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Latest Paleozoic Stories

2013-01-03 11:04:17

Of all the famous fossil localities in the world – Mongolia´s Flaming Cliffs, Tanzania´s Olduvai Gorge, Wyoming´s Green River, Germany´s Solnhöfn Quarry – perhaps none is as widely celebrated as British Columbia´s Burgess Shale. High in the Canadian Rockies, the Burgess Shale contains some of the oldest and most exquisitely detailed fossils of early life on Earth. Visiting the Burgess Shale requires some preparation – you must hire a...

Researchers Discover Ancient Tulip-like Creature In The Canadian Rockies
2012-01-20 07:49:18

A strange tulip-shaped creature discovered in half-a-billion-year-old rocks had a feeding system unlike any other animal, researchers reported this week. Officially named Siphusauctum gregarium, the fossils, unearthed from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies, reveal a peculiar creature roughly 7-8 inches long with a unique filter feeding system. The creature has a long stem with a bulbous cup-like structure -- similar to that of a tulip -- near the top that...

2011-12-01 15:00:00

Newly launched bilingual exhibition is the worldâs leading online Burgess Shale resource Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) December 01, 2011 Today the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Parks Canada announced the launch of the Burgess Shale online exhibition, as part of the Virtual Museum of Canada. The website provides, for the first time ever, an immersive journey into the world of the bizarre prehistoric creatures that formed the foundation for all animal life on Earth half a billion...

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2011-05-03 08:17:47

Extinction of fishes 360 million years ago created natural ecology experiment In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in the population of prey species. For the first time, scientists have observed the same dynamics in the fossil record, thanks to a mass extinction that decimated ocean life 360 million years ago. What was bad for fish was good for the fish's food, according to a paper published May 2 in Proceedings of the National...

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2011-02-18 10:45:00

Researchers use a ground-breaking technique that reveals a relationship between cooler temperatures and Earth's second largest mass extinction, which occurred about 450 million years ago In the Late Ordovician Period of Earth's geologic history, about 450 million years ago, more than 75 percent of marine species perished and Earth scientists have been seeking to discover what caused the extinction. It was the second largest in Earth's history. Now, using a new research method, investigators...

2011-02-07 15:55:13

Surprising new research shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complex"”structural materials containing protein and polysaccharide"”are present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era. Previously the oldest molecular signature of chitin-protein complex was discovered in 25 million year old Cenozoic fossils and remnants of structural protein have also been discovered in 80 million-year-old Mesozoic fossils. Carnegie's George Cody...

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2010-08-10 20:20:00

The Gondwana supercontinent underwent a 60-degree rotation across Earth's surface during the Early Cambrian period, according to new evidence uncovered by a team of Yale University geologists. Gondwana made up the southern half of Pangaea, the giant supercontinent that constituted the Earth's landmass before it broke up into the separate continents we see today. The study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Geology, has implications for the environmental conditions that existed...

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2010-03-31 08:36:48

"Blindsnakes are not very pretty, are rarely noticed, and are often mistaken for earthworms," admits Blair Hedges, professor of biology at Penn State University. "Nonetheless, they tell a very interesting evolutionary story." Hedges and Nicolas Vidal, of the Mus©um National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, are co-leaders of the team that discovered that blindsnakes are one of the few groups of organisms that inhabited Madagascar when it broke from India about 100 million years ago and are...

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2010-03-16 08:09:24

Nature abounds with examples of evolutionary arms races. Certain marine snails, for example, evolved thick shells and spines to avoid be eaten, but crabs and fish foiled the snails by developing shell-crushing claws and jaws. Common as such interactions may be, it's often difficult to trace their origins back in evolutionary time. Now, a study by University of Michigan paleontologist Tomasz Baumiller and colleagues finds that sea urchins have been preying on marine animals known as crinoids...

2009-11-11 17:13:27

Geochemical analysis of rare ancient soil produces new paleoclimate data The Congo Basin "” with its massive, lush tropical rain forest "” was far different 150 million to 200 million years ago. At that time Africa and South America were part of the single continent Gondwana. The Congo Basin was arid, with a small amount of seasonal rainfall, and few bushes or trees populated the landscape, according to a new geochemical analysis of rare ancient soils. The geochemical analysis...


Latest Paleozoic Reference Libraries

Bennett’s feather star, Oxycomanthus bennetti
2013-08-04 08:28:29

Bennett's feather star is a suspension feeder that grows to be about 1 foot with 31-120 arms extending upward from the body. The star catches the food, usually phytoplankton and zooplankton, with tubed feet located on the outside of the arms. Yellow, Brown, Green and Purple are the most common colors for the Bennett's feather star. The star will remain attached to the seabed by a stalk until it reaches maturity and then becomes free-living by breaking off from the stalk. The Bennett's...

Variable bushy feather star, Comaster Schlegelii
2013-05-18 06:46:30

The Variable bushy feather star is commonly found concealed on shallow water reefs in the western Pacific Ocean. The parts that will be most often seen are the fern-like arms. The arms start at the base with five rays then begin to divide from there. The arms are flexible due to the multiple calcium filled joints, also called ossicle; therefore if needed these arms could coil up and provide protection to the main body. Interestingly, if one arm should fall off, or perhaps pulled off, then two...

Noble feather star, Comaster nobilis
2013-05-18 06:36:19

The noble feather star (also known as the yellow feather star) reaches up to 15.75 inches in diameter with a cup-shaped body. There can be 35-40 arms extending out of the central part of the body. The arms are primarily yellow with the underside having a variation to include black, green, or white. The noble feather star feeds on food debris, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are microscopic organisms that are present mainly in the layer of the oceans that is...

Atrypa
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Atrypa (lampshell) is an extinct genus of brachiopod from the Late Ordovician stage (444 million years ago) to the Carboniferous stage (318 mya). It occurs abundantly as fossils in marine rocks. Fossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica. This animal has distinctive concentric growth lines and is unusual in that in some Devonian beds there are numerous remains of the pedicle (foot) valve, but very few of the brachial (upper) valve -- scientists speculate that strong ocean...

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Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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