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Ancient whale coprolites, fault slickensides, shergottites, Ediacara, and Cascadia
Date:7/31/2013

tion of animals. A recent reinterpretation of the eponymous Ediacara Member of South Australia as paleosols and Ediacara fossils as lichens or microbial colonies that lived on terrestrial soils, if correct, questions the relevance of the Ediacara biota to our understanding of early marine ecosystems. This reinterpretation, however, is not supported by comparative paleobiological and functional morphological analysis. The Ediacara Member shares a number of fossil forms with Ediacaran-age assemblages preserved in unequivocally marine sediments elsewhere in the world, including marine black shales in South China. In addition, Ediacara fossils show no morphological adaptions to address the most fundamental challenges for terrestrial life, for example, mechanical support and desiccation. Thus, comparative paleobiological and functional morphological data support the conventional interpretation that the Ediacara biota records the marine ecosystems just prior to the Cambrian explosion of animals.


Water and the composition of Martian magmas
J. Brian Balta (corresponding) and Harry Y. McSween, Jr., Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, 1412 Circle Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA. Published online ahead of print 30 July 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34714.1.

Shergottites are the most common type of martian meteorite. Their composition is basaltic, similar to igneous rocks from Iceland and Hawaii, but with some important differences. When the shergottites are dated using common isotope-decay techniques, they generally are found to be only a few hundred-million years old. On Mars, the only sources of igneous rocks of that age are the large volcanoes, such as Olympus Mons, which are also made of basalt. But, when J. Brian Balta and Harry Y McSween Jr. compare the shergottites to measurements of the composition of those volcanoes by orbit
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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