Boulder, CO, USA - GEOLOGY covers multiple aspects of life on Earth, including extinctions and diversifications, "tool" use by the first creatures to walk on land, sirenians (manatees) in the Tethys-Mediterranean, the last refuge of the woolly mammoth, and Edwards Aquifer development as seen through cave spider DNA. Other topics include glaciation, mineralization, mineral decomposition, degassing, climate change, tectonics, volcanics, current velocity and seafloor structure, and giant earth-surface wind ripples. GSA TODAY focuses on the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.
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Hermit arthropods 500 million years ago?
James W. Hagadorn and Adolf Seilacher, Dept. of Geology, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002, USA. Pages 295-298.
When animals first crawled onto land, one of the greatest obstacles they had to contend with was figuring out how to breathe. No longer bathed in oxygen-rich marine waters, their gills would surely have dried out. Hagadorn and Seilacher have analyzed fossils from 500-million-year-old rocks that show one way these early pioneers may have dealt with this problem--the first terrestrial animals carried a shell on their backs. Like modern hermit crabs, these ancient pioneers had a scorpion-like body, and could stuff their abdomen into a coiled snail shell. One advantage of doing this
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