In my email several months ago Casey Burns, a field associate with the California Academy of Science, sent me a fantastic find. The photo is a potential carnivorous sponge from the Eocene, roughly 55 million to 39 million years ago Eocene/Oligocene boundary at 33 million years ago. The fossil is from the well-known Mist crinoid . . . → Read More: Fossil Carnivorous Sponge?
An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool! Heightened biodiversity may make an ecosystem more stabile and robust. One of the reasons for this is that high biodiversity may create redundant species, i.e. species that serve a similar ecological role in the ecosystem. A loss of . . . → Read More: Tide Pool: Cephalopods, Ash, and Sulphur Are to Blame
An occasional series where we briefly report 3 new studies and tell you why they are cool! A new report from Lambert et al. reports on a new fossil sperm whale skull, teeth, and mandible from Peru. Dating back to the 12-13 Mya from the Middle Miocene, Leviathan melvillei possessed a 3 meter (~10 feet) . . . → Read More: The Tide Pool: Super Sperm Whales, Extinction Debts, and Vent Conservation
This video from Nature Video Channel on Youtube is complimentary to a recent study showing “… that certain body features rot away before others – and that the bits that are first to go are the most useful to palaeontologists. This decay bias makes it much more difficult to distinguish them from their ancestors . . . → Read More: Rotting Lamprey Implications
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development. –Aristotle To understand the biogeography of the modern deep sea, we must examine the history of the ocean floor and the establishment of deep-sea fauna. The paleoceanography of the deep-sea is an account of intense fluctuations in temperature, oxygen, and circulation. In the past . . . → Read More: The Origins of Deep-Sea Fauna
From Matzke-Karasz et al. 2009. A. Zenker Organ, a specialized organ modified from the vas deferen that serves asa pump for giant sperm. B&C The heavily coiled giant sperm with anteriour (an) and posterior (po) ends shown. Barnacles may have big penises but ostracodes of the superfamily Cypridoidea have giant sperm. Ostracode range are mostly . . . → Read More: 100 Million Year Old Giant Sperm