U.S. is shown. The technologies of modern fossil-fired boilers and gas turbines are defined along with the new technologies of fluid-bed boilers and MHD generators.

  1. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a ‘cosmopolitan’ dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions. PMID:20926438

  2. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Timothy B; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-04-07

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a 'cosmopolitan' dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions.

  3. Energy Ontologies: Wind, Biomass, and Fossil Transportation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Scott

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article uses literary sources to draw ontological distinctions among three distinct energy sources: wind power, biomass, and fossil fuels. The primary aim is to demonstrate how radically our fossil fuel regime has changed human ontology in the last two centuries during which we have entered the Anthropocene. Because this radical transformation contains myriad elements, this article will focus on transportation: the speed, quality, and quantity of travel permitted by successive energy sources. To consider the comparative literatures of energy as they relate to transportation, we will begin with wind, then consider muscle-driven biomass giving way to coal locomotion, and conclude with the highest octane fuel, petroleum. The central interest is in how the fuel depicted in literature illuminates historical moments in which the interfaces between self, society, and nature are configured by specific energy regimes. By using literature as a source text, we may arrive at an emotionally and philosophically more robust synthesis of energy history than the social and natural sciences, relying upon objective accounts and statistics, are able to provide. By re-reading literature through the lens of the Anthropocene, we gain perspective on how earlier insights into the relationship between energy and experience can inform our explorations of today’s ontological reality. Energy literature instructs us out of the fossil fuel mindset of world domination and back to a physical realm in which we are small actors in a world guided by capricious forces. Such a reality requires hard muscular work and emotional immersion to restore an ethic of care and sustainability.

  4. Influence of microbial biofilms on the preservation of primary soft tissue in fossil and extant archosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Peterson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mineralized and permineralized bone is the most common form of fossilization in the vertebrate record. Preservation of gross soft tissues is extremely rare, but recent studies have suggested that primary soft tissues and biomolecules are more commonly preserved within preserved bones than had been presumed. Some of these claims have been challenged, with presentation of evidence suggesting that some of the structures are microbial artifacts, not primary soft tissues. The identification of biomolecules in fossil vertebrate extracts from a specimen of Brachylophosaurus canadensis has shown the interpretation of preserved organic remains as microbial biofilm to be highly unlikely. These discussions also propose a variety of potential mechanisms that would permit the preservation of soft-tissues in vertebrate fossils over geologic time. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study experimentally examines the role of microbial biofilms in soft-tissue preservation in vertebrate fossils by quantitatively establishing the growth and morphology of biofilms on extant archosaur bone. These results are microscopically and morphologically compared with soft-tissue extracts from vertebrate fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of southeastern Montana (Latest Maastrichtian in order to investigate the potential role of microbial biofilms on the preservation of fossil bone and bound organic matter in a variety of taphonomic settings. Based on these analyses, we highlight a mechanism whereby this bound organic matter may be preserved. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results of the study indicate that the crystallization of microbial biofilms on decomposing organic matter within vertebrate bone in early taphonomic stages may contribute to the preservation of primary soft tissues deeper in the bone structure.

  5. Environmental biotechnologies for the fossil fuel industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, D. W.; Donald, G. M.

    1997-01-01

    Five recent technologies that have been proven to be viable means to mitigate the environmental impact of the fossil fuel industry were described as evidence of the industry's concern about environmental pollution. The technologies were: bioventing, bioslurping, biofiltration, phytoremediation and the use of genetically engineered organisms. Special attention was paid to genetic modification strategies with reference to improved degradation rates and the regulations in Canada affecting genetically engineered organisms and their use. Case histories were cited to illustrate application of the various processes. 34 refs

  6. Environmental biotechnologies for the fossil fuel industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, D W; Donald, G M [Hycal Energy Research Labs. Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    1997-09-01

    Five recent technologies that have been proven to be viable means to mitigate the environmental impact of the fossil fuel industry were described as evidence of the industry`s concern about environmental pollution. The technologies were: bioventing, bioslurping, biofiltration, phytoremediation and the use of genetically engineered organisms. Special attention was paid to genetic modification strategies with reference to improved degradation rates and the regulations in Canada affecting genetically engineered organisms and their use. Case histories were cited to illustrate application of the various processes. 34 refs.

  7. Recent developments in biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ping; Feng, Jinhui; Yu, Bo; Li, Fuli; Ma, Cuiqing

    2009-01-01

    The emission of sulfur oxides can have adverse effects on the environment. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels is attracting more and more attention because such a bioprocess is environmentally friendly. Some techniques of desulfurization have been used or studied to meet the stricter limitation on sulfur content in China. Recent advances have demonstrated the mechanism and developments for biodesulfurization of gasoline, diesel and crude oils by free cells or immobilized cells. Genetic technology was also used to improve sulfur removal efficiencies. In this review, we summarize recent progress mainly in China on petroleum biodesulfurization.

  8. Co-firing biomass and fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Junge, D.C.

    1991-01-01

    In June 1989, the Alaska Energy Authority and the University of Alaska Anchorage published a monograph summarizing the technology of co-firing biomass and fossil fuels. The title of the 180 page monograph is 'Use of Mixed Fuels in Direct Combustion Systems'. Highlights from the monograph are presented in this paper with emphasis on the following areas: (1) Equipment design and operational experience co-firing fuels; (2) The impact of co-firing on efficiency; (3) Environmental considerations associated with co-firing; (4) Economic considerations in co-firing; and (5) Decision making criteria for co-firing

  9. Fossil plume head beneath the Arabian lithosphere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Mordechai; Hofmann, Albrecht W.

    1992-12-01

    Phanerozoic alkali basalts from Israel, which have erupted over the past 200 Ma, have isotopic compositions similar to PREMA ("prevalent mantle") with narrow ranges of initial ɛ Nd(T) = +3.9-+5.9; 87Sr/ 86Sr(T)= 0.70292-0.70334; 206Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 18.88-19.99; 207Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 15.58-15.70; and 208Pb/ 204Pb(T)= 38.42-39.57. Their Nb/U(43 ± 9) and Ce/Pb(26 ± 6) ratios are identical to those of normal oceanic basalts, demonstrating that the basalts are essentially free of crustal contamination. Overall, the basalts are chemically and isotopically indistinguishable from many ordinary plume basalts, but no plume track can be identified. We propose that these and other, similar, magmas from the Arabian plate originated from a "fossilized" head of a mantle plume, which was unable to penetrate the continental lithosphere and was therefore trapped and stored beneath it. The plume head was emplaced some time between the late Proterozoic crust formation and the initiation of the Phanerozoic magmatic cycles. Basalts from rift environments in other continental localities show similar geochemistry to that of the Arabian basalts and their sources may also represent fossil plume heads trapped below the continents. We suggest that plume heads are, in general, characterized by the PREMA isotopic mantle signature, because the original plume sources (which may have HIMU or EM-type composition) have been diluted by overlying mantle material, which has been entrained by the plume heads during ascent. On the Arabian plate, rifting and thinning of the lithosphere caused partial melting of the stored plume, which led to periodic volcanism. In the late Cenozoic, the lithosphere broke up and the Red Sea opened. N-MORB tholeiites are now erupting in the central trough of the Red Sea, where the lithosphere has moved apart and the fossil plume has been exhausted, whereas E-MORBs are erupting in the northern and southern troughs, still tapping the plume reservoir. Fossil plumes, which are

  10. From the Earliest Evidence of Life to Complex Single-cell Organisms: The First 3 Gyr on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buick, Roger

    2006-12-01

    Life has probably been present on Earth since the time of the oldest sedimentary rock record 3.8 Gyr ago, as indicated by graphite with light carbon isotope ratios consistent with derivation from organic matter. But certain evidence for life appears only at 3.52 Gyr, in the form of kerogen (insoluble organic matter) in sedimentary carbonate showing a -25‰ carbon isotope fractionation identical to that imparted by biological carbon fixation. Soon after, at 3.48 Gyr, the first visible evidence for life appears as stromatolites (sediment mounds constructed by microbes), as well as the first evidence for a specific metabolism (large negative sulfur isotope fractionations indicating microbial sulfate reduction). By 2.7 Gyr ago, molecular biomarkers (hydrocarbons derived from biomolecules with distinctive carbon skeletons such as steroids) indicate that all 3 Domains of life: bacteria, eukaryotes (organisms with compartmentalized cells like us) and archaea (bacteria-like organisms with different biochemistry, often inhabiting extreme environments); had evolved. The first multicellular eukaryotes appeared by 1.84 Gyr in the form of fossilized filamentous algae, after the atmosphere changed from anoxic to moderately oxygenated at 2.4 Gyr and following a series of extreme “Snowball Earth” glaciations between 2.4-2.2 Gyr. Planktonic algae diversified thereafter and modern algal groups arose 1.2 Gyr ago, apparently at the end of a prolonged period of ocean anoxia when the deep sea was sulfidic and presumably toxic. Animal evolution was delayed until 0.65 Gyr ago when biomarkers for sponges first appear in the record, evidently after a further rise in atmospheric oxygen to modern levels but surprisingly pre-dating the last of another series of “Snowball Earth” glaciations. These sponges co-existed with an enigmatic extinct group of large flat marine organisms called “Ediacaran fossils” that may have been ancestral to modern animal groups but might also have been

  11. THE GB/3D Fossil Types Online Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, M. P.; McCormick, T.

    2012-12-01

    The ICZN and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants require that every species or subspecies of organism (living & fossil), should have a type or reference specimen to define its characteristic features. These specimens are held in collections around the world and must be available for study. Over time, type specimens can deteriorate or become lost. The British Geological Survey, the National Museum of Wales, the Sedgwick Museum Cambridge and the Oxford Museum of Natural History are working together to create an online database of the type fossils they hold. The web portal provides data about each specimen, searchable on taxonomic, stratigraphic and spatial criteria. For each specimen it is possible to view and download high resolution photographs, and for many of them, 'anaglyph' stereo pairs and 3D scans are available. The portal also provides educational resources (OERs). The rise to prominence of the Web has transformed expectations in accessing information and the Web is now usually the first port of call. However, while many geological museums are providing web-searchable text catalogues, few have undertaken a large-scale program of providing images and 3D models. This project has tackled the issues of merging four distinct data holdings, and setting up workflows to image and scan large numbers of disparate fossils, ranging from small invertebrate macrofossils to large vertebrate skeletal elements. There are three advantages in providing such resources: (1) All users can exploit the collections more efficiently. End-users can view specimens remotely and assess their nature, preservation quality and completeness - in some cases this may be sufficient. It will reduce the need for institutions to send specimens (which are often fragile and always irreplaceable) to researchers by post, or for researchers to make possibly long, expensive and environmentally damaging journeys. (2) A public outreach and education dividend - the ability to

  12. Fossil biogeography: a new model to infer dispersal, extinction and sampling from palaeontological data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestro, Daniele; Zizka, Alexander; Bacon, Christine D; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Salamin, Nicolas; Antonelli, Alexandre

    2016-04-05

    Methods in historical biogeography have revolutionized our ability to infer the evolution of ancestral geographical ranges from phylogenies of extant taxa, the rates of dispersals, and biotic connectivity among areas. However, extant taxa are likely to provide limited and potentially biased information about past biogeographic processes, due to extinction, asymmetrical dispersals and variable connectivity among areas. Fossil data hold considerable information about past distribution of lineages, but suffer from largely incomplete sampling. Here we present a new dispersal-extinction-sampling (DES) model, which estimates biogeographic parameters using fossil occurrences instead of phylogenetic trees. The model estimates dispersal and extinction rates while explicitly accounting for the incompleteness of the fossil record. Rates can vary between areas and through time, thus providing the opportunity to assess complex scenarios of biogeographic evolution. We implement the DES model in a Bayesian framework and demonstrate through simulations that it can accurately infer all the relevant parameters. We demonstrate the use of our model by analysing the Cenozoic fossil record of land plants and inferring dispersal and extinction rates across Eurasia and North America. Our results show that biogeographic range evolution is not a time-homogeneous process, as assumed in most phylogenetic analyses, but varies through time and between areas. In our empirical assessment, this is shown by the striking predominance of plant dispersals from Eurasia into North America during the Eocene climatic cooling, followed by a shift in the opposite direction, and finally, a balance in biotic interchange since the middle Miocene. We conclude by discussing the potential of fossil-based analyses to test biogeographic hypotheses and improve phylogenetic methods in historical biogeography. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. The environmental dilemma of fossil fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacCracken, M.C.

    1992-04-01

    The increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide poses an environmental dilemma for fossil fuel energy generation that, unlike other related emissions, cannot be resolved by control technologies alone. Although fossil fuels presently provide the most cost-effective global energy source, and model projections suggest that their use is initiating climatic changes which, while quite uncertain, may induce significant, counter-balancing impacts to water resources, coastal resources, ecological systems, and possibly agricultural production. The climate model indicate that the warming should have begun, and there is some evidence for this occurring, but at a less rapid and more uneven rate than projected. In addition, different climate models are not yet in agreement in their latitudinal or regional predictions, and it will likely require a decade or more for such agreement to develop as high performance computers become available for addressing this ''grand challenge'' problem. Thus, in addition to the prospect for climatic change, the uncertainties of the changes and associated impacts contribute to the dilemma of dealing with the issue. Further, the problem is pervasive and international scope, with different countries and peoples having differing perspectives of technology, development, and environmental responsibility. Dealing with this issue will thus require creativity, commitment, and flexibility

  14. Dating of fossil hominid: problems and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poupeau, G.; Danon, J.; Baksi, A.K.

    1984-01-01

    The hominid dating anterior to the Homo Erectus has been based up to now on the rocks and minerals geochronology of vulcanic origem in stratigraphic relation with the fossils. Two methods are widely used, potassium-argon and uranium fission track dating. The vulcanic material dating; lava, lephra, associated with the hominid leavings show big difficults essentially connected to several types of contamination and modification. Two available examples inside the east-african rift show the probelms linked to these dating. The current progresses in the dating methods can contribute by one hand to a better utilization of the K-Ar and fisson track methods for the vulcanic materials. By other hand, with the introduction of new dating methods (thermoluminescence and electron paramagnetic resonance) will be possible to date directly whether the fossil bone itself or the associated sedimentar material. This open new perspectives in particular for every sites which are not inter-stratified with the vulcanic material. (L.C.) [pt

  15. Sangkulirang Mangkalihat: The Earliest Prehistoric Rock-Art in the World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imam Gozali Sumantri, Dirga; Soeria Atmadja, Dicky A. S.; Setiawan, Pindi

    2018-05-01

    Borneo island, a part of Sundaland - a great mainland in South East Asia thousands of years ago - is the largest island in Indonesian Archipelago. In the middle-eastern of East Borneo, lies a peninsula karst region named Sangkulirang Mangkalihat. The region's biodiversity contains many species of flora and fauna which are part of karst ecosystem. Surprisingly, thousands prehistoric rock art paintings and engraving were found here, spread over 48 inland caves in seven different karst mountain areas. The rock arts are painted on the ceiling, wall, and hollow of the cave depends on the meaning. They illustrate forms such as spiritual images (zoomorphic and antropomorphic) for sacred spiritual meaning, and social phenomenon images (tools and weapons) for description of daily life. From all those rock-arts, hand paintings are the most common elements appeared. Compared to other paintings, these are the only negative images using different techniques. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the rock-arts at Tewet Cave in Sangkulirang Mangkalihat is 40,000 BP. It is much earlier compared to Lascaux Cave (35,400 BP) and Chauvet Cave (32,000) in France which were previously known as the earliest one in the world. Rock arts and some archeological findings also indicate the migration of Austronesian People. During the migration, Borneo's climate and land cover were changing from time to time. Continental climate occurred when all Sundaland was still dry (40,000-21,000 BP), followed by tropical savanna climate and archipelagic climate (12,000-7.000 BP), and then Tropical Rainforest consecutively (1,000 BP). Correlatively, geological interpretations from such areas indicate land cover changes. These changes effected Austronesian ways of living, e.g. from hunting to fishing, and were depicted clearly on their paintings. Today, - as observed from time series satellite images - industrial activities such as karst exploitation for cement production and land clearing for palm

  16. Global patterns of insect diversification: towards a reconciliation of fossil and molecular evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condamine, Fabien L; Clapham, Matthew E; Kergoat, Gael J

    2016-01-18

    Macroevolutionary studies of insects at diverse taxonomic scales often reveal dynamic evolutionary patterns, with multiple inferred diversification rate shifts. Responses to major past environmental changes, such as the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, or the development of major key innovations, such as wings or complete metamorphosis are usually invoked as potential evolutionary triggers. However this view is partially contradicted by studies on the family-level fossil record showing that insect diversification was relatively constant through time. In an attempt to reconcile both views, we investigate large-scale insect diversification dynamics at family level using two distinct types of diversification analyses on a molecular timetree representing ca. 82% of the extant families, and reassess the insect fossil diversity using up-to-date records. Analyses focusing on the fossil record recovered an early burst of diversification, declining to low and steady rates through time, interrupted by extinction events. Phylogenetic analyses showed that major shifts of diversification rates only occurred in the four richest holometabolous orders. Both suggest that neither the development of flight or complete metamorphosis nor the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution environmental changes induced immediate changes in diversification regimes; instead clade-specific innovations likely promoted the diversification of major insect orders.

  17. Trace Fossil Evidence of Trematode-Bivalve Parasite-Host Interactions in Deep Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntley, John Warren; De Baets, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Parasitism is one of the most pervasive phenomena amongst modern eukaryotic life and yet, relative to other biotic interactions, almost nothing is known about its history in deep time. Digenean trematodes (Platyhelminthes) are complex life cycle parasites, which have practically no body fossil record, but induce the growth of characteristic malformations in the shells of their bivalve hosts. These malformations are readily preserved in the fossil record, but, until recently, have largely been overlooked by students of the fossil record. In this review, we present the various malformations induced by trematodes in bivalves, evaluate their distribution through deep time in the phylogenetic and ecological contexts of their bivalve hosts and explore how various taphonomic processes have likely biased our understanding of trematodes in deep time. Trematodes are known to negatively affect their bivalve hosts in a number of ways including castration, modifying growth rates, causing immobilization and, in some cases, altering host behaviour making the host more susceptible to their own predators. Digeneans are expected to be significant agents of natural selection. To that end, we discuss how bivalves may have adapted to their parasites via heterochrony and suggest a practical methodology for testing such hypotheses in deep time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Total-Evidence Dating under the Fossilized Birth-Death Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chi; Stadler, Tanja; Klopfstein, Seraina; Heath, Tracy A; Ronquist, Fredrik

    2016-03-01

    Bayesian total-evidence dating involves the simultaneous analysis of morphological data from the fossil record and morphological and sequence data from recent organisms, and it accommodates the uncertainty in the placement of fossils while dating the phylogenetic tree. Due to the flexibility of the Bayesian approach, total-evidence dating can also incorporate additional sources of information. Here, we take advantage of this and expand the analysis to include information about fossilization and sampling processes. Our work is based on the recently described fossilized birth-death (FBD) process, which has been used to model speciation, extinction, and fossilization rates that can vary over time in a piecewise manner. So far, sampling of extant and fossil taxa has been assumed to be either complete or uniformly at random, an assumption which is only valid for a minority of data sets. We therefore extend the FBD process to accommodate diversified sampling of extant taxa, which is standard practice in studies of higher-level taxa. We verify the implementation using simulations and apply it to the early radiation of Hymenoptera (wasps, ants, and bees). Previous total-evidence dating analyses of this data set were based on a simple uniform tree prior and dated the initial radiation of extant Hymenoptera to the late Carboniferous (309 Ma). The analyses using the FBD prior under diversified sampling, however, date the radiation to the Triassic and Permian (252 Ma), slightly older than the age of the oldest hymenopteran fossils. By exploring a variety of FBD model assumptions, we show that it is mainly the accommodation of diversified sampling that causes the push toward more recent divergence times. Accounting for diversified sampling thus has the potential to close the long-discussed gap between rocks and clocks. We conclude that the explicit modeling of fossilization and sampling processes can improve divergence time estimates, but only if all important model aspects

  19. Fossil wood flora from the Siwalik Group of Arunachal Pradesh, India and its climatic and phytogeographic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Gaurav; Mehrotra, R. C.; Srikarni, C.

    2018-02-01

    The plant fossil records from the Siwalik Group of Arunachal Pradesh, India are far from satisfactory due to remoteness and dense vegetation of the area. We report seven fossil woods of which three belong to the Middle Siwalik (Subansiri Formation), while the rest are from the Upper Siwalik (Kimin Formation). The modern analogues of the fossils from the Middle Siwalik are Lophopetalum littorale (Celastraceae), Afzelia-Intsia and Sindora siamensis (Fabaceae) and from the Upper Siwalik are Miliusa velutina (Annonaceae), Calophyllum tomentosum and Kayea (Calophyllaceae) and Diospyros melanoxylon (Ebenaceae). The dominance of diffuse porosity in the fossil woods indicates a tropical climate with low seasonality (little variation) in temperature, while a high proportion of large vessels and simple perforation plates in the assemblage infer high precipitation during the deposition of the sediments. The aforesaid inference is in strong agreement with the previous quantitative reconstruction based on fossil leaves. Several modern analogues of the fossil taxa are now growing in low latitudes possibly due to an increase in seasonality (increased variation) in temperature caused by the rising Himalaya.

  20. First fossil occurrence of a filefish (Tetraodontiformes; Monacanthidae) in Asia, from the Middle Miocene in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyajima, Yusuke; Koike, Hakuichi; Matsuoka, Hiroshige

    2014-04-10

    A new fossil filefish, Aluterus shigensis sp. nov., with a close resemblance to the extant Aluterus scriptus (Osbeck), is described from the Middle Miocene Bessho Formation in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan. It is characterized by: 21 total vertebrae; very slender and long first dorsal spine with tiny anterior barbs; thin and lancet-shaped basal pterygiophore of the spiny dorsal fin, with its ventral margin separated from the skull; proximal tip of moderately slender first pterygiophore of the soft dorsal fin not reaching far ventrally; soft dorsal-fin base longer than anal-fin base; caudal peduncle having nearly equal depth and length; and tiny, fine scales with slender, straight spinules. The occurrence of this fossil filefish from the Bessho Formation is consistent with the influence of warm water currents suggested by other fossils, but it is inconsistent with the deep-water sedimentary environment of this Formation. This is the first fossil occurrence of a filefish in Asia; previously described fossil filefishes are known from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of Italy, the Pliocene of Greece, and the Miocene and Pliocene of North America. These fossil records suggest that the genus Aluterus had already been derived and was widely distributed during the Middle Miocene with taxa closely resembling Recent species.

  1. Charles Darwin's beagle voyage, fossil vertebrate succession, and "the gradual birth & death of species".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-01-01

    The prevailing view among historians of science holds that Charles Darwin became a convinced transmutationist only in the early spring of 1837, after his Beagle collections had been examined by expert British naturalists. With respect to the fossil vertebrate evidence, some historians believe that Darwin was incapable of seeing or understanding the transmutationist implications of his specimens without the help of Richard Owen. There is ample evidence, however, that he clearly recognized the similarities between several of the fossil vertebrates he collected and some of the extant fauna of South America before he returned to Britain. These comparisons, recorded in his correspondence, his diary and his notebooks during the voyage, were instances of a phenomenon that he later called the "law of the succession of types." Moreover, on the Beagle, he was following a geological research agenda outlined in the second volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which implies that paleontological data alone could provide an insight into the laws which govern the appearance of new species. Since Darwin claims in On the Origin of Species that fossil vertebrate succession was one of the key lines of evidence that led him to question the fixity of species, it seems certain that he was seriously contemplating transmutation during the Beagle voyage. If so, historians of science need to reconsider both the role of Britain's expert naturalists and the importance of the fossil vertebrate evidence in the development of Darwin's ideas on transmutation.

  2. Rare earth element composition of Paleogene vertebrate fossils from Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grandstaff, D.E., E-mail: grand@temple.edu [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122 (United States); Terry, D.O. [Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122 (United States)

    2009-04-15

    Fossil bones and teeth from terrestrial environments encode unique rare earth and trace element (REE and TE) signatures as a function of redox conditions, pH, concentrations of complexing ligands, and water-colloid interactions. This signature is set early in the fossilization process and serves as a paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic proxy. These signatures can also be used to interpret temporal and spatial averaging within vertebrate accumulations, and can help relocate displaced fossil bones back into stratigraphic context. Rare earth elements in vertebrate fossils from upper Eocene and Oligocene strata of Toadstool Geologic Park, northwestern Nebraska, record mixing and evolution of Paleogene vadose or groundwaters and variations in paleoenvironments. REE signatures indicate that HREE-enriched alkaline groundwater reacted with LREE- and MREE-enriched sediments to produce 3-component mixtures. REE signatures become increasingly LREE- and MREE-enriched toward the top of the studied section as the paleoenvironment became cooler and drier, suggesting that REE signatures may be climate proxies. Time series analysis suggests that REE ratios are influenced by cycles of ca. 1050, 800, 570, 440, and 225 ka, similar to some previously determined Milankovitch astronomical and climate periodicities.

  3. Multigene phylogeny of land plants with special reference to bryophytes and the earliest land plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickrent, D L; Parkinson, C L; Palmer, J D; Duff, R J

    2000-12-01

    A widely held view of land plant relationships places liverworts as the first branch of the land plant tree, whereas some molecular analyses and a cladistic study of morphological characters indicate that hornworts are the earliest land plants. To help resolve this conflict, we used parsimony and likelihood methods to analyze a 6, 095-character data set composed of four genes (chloroplast rbcL and small-subunit rDNA from all three plant genomes) from all major land plant lineages. In all analyses, significant support was obtained for the monophyly of vascular plants, lycophytes, ferns (including PSILOTUM: and EQUISETUM:), seed plants, and angiosperms. Relationships among the three bryophyte lineages were unresolved in parsimony analyses in which all positions were included and weighted equally. However, in parsimony and likelihood analyses in which rbcL third-codon-position transitions were either excluded or downweighted (due to apparent saturation), hornworts were placed as sister to all other land plants, with mosses and liverworts jointly forming the second deepest lineage. Decay analyses and Kishino-Hasegawa tests of the third-position-excluded data set showed significant support for the hornwort-basal topology over several alternative topologies, including the commonly cited liverwort-basal topology. Among the four genes used, mitochondrial small-subunit rDNA showed the lowest homoplasy and alone recovered essentially the same topology as the multigene tree. This molecular phylogeny presents new opportunities to assess paleontological evidence and morphological innovations that occurred during the early evolution of terrestrial plants.

  4. The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Huang, Jiandong; Hu, Yuanchao; Liu, Xiaoyu; Peteya, Jennifer; Clarke, Julia A

    2018-03-05

    Supraorbital fossae occur when salt glands are well developed, a condition most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. Here, we report the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds. The Early Cretaceous ornithurine bird specimens reported here are about 40 million years older than previously reported Late Cretaceous marine birds and represent the earliest described occurrence of the fossa. We find no evidence of avian salt gland fossae in phylogenetically earlier stem birds or non-avialan dinosaurs, even in those argued to be predominantly marine or desert dwelling. The apparent absence of this feature in more basal dinosaurs may indicate that it is only after miniaturization close to the origin of flight that excretory mechanisms were favored over exclusively renal mechanisms of salt regulation resulting in an increase in gland size leaving a bony trace. The ecology of ornithurine birds is more diverse than in other stem birds and may have included seasonal shifts in foraging range, or, the environments of some of the Jehol lakes may have included more pronounced periods of high salinity.

  5. Trauma and autobiographical memory: contents and determinants of earliest memories among war-affected Palestinian children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltonen, Kirsi; Kangaslampi, Samuli; Qouta, Samir; Punamäki, Raija-Leena

    2017-11-01

    The contents of earliest memories (EM), as part of autobiographical memory, continue to fascinate scientists and therapists. However, research is scarce on the determinants of EM, especially among children. This study aims, first, to identify contents of EM of children living in war conditions, and, second, to analyse child gender, traumatic events and mental health as determinants of the contents of EM. The participants were 240 Palestinian schoolchildren from the Gaza Strip (10-12 years, M = 11.35, SD = 0.57; 49.4% girls). They responded to an open-ended EM question, and reported their trauma exposures (war trauma, losses and current traumatic events), posttraumatic stress, depressive symptoms and psychosocial well-being, indicating mental health. The EM coding involved nature, social orientation, emotional tone and specificity. Results showed, first, that 43% reported playing or visiting a nice place as EM, and about a third (30%) traumatic events or accidents (30%) or miscellaneous events (27%). The individual and social orientation were almost equally common, the emotional tone mainly neutral (45.5%), and 60% remembered a specific event. Second, boys remembered more EM involving traumatic events or accidents, and girls more social events. Third, war trauma was associated with less positive emotional tone and with more specific memories.

  6. Perceptual learning increases the strength of the earliest signals in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Min; Yang, Lin; Rios, Cristina; He, Bin; Engel, Stephen A

    2010-11-10

    Training improves performance on most visual tasks. Such perceptual learning can modify how information is read out from, and represented in, later visual areas, but effects on early visual cortex are controversial. In particular, it remains unknown whether learning can reshape neural response properties in early visual areas independent from feedback arising in later cortical areas. Here, we tested whether learning can modify feedforward signals in early visual cortex as measured by the human electroencephalogram. Fourteen subjects were trained for >24 d to detect a diagonal grating pattern in one quadrant of the visual field. Training improved performance, reducing the contrast needed for reliable detection, and also reliably increased the amplitude of the earliest component of the visual evoked potential, the C1. Control orientations and locations showed smaller effects of training. Because the C1 arises rapidly and has a source in early visual cortex, our results suggest that learning can increase early visual area response through local receptive field changes without feedback from later areas.

  7. Evaluating the earliest traces of Archean sub-seafloor life by NanoSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcloughlin, N.; Grosch, E. G.; Kilburn, M.; Wacey, D.

    2012-12-01

    The Paleoarchean sub-seafloor has been proposed as an environment for the emergence of life with titanite microtextures in pillow lavas argued to be the earliest traces of microbial micro-tunneling (Furnes et al. 2004). Here we use a nano-scale ion microprobe (NanoSIMS) to evaluate possible geochemical traces of life in 3.45 Ga pillow lavas of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We investigated both surface and drill core samples from the original "Biomarker" outcrop in the Hooggenoeg Fm. Pillow lava metavolcanic glass contain clusters of segmented microcrystalline titanite filaments, ~4μm across and sedimentary sulfides (δ34S = +8 to -23‰). We propose that the Hooggenoeg sulfides probably formed during early fluid-rock-microbe interaction involving sulfate-reducing microbes (c.f. Rouxel et al. 2008). The pillow lavas were then metamorphosed, the glass transformed to a greenschist facies assemblage and titanite growth encapsulated the microbial sulfides. In summary, the extreme sulfur isotope fractionations reported here independently point towards the potential involvement of microbes in the alteration of Archean volcanic glass. In situ sulfur isotope analysis of basalt-hosted sulfides may provide an alternative approach to investigating the existence of an Archean sub-seafloor biosphere that does not require the mineralization of early microbial microborings with organic linings.

  8. The Comoros Show the Earliest Austronesian Gene Flow into the Swahili Corridor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brucato, Nicolas; Fernandes, Veronica; Mazières, Stéphane; Kusuma, Pradiptajati; Cox, Murray P; Ng'ang'a, Joseph Wainaina; Omar, Mohammed; Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude; Frassati, Coralie; Alshamali, Farida; Fin, Bertrand; Boland, Anne; Deleuze, Jean-Francois; Stoneking, Mark; Adelaar, Alexander; Crowther, Alison; Boivin, Nicole; Pereira, Luisa; Bailly, Pascal; Chiaroni, Jacques; Ricaut, François-Xavier

    2018-01-04

    At the dawn of the second millennium, the expansion of the Indian Ocean trading network aligned with the emergence of an outward-oriented community along the East African coast to create a cosmopolitan cultural and trading zone known as the Swahili Corridor. On the basis of analyses of new genome-wide genotyping data and uniparental data in 276 individuals from coastal Kenya and the Comoros islands, along with large-scale genetic datasets from the Indian Ocean rim, we reconstruct historical population dynamics to show that the Swahili Corridor is largely an eastern Bantu genetic continuum. Limited gene flows from the Middle East can be seen in Swahili and Comorian populations at dates corresponding to historically documented contacts. However, the main admixture event in southern insular populations, particularly Comorian and Malagasy groups, occurred with individuals from Island Southeast Asia as early as the 8 th century, reflecting an earlier dispersal from this region. Remarkably, our results support recent archaeological and linguistic evidence-based suggestions that the Comoros archipelago was the earliest location of contact between Austronesian and African populations in the Swahili Corridor. Copyright © 2017 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Earliest Deadline Control of a Group of Heat Pumps with a Single Energy Source

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Fink

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we develop and investigate the optimal control of a group of 104 heat pumps and a central Combined Heat and Power unit (CHP. The heat pumps supply space heating and domestic hot water to households. Each house has a buffer for domestic hot water and a floor heating system for space heating. Electricity for the heat pumps is generated by a central CHP unit, which also provides thermal energy to a district heating system. The paper reviews recent smart grid control approaches for central and distributed levels. An online algorithm is described based on the earliest deadline first theory that can be used on the aggregator level to control the CHP and to give signals to the heat pump controllers if they should start or should wait. The central controller requires only a limited amount of privacy-insensitive information from the heat pump controllers about their deadlines, which the heat pump controllers calculate for themselves by model predictions. In this way, a robust heat pump and CHP control is obtained, which is able to minimize energy demand and results in the desired thermal comfort for the households. The simulations demonstrate fast computation times due to minor computational and communication overheads.

  10. Nutrient limitation of soil microbial activity during the earliest stages of ecosystem development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Sarah C; Sullivan, Benjamin W; Knelman, Joseph; Hood, Eran; Nemergut, Diana R; Schmidt, Steven K; Cleveland, Cory C

    2017-11-01

    A dominant paradigm in ecology is that plants are limited by nitrogen (N) during primary succession. Whether generalizable patterns of nutrient limitation are also applicable to metabolically and phylogenetically diverse soil microbial communities, however, is not well understood. We investigated if measures of N and phosphorus (P) pools inform our understanding of the nutrient(s) most limiting to soil microbial community activities during primary succession. We evaluated soil biogeochemical properties and microbial processes using two complementary methodological approaches-a nutrient addition microcosm experiment and extracellular enzyme assays-to assess microbial nutrient limitation across three actively retreating glacial chronosequences. Microbial respiratory responses in the microcosm experiment provided evidence for N, P and N/P co-limitation at Easton Glacier, Washington, USA, Puca Glacier, Peru, and Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA, respectively, and patterns of nutrient limitation generally reflected site-level differences in soil nutrient availability. The activities of three key extracellular enzymes known to vary with soil N and P availability developed in broadly similar ways among sites, increasing with succession and consistently correlating with changes in soil total N pools. Together, our findings demonstrate that during the earliest stages of soil development, microbial nutrient limitation and activity generally reflect soil nutrient supply, a result that is broadly consistent with biogeochemical theory.

  11. Abnormal Development of the Earliest Cortical Circuits in a Mouse Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagode, Daniel A; Meng, Xiangying; Winkowski, Daniel E; Smith, Ed; Khan-Tareen, Hamza; Kareddy, Vishnupriya; Kao, Joseph P Y; Kanold, Patrick O

    2017-01-31

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves deficits in speech and sound processing. Cortical circuit changes during early development likely contribute to such deficits. Subplate neurons (SPNs) form the earliest cortical microcircuits and are required for normal development of thalamocortical and intracortical circuits. Prenatal valproic acid (VPA) increases ASD risk, especially when present during a critical time window coinciding with SPN genesis. Using optical circuit mapping in mouse auditory cortex, we find that VPA exposure on E12 altered the functional excitatory and inhibitory connectivity of SPNs. Circuit changes manifested as "patches" of mostly increased connection probability or strength in the first postnatal week and as general hyper-connectivity after P10, shortly after ear opening. These results suggest that prenatal VPA exposure severely affects the developmental trajectory of cortical circuits and that sensory-driven activity may exacerbate earlier, subtle connectivity deficits. Our findings identify the subplate as a possible common pathophysiological substrate of deficits in ASD. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia): Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Julien; Manger, Paul R; Fernandez, Vincent; Rubidge, Bruce S

    2016-01-01

    Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma), has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays) associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism), its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia).

  13. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia: Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Benoit

    Full Text Available Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma, has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism, its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia.

  14. Changes of lysosomes in the earliest stages of the development of atherosclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobryshev, Yuri V; Shchelkunova, Tatyana A; Morozov, Ivan A; Rubtsov, Petr M; Sobenin, Igor A; Orekhov, Alexander N; Smirnov, Alexander N

    2013-05-01

    One of hypotheses of atherosclerosis is based on a presumption that the zones prone to the development of atherosclerosis contain lysosomes which are characterized by enzyme deficiency and thus, are unable to dispose of lipoproteins. The present study was undertaken to investigate the characteristics and changes of lysosomes in the earliest stages of the development of atherosclerosis. Electron microscopic immunocytochemistry revealed that there were certain changes in the distribution of CD68 antigen in lysosomes along the 'normal intima-initial lesion-fatty streak' sequence. There were no significant changes found in the key mRNAs encoding for the components of endosome/lysosome compartment in initial atherosclerotic lesions, but in fatty streaks, the contents of EEA1 and Rab5a mRNAs were found to be diminished while the contents of CD68 and p62 mRNAs were increased, compared with the intact tissue. The study reinforces a view that changes occurring in lysosomes play a role in atherogenesis from the very earlier stages of the disease. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Tales from the prehistory of Quantum Gravity. Léon Rosenfeld's earliest contributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peruzzi, Giulio; Rocci, Alessio

    2018-05-01

    The main purpose of this paper is to analyse the earliest work of Léon Rosenfeld, one of the pioneers in the search of Quantum Gravity, the supposed theory unifying quantum theory and general relativity. We describe how and why Rosenfeld tried to face this problem in 1927, analysing the role of his mentors: Oskar Klein, Louis de Broglie and Théophile De Donder. Rosenfeld asked himself how quantum mechanics should concretely modify general relativity. In the context of a five-dimensional theory, Rosenfeld tried to construct a unifying framework for the gravitational and electromagnetic interaction and wave mechanics. Using a sort of "general relativistic quantum mechanics" Rosenfeld introduced a wave equation on a curved background. He investigated the metric created by what he called `quantum phenomena', represented by wave functions. Rosenfeld integrated Einstein equations in the weak field limit, with wave functions as source of the gravitational field. The author performed a sort of semi-classical approximation obtaining at the first order the Reissner-Nordström metric. We analyse how Rosenfeld's work is part of the history of Quantum Mechanics, because in his investigation Rosenfeld was guided by Bohr's correspondence principle. Finally we briefly discuss how his contribution is connected with the task of finding out which metric can be generated by a quantum field, a problem that quantum field theory on curved backgrounds will start to address 35 years later.

  16. Tales from the prehistory of Quantum Gravity - Léon Rosenfeld's earliest contributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peruzzi, Giulio; Rocci, Alessio

    2018-04-01

    The main purpose of this paper is to analyse the earliest work of Léon Rosenfeld, one of the pioneers in the search of Quantum Gravity, the supposed theory unifying quantum theory and general relativity. We describe how and why Rosenfeld tried to face this problem in 1927, analysing the role of his mentors: Oskar Klein, Louis de Broglie and Théophile De Donder. Rosenfeld asked himself how quantum mechanics should concretely modify general relativity. In the context of a five-dimensional theory, Rosenfeld tried to construct a unifying framework for the gravitational and electromagnetic interaction and wave mechanics. Using a sort of "general relativistic quantum mechanics" Rosenfeld introduced a wave equation on a curved background. He investigated the metric created by what he called `quantum phenomena', represented by wave functions. Rosenfeld integrated Einstein equations in the weak field limit, with wave functions as source of the gravitational field. The author performed a sort of semi-classical approximation obtaining at the first order the Reissner-Nordström metric. We analyse how Rosenfeld's work is part of the history of Quantum Mechanics, because in his investigation Rosenfeld was guided by Bohr's correspondence principle. Finally we briefly discuss how his contribution is connected with the task of finding out which metric can be generated by a quantum field, a problem that quantum field theory on curved backgrounds will start to address 35 years later.

  17. Starless Clumps and the Earliest Phases of High-mass Star Formation in the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Brian

    2018-01-01

    High-mass stars are key to regulating the interstellar medium, star formation activity, and overall evolution of galaxies, but their formation remains an open problem in astrophysics. In order to understand the physical conditions during the earliest phases of high-mass star formation, I report on observational studies of dense starless clump candidates (SCCs) that show no signatures of star formation activity. I identify 2223 SCCs from the 1.1 mm Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey, systematically analyze their physical properties, and show that the starless phase is not represented by a single timescale, but evolves more rapidly with increasing clump mass. To investigate the sub-structure in SCCs at high spatial resolution, I study the 12 most high-mass SCCs within 5 kpc using ALMA. I report previously undetected low-luminosity protostars in 11 out of 12 SCCs, fragmentation equal to the thermal Jeans length of the clump, and no starless cores exceeding 30 solar masses. While uncertainties remain concerning the star formation effeciency in this sample, these observational facts are consistent with models where high-mass stars form from intially low- to intermediate-mass protostars that accrete most of their mass from the surrounding clump.

  18. Basal tissue structure in the earliest euconodonts: Testing hypotheses of developmental plasticity in euconodont phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, X.-P.; Donoghue, P.C.J.; Repetski, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    The hypothesis that conodonts are vertebrates rests solely on evidence of soft tissue anatomy. This has been corroborated by microstructural, topological and developmental evidence of homology between conodont and vertebrate hard tissues. However, these conclusions have been reached on the basis of evidence from highly derived euconodont taxa and the degree to which they are representative of plesiomorphic euconodonts remains an open question. Furthermore, the range of variation in tissue types comprising the euconodont basal body has been used to establish a hypothesis of developmental plasticity early in the phylogeny of the clade, and a model of diminishing potentiality in the evolution of development systems. The microstructural fabrics of the basal tissues of the earliest euconodonts (presumed to be the most plesiomorphic) are examined to test these two hypotheses. It is found that the range of microstructural variation observed hitherto was already apparent among plesiomorphic euconodonts. Thus, established histological data are representative of the most plesiomorphic euconodonts. However, although there is evidence of a range in microstructural fabrics, these are compatible with the dentine tissue system alone, and the degree of variation is compatible with that seen in clades of comparable diversity. ?? The Palaeontological Association.

  19. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Huansheng; Zheng, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070-c. 1600 BC), the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula.

  20. The Earliest Chinese Proto-Porcelain Excavated from Kiln Sites: An Elemental Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Li

    Full Text Available In June 2012, the Piaoshan kiln site was excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, which hitherto proved to be the earliest known Chinese proto-porcelain kiln. Judging from the decorative patterns of unearthed impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain sherds, the site was determined to date to the late Xia (c. 2070-c. 1600 BC, the first dynasty of China. Here, we report on proton-induced X-ray emission analyses of 118 proto-porcelain and 35 impressed stoneware sherds from Piaoshan and five subsequent kiln sites in the vicinity. Using principal components analysis on the major chemical compositions, we reveal the relationships between impressed stoneware and proto-porcelain samples from the six kiln sites. The sherds from different sites have distinctive chemical profiles. The results indicate that the raw materials were procured locally. We find a developmental tendency for early glazes towards mature calcium-based glaze. It is most likely that woody plant ashes with increased calcia-potash ratios were applied to the formula.

  1. Fossil energy biotechnology: A research needs assessment. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-11-01

    The Office of Program Analysis of the US Department of Energy commissioned this study to evaluate and prioritize research needs in fossil energy biotechnology. The objectives were to identify research initiatives in biotechnology that offer timely and strategic options for the more efficient and effective uses of the Nation`s fossil resource base, particularly the early identification of new and novel applications of biotechnology for the use or conversion of domestic fossil fuels. Fossil energy biotechnology consists of a number of diverse and distinct technologies, all related by the common denominator -- biocatalysis. The expert panel organized 14 technical subjects into three interrelated biotechnology programs: (1) upgrading the fuel value of fossil fuels; (2) bioconversion of fossil feedstocks and refined products to added value chemicals; and, (3) the development of environmental management strategies to minimize and mitigate the release of toxic and hazardous petrochemical wastes.

  2. ‘And gret wel Chaucer whan ye mete’ : Chaucer’s Earliest Readers, Addressees, and Audiences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sobecki, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    This article will attempt to take stock of what we know about Chaucer's earliest audiences, that is, about uses of and references to his work made during his lifetime. Relevant new research on manuscript use and ownership has been included in the case of Thomas Hoccleve and the scrivener Thomas

  3. Looking for Fossil Bacteria in Martian Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.; Walsh, M. M.; Mckay, D. D.; Wentworth, S.; Gibson, E. K.; Steele, A.; Toporski, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Martinez, R.; Allen, C. C.

    1999-01-01

    The rationale for looking for prokaryote fossils in Martian materials is based on our present understanding of the environmental evolution of that planet in comparison to the history of the terrestrial environments and the development and evolution of life on Earth. On Earth we have clear, albeit indirect, evidence of life in 3.8 b.y.-old rocks from Greenland and the first morphological fossils in 3.3-3.5 b.y.-old cherts from South Africa and Australia. In comparison, Mars, being smaller, probably cooled down after initial aggregation faster than the Earth. Consequently, there could have been liquid water on its surface earlier than on Earth. With a similar exogenous and endogenous input of organics and life-sustaining nutrients as is proposed for the Earth, life could have arisen on that planet, possibly slightly earlier dm it did on Earth. Whereas on Earth liquid water has remained at the surface of the planet since about 4.4 b.y. (with some possible interregnums caused by planet-sterilising impacts before 3.8. b.y. and perhaps a number of periods of a totally frozen Earth, this was not the case with Mars. Although it is not known exactly when surficial water disappeared from the surface, there would have been sufficient time for life to have developed into something similar to the terrestrial prokaryote stage. However, given the earlier environmental deterioration, it is unlikely that it evolved into the eukaryote stage and even evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may not have been reached. Thus, the impetus of research is on single celled life simnilar to prokaryotes. We are investigating a number of methods of trace element analysis with respect to the Early Archaean microbial fossils. Preliminary neutron activation analysis of carbonaceous layers in the Early Archaean cherts from South Africa and Australia shows some partitioning of elements such as As, Sb, Cr with an especial enrichment of lanthanides in a carbonaceous-rich banded iron sediment . More

  4. Analysis of radiation level on dinosaur fossil in Zigong

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Changshu; Liang Shuzhi; Fan Zhengnian.

    1995-01-01

    Study on radiation level of dinosaur fossil and environment in conservation zone in Zigong, Sichuan has been done. The results showed that the γ radiation dose and radioactivity strength of 232 Th and 40 K in dinosaur fossil, soil and rock in the conservation zone were within the limits of radioactive background value in Zigong. Radioactivity strength of 238 U, 226 Ra in dinosaur fossil were 26.6 and 29.2 times higher than the rock of same layer respectively

  5. Earliest stone-tipped projectiles from the Ethiopian rift date to >279,000 years ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahle, Yonatan; Hutchings, W Karl; Braun, David R; Sealy, Judith C; Morgan, Leah E; Negash, Agazi; Atnafu, Balemwal

    2013-01-01

    Projectile weapons (i.e. those delivered from a distance) enhanced prehistoric hunting efficiency by enabling higher impact delivery and hunting of a broader range of animals while reducing confrontations with dangerous prey species. Projectiles therefore provided a significant advantage over thrusting spears. Composite projectile technologies are considered indicative of complex behavior and pivotal to the successful spread of Homo sapiens. Direct evidence for such projectiles is thus far unknown from >80,000 years ago. Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago. In combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, these data isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology.

  6. Earliest stone-tipped projectiles from the Ethiopian rift date to >279,000 years ago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Sahle

    Full Text Available Projectile weapons (i.e. those delivered from a distance enhanced prehistoric hunting efficiency by enabling higher impact delivery and hunting of a broader range of animals while reducing confrontations with dangerous prey species. Projectiles therefore provided a significant advantage over thrusting spears. Composite projectile technologies are considered indicative of complex behavior and pivotal to the successful spread of Homo sapiens. Direct evidence for such projectiles is thus far unknown from >80,000 years ago. Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips as early as >279,000 years ago. In combination with the existing archaeological, fossil and genetic evidence, these data isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology.

  7. Nitrogen-fixing symbiosis inferred from stable isotope analysis of fossil tree rings from the Oligocene of Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erik L. Gulbranson; Bonnie F. Jacobs; William C. Hockaday; Michael C. Wiemann; Lauren A. Michel; Kaylee Richards; John W. Kappelman

    2017-01-01

    The acquisition of reduced nitrogen (N) is essential for plant life, and plants have developed numerous strategies and symbioses with soil microorganisms to acquire this form of N. The evolutionary history of specific symbiotic relationships of plants with soil bacteria, however, lacks evidence from the fossil record confirming these mutualistic relationships. Here we...

  8. How many dinosaur species were there? Fossil bias and true richness estimated using a Poisson sampling model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starrfelt, Jostein; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2016-04-05

    The fossil record is a rich source of information about biological diversity in the past. However, the fossil record is not only incomplete but has also inherent biases due to geological, physical, chemical and biological factors. Our knowledge of past life is also biased because of differences in academic and amateur interests and sampling efforts. As a result, not all individuals or species that lived in the past are equally likely to be discovered at any point in time or space. To reconstruct temporal dynamics of diversity using the fossil record, biased sampling must be explicitly taken into account. Here, we introduce an approach that uses the variation in the number of times each species is observed in the fossil record to estimate both sampling bias and true richness. We term our technique TRiPS (True Richness estimated using a Poisson Sampling model) and explore its robustness to violation of its assumptions via simulations. We then venture to estimate sampling bias and absolute species richness of dinosaurs in the geological stages of the Mesozoic. Using TRiPS, we estimate that 1936 (1543-2468) species of dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the Mesozoic. We also present improved estimates of species richness trajectories of the three major dinosaur clades: the sauropodomorphs, ornithischians and theropods, casting doubt on the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction event and demonstrating that all dinosaur groups are subject to considerable sampling bias throughout the Mesozoic. © 2016 The Authors.

  9. Fossil Flora of the John Day Basin, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowlton, Frank Hall

    1902-01-01

    expedition into this region made under the auspices of the University of California. When these plants were submitted to me for study, it was thought possible to present their description, together with a revision of our knowledge of the previously known forms, within a space sufficiently small to permit the publication of the matter as an appendix to a paper on the general geology of the area, then in preparation by Dr. Merriam. But it soon became apparent that this could not be adequately done within the space available, and a short preliminary report was prepared for and published by Dr. Merriam. The results of a complete restudy of all available fossil plant material from the John Day Basin are now presented. I wish to record my great indebtedness to Dr. Merriam, who not only accompanied me at a considerable personal sacrifice on a trip through the region in 1901, but placed unreservedly at my disposal all material bearing in any way on the problem then in the paleontological museum of the University of California. To Dr. Arthur Hollick I am indebted for the loan of all material from the John Day region belonging to Columbia University, and now deposited in the New York Botanical Garden at Bronx Park. This material, together with the rich collections belonging to the United States National Museum, represents practically all now known to have come from the John Day Basin.

  10. Toward an accurate taxonomic interpretation of Carex fossil fruits (Cyperaceae): a case study in section Phacocystis in the Western Palearctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Mejías, Pedro; Martinetto, Edoardo

    2013-08-01

    Despite growing interest in the systematics and evolution of the hyperdiverse genus Carex, few studies have focused on its evolution using an absolute time framework. This is partly due to the limited knowledge of the fossil record. However, Carex fruits are not rare in certain sediments. We analyzed carpological features of modern materials from Carex sect. Phacocystis to characterize the fossil record taxonomically. We studied 374 achenes from modern materials (18 extant species), as well as representatives from related groups, to establish the main traits within and among species. We also studied 99 achenes from sediments of living populations to assess their modification process after decay. Additionally, we characterized 145 fossil achenes from 10 different locations (from 4-0.02 mya), whose taxonomic assignment we discuss. Five main characters were identified for establishing morphological groups of species (epidermis morphology, achene-utricle attachment, achene base, style robustness, and pericarp section). Eleven additional characters allowed the discrimination at species level of most of the taxa. Fossil samples were assigned to two extant species and one unknown, possibly extinct species. The analysis of fruit characters allows the distinction of groups, even up to species level. Carpology is revealed as an accurate tool in Carex paleotaxonomy, which could allow the characterization of Carex fossil fruits and assign them to subgeneric or sectional categories, or to certain species. Our conclusions could be crucial for including a temporal framework in the study of the evolution of Carex.

  11. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holubcik, Michal; Jandacka, Jozef; Kolkova, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  12. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holubcik, Michal, E-mail: michal.holubcik@fstroj.uniza.sk; Jandacka, Jozef, E-mail: jozef.jandacka@fstroj.uniza.sk [University of Žilina, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Power Engineering, Univerzitná 8215/1, 010 26 Žilina (Slovakia); Kolkova, Zuzana, E-mail: zuzana.kolkova@rc.uniza.sk [Research centre, University of Žilina, Univerzitna 8215/1, 010 26 Žilina (Slovakia)

    2016-06-30

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  13. The strategic value of fossil fuels: challenges and responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    Several speeches of the conference concerning the strategic value of fossil fuels that was held on May 8 to 11, 1995 in Houston, Texas are presented. The current and future importance of fossil fuels in energy consumption throughout the world is highlighted. The role of developing countries in the fossil fuels market is increasing, and these countries need some assistance from developed countries to develop. International and regional cooperation seems to be a good way to ensure economic growth. The importance of fossil fuels is shown by the growth of international coal and natural gas trade. (TEC)

  14. Using Strong Gravitational Lensing to Identify Fossil Group Progenitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Lucas E.; Irwin, Jimmy A.; White, Raymond E., III; Wong, Ka-Wah; Maksym, W. Peter; Dupke, Renato A.; Miller, Eric D.; Carrasco, Eleazar R.

    2018-04-01

    Fossil galaxy systems are classically thought to be the end result of galaxy group/cluster evolution, as galaxies experiencing dynamical friction sink to the center of the group potential and merge into a single, giant elliptical that dominates the rest of the members in both mass and luminosity. Most fossil systems discovered lie within z fossil criteria within the look forward time. Since strong gravitational lensing preferentially selects groups merging along the line of sight, or systems with a high mass concentration like fossil systems, we searched the CASSOWARY survey of strong-lensing events with the goal of determining whether lensing systems have any predisposition to being fossil systems or progenitors. We find that ∼13% of lensing groups are identified as traditional fossils while only ∼3% of nonlensing control groups are. We also find that ∼23% of lensing systems are traditional fossil progenitors compared to ∼17% for the control sample. Our findings show that strong-lensing systems are more likely to be fossil/pre-fossil systems than comparable nonlensing systems. Cumulative galaxy luminosity functions of the lensing and nonlensing groups also indicate a possible, fundamental difference between strong-lensing and nonlensing systems’ galaxy populations, with lensing systems housing a greater number of bright galaxies even in the outskirts of groups.

  15. Microelements in fossil bones and the estimation of age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besliu, C.; Olariu, A.; Popescu, I.; Badica, Th.

    1993-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis was used to determine microelements fossil bones and the correlation was found between some elements and the C-14 estimated age of the bones. Fluorine, uranium and manganese content in the bones structure increases with the time elapsed, during fossilization. This means that measurable concentrations of these elements and known environmental conditions could provide a relative dating tool of bones beyond the 70 ky radiocarbon limit, for paleolithic archaeology. Sodium, scandium, iron, and zinc have been also determined in fossil bones, but a relation with the increasing antiquity of the fossil has been observed. (Author)

  16. Unique growth strategy in the Earth's first trees revealed in silicified fossil trunks from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hong-He; Berry, Christopher M; Stein, William E; Wang, Yi; Tang, Peng; Fu, Qiang

    2017-11-07

    Cladoxylopsida included the earliest large trees that formed critical components of globally transformative pioneering forest ecosystems in the Mid- and early Late Devonian (ca. 393-372 Ma). Well-known cladoxylopsid fossils include the up to ∼1-m-diameter sandstone casts known as Eospermatopteris from Middle Devonian strata of New York State. Cladoxylopsid trunk structure comprised a more-or-less distinct cylinder of numerous separate cauline xylem strands connected internally with a network of medullary xylem strands and, near the base, externally with downward-growing roots, all embedded within parenchyma. However, the means by which this complex vascular system was able to grow to a large diameter is unknown. We demonstrate-based on exceptional, up to ∼70-cm-diameter silicified fossil trunks with extensive preservation of cellular anatomy from the early Late Devonian (Frasnian, ca. 374 Ma) of Xinjiang, China-that trunk expansion is associated with a cylindrical zone of diffuse secondary growth within ground and cortical parenchyma and with production of a large amount of wood containing both rays and growth increments concentrically around individual xylem strands by normal cambia. The xylem system accommodates expansion by tearing of individual strand interconnections during secondary development. This mode of growth seems indeterminate, capable of producing trees of large size and, despite some unique features, invites comparison with secondary development in some living monocots. Understanding the structure and growth of cladoxylopsids informs analysis of canopy competition within early forests with the potential to drive global processes. Published under the PNAS license.

  17. Virtual assessment of the endocranial morphology of the early modern European fossil calvaria from cioclovina, romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranioti, Elena F; Holloway, Ralph; Senck, Sascha; Ciprut, Tudor; Grigorescu, Dan; Harvati, Katerina

    2011-07-01

    Endocasts provide evidence on size and shape characteristics, blood supply trajectories, and neurological features of the brain, allowing comparative analyses of fossil hominins crucial to our understanding of human brain evolution. Here, we assess the morphological features of the virtual endocast of the Cioclovina Upper Paleolithic calvarium, one of the earliest reliably dated European modern human fossils. Our study was conducted on a computed tomography (CT) scan of the original specimen. The endocranial profile was approximated via a semiautomatic segmentation of the CT data. Virtual reconstructions of the endocast were used for assessing the morphological features of the endocranium and for the estimation of the endocranial volume. Cioclovina exhibits a clockwise torque with a small anterior extension of the left frontal lobe over the right one and a protrusion of the right occipital lobe over the left, most likely due to the superior sagittal sinus coursing over the occipital pole. There is an obvious right predominance of the posterior drainage system. Interestingly, the area of the frontal sinus is occupied by dense bony tissue with small air cells corresponding probably to a natural bony loss in the diploë and to vascular spaces. An estimated endocranial volume of 1498.53 cc was calculated. The convolutional details of the third inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's caps) are indistinguishable from those found in modern Homo sapiens, and the left occipital lobe appears wider than the right, a possible correlate of right-handedness. Our metric analysis of endocranial measurements also aligns Cioclovina with modern humans. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Percussive technology in human evolution: an introduction to a comparative approach in fossil and living primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Torre, Ignacio; Hirata, Satoshi

    2015-11-19

    Percussive technology is part of the behavioural suite of several fossil and living primates. Stone Age ancestors used lithic artefacts in pounding activities, which could have been most important in the earliest stages of stone working. This has relevant evolutionary implications, as other primates such as chimpanzees and some monkeys use stone hammer-and-anvil combinations to crack hard-shelled foodstuffs. Parallels between primate percussive technologies and early archaeological sites need to be further explored in order to assess the emergence of technological behaviour in our evolutionary line, and firmly establish bridges between Primatology and Archaeology. What are the anatomical, cognitive and ecological constraints of percussive technology? How common are percussive activities in the Stone Age and among living primates? What is their functional significance? How similar are archaeological percussive tools and those made by non-human primates? This issue of Phil. Trans. addresses some of these questions by presenting case studies with a wide chronological, geographical and disciplinary coverage. The studies presented here cover studies of Brazilian capuchins, captive chimpanzees and chimpanzees in the wild, research on the use of percussive technology among modern humans and recent hunter-gatherers in Australia, the Near East and Europe, and archaeological examples of this behaviour from a million years ago to the Holocene. In summary, the breadth and depth of research compiled here should make this issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, a landmark step forward towards a better understanding of percussive technology, a unique behaviour shared by some modern and fossil primates. © 2015 The Author(s).

  19. Shotgun microbial profiling of fossil remains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Ermini, Luca; Jónsson, Hákon

    2014-01-01

    the specimen of interest, but instead reflect environmental organisms that colonized the specimen after death. Here, we characterize the microbial diversity recovered from seven c. 200- to 13 000-year-old horse bones collected from northern Siberia. We use a robust, taxonomy-based assignment approach...... to identify the microorganisms present in ancient DNA extracts and quantify their relative abundance. Our results suggest that molecular preservation niches exist within ancient samples that can potentially be used to characterize the environments from which the remains are recovered. In addition, microbial...... community profiling of the seven specimens revealed site-specific environmental signatures. These microbial communities appear to comprise mainly organisms that colonized the fossils recently. Our approach significantly extends the amount of useful data that can be recovered from ancient specimens using...

  20. The future of oil: unconventional fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chew, Kenneth J

    2014-01-13

    Unconventional fossil hydrocarbons fall into two categories: resource plays and conversion-sourced hydrocarbons. Resource plays involve the production of accumulations of solid, liquid or gaseous hydro-carbons that have been generated over geological time from organic matter in source rocks. The character of these hydrocarbons may have been modified subsequently, especially in the case of solids and extra-heavy liquids. These unconventional hydrocarbons therefore comprise accumulations of hydrocarbons that are trapped in an unconventional manner and/or whose economic exploitation requires complex and technically advanced production methods. This review focuses primarily on unconventional liquid hydro-carbons. The future potential of unconventional gas, especially shale gas, is also discussed, as it is revolutionizing the energy outlook in North America and elsewhere.

  1. Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbane, John J

    2006-06-01

    Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts.

  2. Sediment core fossils in ancient Lake Ohrid: testing for faunal change since the Last Interglacial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Albrecht

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Ancient Lake Ohrid is probably of early Pleistocene or Pliocene origin and amongst the few lakes in the world harbouring an outstanding degree of endemic biodiversity. Although there is a long history of evolutionary research in Lake Ohrid, particularly on molluscs, a mollusc fossil record has been missing up to date. For the first time, gastropod and bivalve fossils are reported from the basal, calcareous part of a 2.6 m long sediment succession (core Co1200 from the north-eastern part of Lake Ohrid. Electron spin resonance (ESR dating of mollusc shells from the same stratigraphic level yielded an age of 130 ± 28 ka. Lithofacies III sediments, i.e. a stratigraphic subdivision comprising the basal succession of core Co1200 between 181.5–263 cm, appeared solid, greyish-white, and consisted almost entirely of silt-sized endogenic calcite (CaCO3>70% and intact and broken mollusc shells. Here we compare the faunal composition of the thanatocoenosis with recent mollusc associations in Lake Ohrid. A total of 13 mollusc species (9 gastropod and 4 bivalve species could be identified within Lithofacies III sediments. The value of sediment core fossils for reconstructing palaeoenvironmental settings was evaluated and the agreement between sediment and palaeontological proxies was tested.

    The study also aims at investigating major faunal changes since the Last Interglacial and searching for signs of extinction events.

    The combined findings of the ecological study and the sediment characteristics suggest deposition in a shallow water environment during the Last Interglacial. The fossil fauna exclusively included species also found in the present fauna, i.e. no extinction events are evident for this site since the Last Interglacial. The thanatocoenosis showed the highest similarity with recent Intermediate Layer (5–25 m water depth mollusc assemblages. The demonstrated existence of a mollusc fossil record in Lake Ohrid

  3. Fossil Groups in the Local Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    OSullivan, Ewan

    2005-01-01

    The two galaxies observed as part of this project were originally selected as fossil group candidates because of their isolation from other galaxies and their apparent high X-ray luminosity and extended X-ray emission. However, the X-ray data available was minimal, being drawn from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey. We have performed an initial analysis of the XMM data from both galaxies and found that their gaseous halos are smaller, cooler, and less luminous than expected. In the case of NGC 57, the RASS estimate of extent and luminosity was biased because of a previously unidentified background group which is visible in the XMM data to one side of the galaxy. In the case of IC 153 1, the contribution from background point sources near the galaxy appears to be to blame. This suggests that both galaxies should be reclassified as isolated ellipticals. Such systems are very rare, and currently poorly understood; for comparison, there are now 6-10 known fossil groups, but only one isolated elliptical with useful X-ray data. We are currently re-analyzing the data for the two galaxies to take advantage of the calibration improvements of SAS 6.1, and to include calculations of the mass profiles of the two systems. A paper is currently in preparation dealing with the X-ray properties and environment of the galaxies, and we expect to submit this to the Astrophysical Journal within the next two months. Multi-band optical imaging of the field surrounding NGC 57 has been acquired to confirm its isolated status and provide more information on the background group. IC 1531 was accepted as a target in Chandra cycle 6 as part of a related proposal, and we intend to add this new observation to our XMM data when it becomes available. A second paper is planned to include the results of this combined analysis.

  4. Phalangeal morphology of Shanghuang fossil primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebo, Daniel L; Dagosto, Marian; Ni, Xijun; Beard, K Christopher

    2017-12-01

    Here, we describe hundreds of isolated phalanges attributed to middle Eocene fossil primates from the Shanghuang fissure-fillings from southern Jiangsu Province, China. Extending knowledge based on previous descriptions of postcranial material from Shanghuang, this sample of primate finger and toe bones includes proximal phalanges, middle phalanges, and over three hundred nail-bearing distal phalanges. Most of the isolated proximal and middle phalanges fall within the range of small-bodied individuals, suggesting an allocation to the smaller haplorhine primates identified at Shanghuang, including eosimiids. In contrast to the proximal and middle phalanges from Shanghuang, there are a variety of shapes, sizes, and possible taxonomic allocations for the distal phalanges. Two distal phalangeal morphologies are numerically predominant at Shanghuang. The sample of larger bodied specimens is best allocated to the medium-sized adapiform Adapoides while the smaller ones are allocated to eosimiids on the basis of the commonality of dental and tarsal remains of these taxa at Shanghuang. The digit morphology of Adapoides is similar morphologically to that of notharctines and cercamoniines, while eosimiid digit morphology is unlike living anthropoids. Other primate distal phalangeal morphologies at Shanghuang include grooming "claws" as well as specimens attributable to tarsiids, tarsiiforms, the genus Macrotarsius, and a variety of adapiforms. One group of distal phalanges at Shanghuang is morphologically indistinguishable from those of living anthropoids. All of the phalanges suggest long fingers and toes for the fossil primates of Shanghaung, and their digit morphology implies arboreality with well-developed digital flexion and strong, grasping hands and feet. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A WELL PRESERVED SKELETON OF THE FOSSIL SHARK COSMOPOLITODUS HASTALIS FROM THE LATE MIOCENE OF PERU, FEATURING FISH REMAINS AS FOSSILIZED STOMACH CONTENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALBERTO COLLARETA

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Both the preservation of the poorly mineralized skeleton of sharks and the preservation of stomach contents are rarely observed in the fossil record. Here we report on a partial skeleton of a lamniform shark, including portions of the visceral arches and the anterior segment of the vertebral column, collected from the late Miocene beds of the Pisco Formation exposed at Cerro Yesera (Ica Desert, South Peru. Based on the morphology of the preserved teeth, this specimen was determined as a juvenile of the extinct lamnid species Cosmopolitodus hastalis. The shark skeleton includes remains of fish (featuring a pilchard determined as Sardinops sp. cf. S. sagax in the abdominal region. These fish remains are interpreted herein as the fossilized stomach contents of the shark. For the first time, piscivory is demonstrated in a juvenile individual of Cosmopolitodus hastalis. This result is consistent with the current knowledge about the feeding habits of immature individuals of extant lamniform shark species (including Carcharodon carcharias and Isurus oxyrinchus. Our report further outlines the fundamental role of schooling pilchards in the late Miocene trophic chains of the highly productive coastal waters off present South Peru. Moreover, the find of this well preserved shark skeleton strengthens the qualification of the Pisco Formation as a Fossil-Lagerstätte, and emphasizes the role of early mineralization processes in cases of exceptional preservation.

  6. THE EARLIEST NEAR-INFRARED TIME-SERIES SPECTROSCOPY OF A TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hsiao, E. Y.; Phillips, M. M.; Morrell, N.; Contreras, C.; Roth, M. [Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory, Colina El Pino, Casilla 601 (Chile); Marion, G. H.; Kirshner, R. P. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Burns, C. R.; Freedman, W. L.; Persson, S. E. [Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara St, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Winge, C. [Gemini South Observatory, c/o AURA Inc., Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile); Kromer, M.; Gall, E. E. E. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85741 Garching bei Muenchen (Germany); Gerardy, C. L.; Hoeflich, P. [Department of Physics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306 (United States); Im, M.; Jeon, Y. [CEOU/Astronomy Program, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Nugent, P. E. [Computational Cosmology Center, Computational Research Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road MS 50B-4206, Berkeley, CA 94611 (United States); Pignata, G. [Departamento de Ciencias Fisicas, Universidad Andres Bello, Avda. Republica 252, Santiago (Chile); Stanishev, V., E-mail: hsiao@lco.cl [CENTRA - Centro Multidisciplinar de Astrofisica, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisbon (Portugal); and others

    2013-04-01

    We present ten medium-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio near-infrared (NIR) spectra of SN 2011fe from SpeX on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) on Gemini North, obtained as part of the Carnegie Supernova Project. This data set constitutes the earliest time-series NIR spectroscopy of a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia), with the first spectrum obtained at 2.58 days past the explosion and covering -14.6 to +17.3 days relative to B-band maximum. C I {lambda}1.0693 {mu}m is detected in SN 2011fe with increasing strength up to maximum light. The delay in the onset of the NIR C I line demonstrates its potential to be an effective tracer of unprocessed material. For the first time in a SN Ia, the early rapid decline of the Mg II {lambda}1.0927 {mu}m velocity was observed, and the subsequent velocity is remarkably constant. The Mg II velocity during this constant phase locates the inner edge of carbon burning and probes the conditions under which the transition from deflagration to detonation occurs. We show that the Mg II velocity does not correlate with the optical light-curve decline rate {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The prominent break at {approx}1.5 {mu}m is the main source of concern for NIR k-correction calculations. We demonstrate here that the feature has a uniform time evolution among SNe Ia, with the flux ratio across the break strongly correlated with {Delta}m{sub 15}(B). The predictability of the strength and the onset of this feature suggests that the associated k-correction uncertainties can be minimized with improved spectral templates.

  7. Driving the growth of the earliest supermassive black holes with major mergers of host galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Takamitsu L

    2014-01-01

    The formation mechanism of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in general, and of ∼10 9  m ⊙ SMBHs observed as luminous quasars at redshifts z>6 in particular, remains an open fundamental question. The presence of such massive BHs at such early times, when the Universe was less than a billion years old, implies that they grew via either super-Eddington accretion, or nearly uninterrupted gas accretion near the Eddington limit; the latter, at first glance, is at odds with empirical trends at lower redshifts, where quasar episodes associated with rapid BH growth are rare and brief. In this work, I examine whether and to what extent the growth of the z>6 quasar SMBHs can be explained within the standard quasar paradigm, in which major mergers of host galaxies trigger episodes of rapid gas accretion below or near the Eddington limit. Using a suite of Monte Carlo merger tree simulations of the assembly histories of 40 likely z>6 quasar host halos, I investigate (i) their growth and major merger rates out to z∼40, and (ii) how long the feeding episodes induced by host mergers must last in order to explain the observed z≳6 quasar population without super-Eddington accretion. The halo major merger rate scales roughly as ∝ (1+z) 5/2 , consistent with cosmological simulations at lower redshifts, with quasar hosts typically experiencing ≳10 major mergers between 15>z>6 (≈650 Myr), compared to ∼1 for typical massive galaxies at 3>z>0 (≈11 Gyr). The high rate of major mergers allows for nearly continuous SMBH growth if (for example) a merger triggers feeding for a duration comparable to the halo dynamical time. These findings suggest that the growth mechanisms of the earliest quasar SMBHs need not have been drastically different from their counterparts at lower redshifts. (paper)

  8. Taphonomy of the fossil insects of the middle Eocene Kishenehn Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale E. Greenwalt

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The lacustrine oil shales of the Coal Creek Member of the Kishenehn Formation in northwestern Montana comprise a relatively unstudied middle Eocene fossil insect locality. Herein, we detail the stratigraphic position of the fossiliferous unit, describe the insect fauna of the Coal Creek locality and document its bias towards very small but remarkably pre-served insects. In addition, the depositional environment is examined and the mineral constituents of the laminations that comprise the varves of the Kishenehn oil shale are defined. Fifteen orders of insects have been recorded with the majority of all insects identified as aquatic with the families Chironomidae (Diptera and Corixidae (Hemiptera dominant. The presence of small aquatic insects, many of which are immature, the intact nature of >90% of the fossil insects and the presence of Daphnia ephippia, all indicate that the depositional environment was the shallow margin of a large freshwater lake. The fossil insects occur within fossilized microbial mat layers that comprise the bedding planes of the oil shale. Unlike the fossiliferous shales of the Florissant and Okanagan Highlands, the mats are not a product of diatomaceous algae nor are diatom frustules a component of the sediments or the varve structure. Instead, the varves are composed of very fine eolian siliciclastic silt grains overlaid with non-diatomaceous, possibly cyanobacteria-derived microbial mats which contain distinct traces of polyaromatic hydrocarbons. A distinct third layer composed of essentially pure calcite is present in the shale of some exposures and is presumably derived from the seasonal warming-induced precipitation of carbonate from the lake’s waters. The Coal Creek locality presents a unique opportunity to study both very small middle Eocene insects not often preserved as compression fossils in most Konservat-Lagerstätte and the processes that led to their preservation.

  9. Cryptic iridescence in a fossil weevil generated by single diamond photonic crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Saranathan, Vinod; Locatelli, Emma R; Noh, Heeso; Briggs, Derek E G; Orr, Patrick J; Cao, Hui

    2014-11-06

    Nature's most spectacular colours originate in integumentary tissue architectures that scatter light via nanoscale modulations of the refractive index. The most intricate biophotonic nanostructures are three-dimensional crystals with opal, single diamond or single gyroid lattices. Despite intense interest in their optical and structural properties, the evolution of such nanostructures is poorly understood, due in part to a lack of data from the fossil record. Here, we report preservation of single diamond (Fd-3m) three-dimensional photonic crystals in scales of a 735,000 year old specimen of the brown Nearctic weevil Hypera diversipunctata from Gold Run, Canada, and in extant conspecifics. The preserved red to green structural colours exhibit near-field brilliancy yet are inconspicuous from afar; they most likely had cryptic functions in substrate matching. The discovery of pristine fossil examples indicates that the fossil record is likely to yield further data on the evolution of three-dimensional photonic nanostructures and their biological functions. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. The financial impact of divestment from fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plantinga, Auke; Scholtens, Bert

    2016-01-01

    Divesting from fossil companies has been put forward as a means to address climate change. We study the impact of such divesting on investment portfolio performance. To this extent, we systematically investigate the investment performance of portfolios with and without fossil fuel company stocks. We

  11. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally… and Financially

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or…

  12. Development of concepts for a zero-fossil-energy greenhouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ooster, A. van 't; Henten, E.J. van; Janssen, E.G.O.N.; Bot, G.P.A.; Dekker, E.

    2008-01-01

    Dutch government and greenhouse horticultural practice aim for strongly reduced fossil energy use and of environmental loads in 2010 and energy neutral greenhouses in 2020. This research aims to design a greenhouse concept with minimal use of fossil energy and independent of nearby greenhouses. The

  13. Microalgal and terrestrial transport biofuels to displace fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn,

  14. Fossils, molecules, divergence times, and the origin of lissamphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marjanović, David; Laurin, Michel

    2007-06-01

    A review of the paleontological literature shows that the early dates of appearance of Lissamphibia recently inferred from molecular data do not favor an origin of extant amphibians from temnospondyls, contrary to recent claims. A supertree is assembled using new Mesquite modules that allow extinct taxa to be incorporated into a time-calibrated phylogeny with a user-defined geological time scale. The supertree incorporates 223 extinct species of lissamphibians and has a highly significant stratigraphic fit. Some divergences can even be dated with sufficient precision to serve as calibration points in molecular divergence date analyses. Fourteen combinations of minimal branch length settings and 10 random resolutions for each polytomy give much more recent minimal origination times of lissamphibian taxa than recent studies based on a phylogenetic analyses of molecular sequences. Attempts to replicate recent molecular date estimates show that these estimates depend strongly on the choice of calibration points, on the dating method, and on the chosen model of evolution; for instance, the estimate for the date of the origin of Lissamphibia can lie between 351 and 266 Mya. This range of values is generally compatible with our time-calibrated supertree and indicates that there is no unbridgeable gap between dates obtained using the fossil record and those using molecular evidence, contrary to previous suggestions.

  15. Bizarre tubercles on the vertebrae of Eocene fossil birds indicate an avian disease without modern counterpart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gerald

    2007-08-01

    Remains of fossil birds with numerous bony tubercles on the cervical vertebrae are reported from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany and the Late Eocene of the Quercy fissure fillings in France. These structures, which are unknown from extant birds and other vertebrates, were previously described for an avian skeleton from Messel but considered a singular feature of this specimen. The new fossils are from a different species of uncertain phylogenetic affinities and show that tuberculated vertebrae have a wider taxonomic, temporal, and geographic distribution. In contrast to previous assumptions, they are no ontogenetic feature and arise from the vertebral surface. It is concluded that they are most likely of pathologic origin and the first record of a Paleogene avian disease. Their regular and symmetrical arrangement over most of the external vertebral surface indicates a systemic disorder caused by factors that do not affect extant birds, such as especially high-dosed phytohormones or extinct pathogens.

  16. The assessment of size in fossil felidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O' Regan, H.

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Estimations of body size in fossil vertebrates depend on establishing the relationships between body mass, overall length or some measure of stature and measurements taken on skeletal elements in living relatives or close proxies. However, most osteological collections lack information on body size for individual specimens, and published investigations usually fa11 back on summary data derived from the literature to plot against measurements taken directly on the skeletal material. The utility of such approaches beyond very general indications of size is open to question. In an effort to reduce these problems we attempt to establish some objective basis for using skeletal elements for the purpose of size estimation in the larger Felidae of the genus Panthera, using data for the jaguar, Panthera onca. We show that cranial length offers a good indication of overall size in the living animal, and that various other cranial dimensions correlate closely with that measurement, while individual teeth, despite their frequent occurrence in assemblages, show a looser relationship and therefore appear less useful for size estimations of fossil material than has been thought.Las estimaciones de la talla corporal en vertebrados fósiles depende de las relaciones establecidas entre el peso corporal, la longitud total o alguna medida de estatura tomada de los elementos esqueléticos de animales actuales emparentados o muy afines. Sin embargo, en muchas colecciones osteológicas falta información sobre la talla corporal de los ejemplares, de forma que las investigaciones publicadas usualmente recurren a datos sintetizados de la literatura que se relacionan con medidas tomadas directamente del material esquelético. La utilidad de estas aproximaciones más allá de indicaciones generales sobre la talla es discutible. En un esfuerzo de minimizar estos problemas intentamos establecer bases objetivas para el uso de los elementos esqueléticos con el propósito de

  17. Fossil plants from Romanian deposits of Bacles, Dolj District, Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolae T̡icleanu

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available From the Middle Romanian lacustrine deposits of the Oltenia province, the authors describe the youngest fossil flora known until now in Oltenia. The inventory of the fossil flora includes the following taxa: Taxodium dubium, ?Platanus platanifolia, Ulmus laevis, Quercus roburoides, Q. cf. muehlenbergii, Carya serraefolia, Acer cf. tricuspidatum and Salix sp. In the Bâcleş fossil flora, Glyptostrobus europaeus, which is a thermophilous and shows a high frequency in all Oltenia area till the XV-th coal seam, is absent. Consequently, having in view the high frequency of Taxodium dubium, which indicate temperate climate conditions, the other consider that the fossil flora from Bâcleş is much more younger and marks an important cooling. From palaeofloristic point of view, the study of Bâcleş fossil flora is indicative for river meadow forest and, probably, flat plain forest environments.

  18. Security of supply: a neglected fossil fuel externality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cavallo, A.J.

    1995-01-01

    Various groups have attempted to set a monetary value on the externalities of fossil fuel usage based on damages caused by emissions of particulates, sulfur dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen and carbon. One externality that has been neglected in this type of analysis, however, is the cost of maintaining a secure supply of fossil fuels. Military expenditures for this purpose are relatively easy to quantify based on US Department of Defense and Office of Management and Budget figures, and amount to between $1 and more than $3 per million Btu, based on total fossil fuel consumption in the US. Open acknowledgment of such expenses would, at the very least, have a profound effect on the perceived competitiveness of all non-fossil fuel technologies. It should also provide a simple and easily comprehended rationale for an energy content (Btu) charge on all fossil fuels. (Author)

  19. Earliest porotic hyperostosis on a 1.5-million-year-old hominin, olduvai gorge, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo

    Full Text Available Meat-eating was an important factor affecting early hominin brain expansion, social organization and geographic movement. Stone tool butchery marks on ungulate fossils in several African archaeological assemblages demonstrate a significant level of carnivory by Pleistocene hominins, but the discovery at Olduvai Gorge of a child's pathological cranial fragments indicates that some hominins probably experienced scarcity of animal foods during various stages of their life histories. The child's parietal fragments, excavated from 1.5-million-year-old sediments, show porotic hyperostosis, a pathology associated with anemia. Nutritional deficiencies, including anemia, are most common at weaning, when children lose passive immunity received through their mothers' milk. Our results suggest, alternatively, that (1 the developmentally disruptive potential of weaning reached far beyond sedentary Holocene food-producing societies and into the early Pleistocene, or that (2 a hominin mother's meat-deficient diet negatively altered the nutritional content of her breast milk to the extent that her nursing child ultimately died from malnourishment. Either way, this discovery highlights that by at least 1.5 million years ago early human physiology was already adapted to a diet that included the regular consumption of meat.

  20. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Lemurs Inferred with Recent and Ancient Fossils in the Tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P; Dávalos, Liliana M

    2016-09-01

    Paleontological and neontological systematics seek to answer evolutionary questions with different data sets. Phylogenies inferred for combined extant and extinct taxa provide novel insights into the evolutionary history of life. Primates have an extensive, diverse fossil record and molecular data for living and extinct taxa are rapidly becoming available. We used two models to infer the phylogeny and divergence times for living and fossil primates, the tip-dating (TD) and fossilized birth-death process (FBD). We collected new morphological data, especially on the living and extinct endemic lemurs of Madagascar. We combined the morphological data with published DNA sequences to infer near-complete (88% of lemurs) time-calibrated phylogenies. The results suggest that primates originated around the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, slightly earlier than indicated by the fossil record and later than previously inferred from molecular data alone. We infer novel relationships among extinct lemurs, and strong support for relationships that were previously unresolved. Dates inferred with TD were significantly older than those inferred with FBD, most likely related to an assumption of a uniform branching process in the TD compared with a birth-death process assumed in the FBD. This is the first study to combine morphological and DNA sequence data from extinct and extant primates to infer evolutionary relationships and divergence times, and our results shed new light on the tempo of lemur evolution and the efficacy of combined phylogenetic analyses. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Fossil DCN in Orion-KL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mangum, J.G.; Plambeck, R.L.; Wootten, A.

    1991-01-01

    The J = 1 - 0 transition of DCN was mapped toward Orion-KL with the BIMA array. With a synthesized beam width of 7.6 arcsec, emission from the hot core, compact ridge, and northern cloud regions was identified. Over half of the integrated DCN emission detected originates from the hot core component, with progressively smaller contributions from the compact ridge and northern cloud. The DCN fractional abundance is 10 to the -9th in the hot core, 4 x 10 to the -10th in the compact ridge, and 2 x 10 to the -10th in the northern cloud; it is estimated that the corresponding DCN/HCN ratios are about 0.005, 0.02, and 0.02. Chemical models suggest that such high DCN/HCN abundance ratios are produced only in clouds colder than about 20 K. Since the present temperatures near Orion-KL are 50-275 K, it is evident that most of the DCN formed before this region was heated by massive star formation. Much of the fossil DCN which is now observed may have sublimated from icy grain mantles. 32 refs

  2. Fossil fuels, uranium, and the energy crisis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Playford, P E

    1977-01-01

    Relevant data on the world energy picture are presented to indicate present energy sources and resources, especially fossil fuels and the role of uranium in energy production, with some predictions for the future. World energy is presently being derived from petroleum (some 62%), coal (31%), hydropower (6%), and nuclear (1%). The fundamental cause of the present world energy crisis is attributed to the increase in consumption of petroleum over the past 20 yr, compared with the relatively small size and unequal distribution of the world's remaining reserves. The reserves/production ratio for petroleum has fallen steadily from a general level of 60 to 80 yr from 1920 to 1955, to about 31 yr today. New oil is becoming harder and more expensive to find and produce, the size of discoveries is declining. There is no reason to believe that this trend will be substantially altered, and production is expected to begin to decline between 1985 and 1990. Gas resources also are expected to fall short after the mid-1980s. Coal reserves are enormous, but their full utilization is doubtful because of economic and environmental problems. Tar sands and oil shale resources are potentially major sources of oil, and they are expected to become more competitive with petroleum as higher oil prices occur.

  3. Nuclear energy and the fossil fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Folinsbee, R E

    1970-01-01

    The energy phenomenon of the first half of this century has been the increase in the use of petroleum and natural gas as fuels. World demand for petroleum energy has been increasing at the rate of 11% per yr. This demand is unsustainable, for the supply, as with any exhaustible resource, is limited. The continental energy policy is essentially one of integrating the North American supply and demand picture for the fossil fuels, using oil and gas from the interior of the continent to supply demand from the interior and using overseas supplies, up the limit of national security, for energy users farthest removed from these sources. The economics of expensive pipeline transportation as against cheap supertankers dictates this policy. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the fuel of the future will be nuclear, and for this century almost entirely the energy of fission rather than of fusion. Recent estimates suggest that as much as 50% of the energy for the U.S. will be nuclear by the year 2,000, and for Canada the more modest National Energy Board estimate holds that in 1990, 35% of Canadian electric generation will be by nuclear power reactors concentrated in the fuel-starved province of Ontario. (17 refs.)

  4. Radiation exposures due to fossil fuel combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Harold L.

    The current consensus regarding the potential radiation exposures resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels is examined. Sources, releases and potential doses to humans are discussed, both for power plants and waste materials. It is concluded that the radiation exposure to most individuals from any pathway is probably insignificant, i.e. only a tiny fraction of the dose received from natural sources in soil and building materials. Any small dose that may result from power-plant emissions will most likely be from inhalation of the small insoluble ash particles from the more poorly controlled plants burning higher than average activity fuel, rather than from direct or indirect ingestion of food grown on contaminated soil. One potentially significant pathway for exposure to humans that requires further evaluation is the effect on indoor external γ-radiation levels resulting from the use of flyash in building materials. The combustion of natural gas in private dwellings is also discussed, and the radiological consequences are concluded to be generally insignificant, except under certain extraordinary circumstances.

  5. Modeling neck mobility in fossil turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Hinz, Juliane K; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Volpato, Virginie; Natchev, Nikolay; Joyce, Walter G

    2015-05-01

    Turtles have the unparalleled ability to retract their heads and necks within their shell but little is known about the evolution of this trait. Extensive analysis of neck mobility in turtles using radiographs, CT scans, and morphometry reveals that basal turtles possessed less mobility in the neck relative to their extant relatives, although the anatomical prerequisites for modern mobility were already established. Many extant turtles are able to achieve hypermobility by dislocating the central articulations, which raises cautions about reconstructing the mobility of fossil vertebrates. A 3D-model of the Late Triassic turtle Proganochelys quenstedti reveals that this early stem turtle was able to retract its head by tucking it sideways below the shell. The simple ventrolateral bend seen in this stem turtle, however, contrasts with the complex double-bend of extant turtles. The initial evolution of neck retraction therefore occurred in a near-synchrony with the origin of the turtle shell as a place to hide the unprotected neck. In this early, simplified retraction mode, the conical osteoderms on the neck provided further protection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Divergence time estimates of mammals from molecular clocks and fossils: relevance of new fossil finds from India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, G V R

    2009-11-01

    This paper presents a brief review of recent advances in the classification of mammals at higher levels using fossils and molecular clocks. It also discusses latest fossil discoveries from the Cretaceous - Eocene (66-55 m.y.) rocks of India and their relevance to our current understanding of placental mammal origins and diversifications.

  7. The first evidence of trace fossils and pseudo-fossils in the continental interlava volcaniclastic sediments on the Faroe Islands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorný, R.; Krmíček, Lukáš; Árting, U. E.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 1 (2015), s. 45-57 ISSN 2245-7070 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Faroe Islands * trace fossils * pseudo- fossils * volcaniclastic sediments Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.889, year: 2015 http://2dgf.dk/xpdf/bull63-45-57.pdf

  8. Mineralogical, crystallographic and redox features of the earliest stages of fluid alteration in CM chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatelli, Isabella; Marrocchi, Yves; Mugnaioli, Enrico; Bourdelle, Franck; Gounelle, Matthieu

    2017-07-01

    The CM chondrites represent the largest group of hydrated meteorites and span a wide range of conditions, from less altered (i.e., CM2) down to heavily altered (i.e., CM1). The Paris chondrite is considered the least altered CM and thus enables the earliest stages of aqueous alteration processes to be deciphered. Here, we report results from a nanoscale study of tochilinite/cronstedtite intergrowths (TCIs) in Paris-TCIs being the emblematic secondary mineral assemblages of CM chondrites, formed from the alteration of Fe-Ni metal beads (type-I TCIs) and anhydrous silicates (type-II TCIs). We combined high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy and electron diffraction tomography to characterize the crystal structure, crystal chemistry and redox state of TCIs. The data obtained are useful to reconstruct the alteration conditions of Paris and to compare them with those of other meteorites. Our results show that tochilinite in Paris is characterized by a high hydroxide layer content (n = 2.1-2.2) regardless of the silicate precursors. When examined alongside other CMs, it appears that the hydroxide layer and iron contents of tochilinites correlate with the degree of alteration experienced by the chondrites. The Fe3+/ΣFe ratios of TCIs are high: 8-15% in tochilinite, 33-60% in cronstedtite and 70-80% in hydroxides. These observations suggest that alteration of CM chondrites took place under oxidizing conditions that could have been induced by significant H2 release during serpentinization. Similar results were recently reported in CR chondrites (Le Guillou et al., 2015), suggesting that the process(es) controlling the redox state of the secondary mineral assemblages were quite similar in the CM and CR parent bodies despite the different alteration conditions. According to our mineralogical and crystallographic survey, the formation of TCIs in Paris occurred at temperatures lower than 100 °C, under neutral, slightly alkaline

  9. Exploitation of the Vistula River from earliest times to the outbreak of World War II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Marcin Duchnowski

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the earliest times, the Vistula River has been an artery used for movement of people, commodities and cultures. The settlement network that began to develop along it constituted the foundation of the emerging Polish state in the Early Middle Ages. In the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights appeared downriver. After the outbreak of Prussia and Gdańsk Pomerania, they formed a state with a powerful economy and army. During their reign along the Vistula River (Wisła, many castles and fortified towns guarding its particular sections were erected. After the end of the Thirteen Years’ War (1466, almost the whole river with its tributaries was incorporated within the limits of Poland or countries recognising its authority. From the middle of the 16th century to the mid-17th century, the Vistula River performed the role of the main Polish trade route for many products sent to Western European countries through Gdańsk. The city was then experiencing the apogee of its magnificence. Cereals were the most important commodity back then. The gentry – the producers – and many towns intermediating in trade were growing rich thanks to the good economic situation. Then, the rich folklore of raftsmen immortalised by poets and pictured by painters came into being. In the 18th century, changes in agriculture in Western European countries and increasing competition caused depression in the export of Polish cereals. In addition, the partitions of Poland affected its balance. Because of this, the Vistula River flowed through three states: Austria, Russia and Prussia. All of them conducted separate policies concerning the river, which caused its decline as an important European water artery. In the 19th century, it remained unregulated. Germans performed the most works in the lower course of the river, while Russians did the least in its middle course. In the period of Second Polish Republic, the revived state had new needs, thus river development was not

  10. Fossil Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) as Paleothermometers in the African Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggermont, H.; Heiri, O.; Russell, J.; Vuille, M.; Audenaert, L.; Klaassen, G.; Verschuren, D.

    2008-12-01

    Reconstruction of Africa's temperature history from natural climate archives such as lake sediments is essential to amend the current scarcity of information on natural tropical climate and ecosystem variability. Chironomids are well-established paleothermometers in north-temperate/boreal regions, but their potential in tropical lakes has never before been assessed. We surveyed sub-fossil chironomid assemblages in surface sediments from 65 lakes and permanent pools in southwestern Uganda and central/southern Kenya, spanning elevations between 489 and 4575 m asl. Using various subsets of lakes and corresponding Surface-Water Temperatures (SWTemp) and Mean Annual Air Temperatures (MATemp), we developed a series of inference models for quantitative paleotemperature reconstruction. Models using both low-, mid- and high-elevation sites suffer to some extent from the small number of samples between 2500 and 3500 m asl, and from the presence of ecologically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable taxa. Models confined to mountain sites produce poorer error statistics, but are less prone to the biogeographical and taxonomic complexities associated with long climatic gradients. Overall, error statistics compare favourably with those of inference models developed for temperate regions, indicating that fossil assemblages of African Chironomidae can be valuable indicators of past temperature change. We subsequently used these models to evaluate whether high-elevation lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains (>3000 m asl) have been impacted by climate warming in recent centuries by comparing temperatures inferred from chironomid assemblages in modern sediments with those derived from chironomid assemblages in sediments deposited within or briefly after the Little Ice Age (1270-1850 AD). Depending on the model used, between 44 and 63% of the 16 lakes studied indicate significantly warmer temperatures in recent times (corresponding with an average MATemp rise of 0.88 ° C, and

  11. White matter abnormalities in treatment-naive adolescents at the earliest stages of Anorexia Nervosa: A diffusion tensor imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudio, Santino; Quattrocchi, Carlo Cosimo; Piervincenzi, Claudia; Zobel, Bruno Beomonte; Montecchi, Francesca Romana; Dakanalis, Antonios; Riva, Giuseppe; Carducci, Filippo

    2017-08-30

    Few studies have examined white matter (WM) integrity in long-lasting Anorexia Nervosa (AN) patients using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). In this paper, we investigated WM integrity at the earliest stages of AN (i.e. less than 6 months duration). Fourteen treatment-naive female adolescents with AN restrictive type (AN-r) in its earliest stages and 15 age-matched healthy females received brain MRI. Fractional Anisotropy (FA), Axial Diffusivity (AD), Radial diffusivity (RD), and Mean Diffusivity (MD) maps were computed from DTI data using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics analysis. AN-r patients showed FA decreases compared to controls (p FWE < 0.05) mainly in left anterior and superior corona radiata and left superior longitudinal fasciculus. AN-r patients also showed decreased AD in superior longitudinal fasciculus bilaterally and left superior and anterior corona radiata, (p FWE < 0.05). No significant differences were found in RD and MD values between the two groups. FA and AD integrity appears to be specifically affected at the earliest stages of AN. Alterations in the microstructural properties of the above mentioned tracts, also involved in cognitive control and visual perception and processing, may be early mechanisms of vulnerability/resilience of WM in AN and sustain the key symptoms of AN, such as impaired cognitive flexibility and body image distortion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. An evaluation of fossil tip-dating versus node-age calibrations in tetraodontiform fishes (Teleostei: Percomorphaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcila, Dahiana; Alexander Pyron, R; Tyler, James C; Ortí, Guillermo; Betancur-R, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Time-calibrated phylogenies based on molecular data provide a framework for comparative studies. Calibration methods to combine fossil information with molecular phylogenies are, however, under active development, often generating disagreement about the best way to incorporate paleontological data into these analyses. This study provides an empirical comparison of the most widely used approach based on node-dating priors for relaxed clocks implemented in the programs BEAST and MrBayes, with two recently proposed improvements: one using a new fossilized birth-death process model for node dating (implemented in the program DPPDiv), and the other using a total-evidence or tip-dating method (implemented in MrBayes and BEAST). These methods are applied herein to tetraodontiform fishes, a diverse group of living and extinct taxa that features one of the most extensive fossil records among teleosts. Previous estimates of time-calibrated phylogenies of tetraodontiforms using node-dating methods reported disparate estimates for their age of origin, ranging from the late Jurassic to the early Paleocene (ca. 150-59Ma). We analyzed a comprehensive dataset with 16 loci and 210 morphological characters, including 131 taxa (95 extant and 36 fossil species) representing all families of fossil and extant tetraodontiforms, under different molecular clock calibration approaches. Results from node-dating methods produced consistently younger ages than the tip-dating approaches. The older ages inferred by tip dating imply an unlikely early-late Jurassic (ca. 185-119Ma) origin for this order and the existence of extended ghost lineages in their fossil record. Node-based methods, by contrast, produce time estimates that are more consistent with the stratigraphic record, suggesting a late Cretaceous (ca. 86-96Ma) origin. We show that the precision of clade age estimates using tip dating increases with the number of fossils analyzed and with the proximity of fossil taxa to the node under

  13. Management of fossil natural resources: the impossible challenge?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loubens, Audrey

    2013-10-01

    A set of articles addresses various issues related to fossil energies and resources. A first set addresses the general context of fossil resources: the forced wedding between fossil energies and the environment (discussion of an annual report by the IEA on coal reserves), the availability of fossil fuels (discussion about the high share of fossil fuel in an always more renewable world). A second set addresses how to transform resources into reserves: discussion of the annual IEA report on conventional oil and gas reserves, on unconventional oil and gas reserves, and on coal reserves. The next set is a prospective one, and addresses the question of a scenario by 2040: the extremely high tension between fossil resources and geopolitical reality, and the question of the possibility of a world energy transition (discussions of the World Energy Outlook published by the IEA). Other issues are addressed by the last set of articles: the abundance of fossil energies obscures the potential of renewable energies, the evolution of the chemical industry towards alternative solutions in order to limit the use of hydrocarbons, and the territorial claims by Russia in the Arctic region