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April 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Date:3/31/2009

ousand years ago were followed by the coldest part of the LGIT that lasted until about 11.5 thousand years ago. They interpret the apparent blend of "Greenlandic" and "Antarctic" cold phases as evidence for their co-occurrence in the southern middle latitudes in Patagonia, and hypothesize that the position of the Antarctic Polar Front modulated the strength of these cold events in regions to the north or south of it.


GSA Today Science Article

Understanding the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE): Influences of paleogeography, paleoclimate, or paleoecology?
Thomas Servais et al., Equipe "Paleontologie et Paleogeographie du Paleozoique," UMR 8157 du CNRS "Geosystemes," Universite de Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France

The Cambrian "explosion" of multi-cellular life is perhaps the most significant and best known of the major evolutionary events in Earth's history. But what transpired after the Cambrian explosion? Did the species and life forms that sprang out of the Cambrian evolve steadily throughout the remainder of the Paleozoic? The work of Thomas Servais and his international team of colleagues suggests that most of the fauna and flora that characterized the Paleozoic period owed their existence not to the Cambrian explosion, but to an equally abrupt and perhaps even more dramatic evolutionary event: The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, or GOBE. About 490 million years ago, at a time when many of the Cambrian fauna were already extinct or in decline, a massive, even catastrophic growth in the number and variety of marine species began. The previously largely uninhabited water column became thick with plankton and the predators that fed on them, while the lifeless substrate to the ocean floor suddenly teamed with burrowing fauna. It was the GOBE that provided Earth with the bulk of the fauna that were to thrive in and characterize the Paleozoic era. But what triggered the GOBE, why was
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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