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Date:11/14/2012

drew B. Smith (corresponding) and Roger B.J. Benson, Dept. of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK. Posted online 13 November 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33773.1.

The diversity of fossils recorded by paleontologists from the geological record is the product of two factors -- original biodiversity and the completeness of the geological rock record that survives today to be sampled. Andrew B. Smith and Roger B.J. Benson show that species diversity of Cretaceous echinoids can be predicted with a high degree of precision from proxies for marine sedimentary bedrock area and habitat diversity that is captured by the rock record. However, they found no simple relationships to link surviving bedrock area to the original area over which marine sediments were deposited, or the surviving lithofacies diversity to the range of habitats that once existed. Rather, the completeness of the rock record varies markedly during large-scale sea level cycles. The ability to sample fairly across a broad range of habitats is as crucial as the ability to sample fairly within those habitats for the accurate estimation of paleodiversity, but large-scale sea level cycles clearly hinder the former.


Recurrent Early Triassic ocean anoxia

S.E. Grasby et al., Geological Survey of Canada-Calgary, Natural Resources Canada, 3303 33rd Street N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2L 2A7, Canada. Posted online 13 Nov. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33599.1.

The greatest extinction event in Earth's history, the Latest Permian Extinction, saw a loss of more than 90% of the planet's species. Second to the mystery of what caused this extinction is why life on Earth took a prolonged five-million years to recover (referred to as the Early Triassic period). Previous work has suggested that the world's oceans had remained anoxic and uninhabitable during this time (no dissolved oxygen in sea water for life). However, this new work by S.E. Grasby and colleagues dem
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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