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New geology research explores intriguing questions
Date:12/18/2013

hat was so hot that it welded upon deposition, and covered an entire island in green volcanic glass, including steep slopes of up to 80 degrees. This work is important for helping understand volcanic hazards and to the wider density current community, such as those working on marine turbidity currents.


Cryptic coral-crinoid "hanging gardens" from the Middle Devonian of southern Morocco
Michal Jakubowicz et al., Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań, Poland; mjakub@amu.edu.pl; mjakubowicz87@gmail.com. Posted online ahead of print on 13 Dec. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G35217.1.

Despite being invaluable tools of paleoecological reconstructions of ancient marine benthic faunas, fossil cryptic (i.e., cavity-dwelling) communities remain poorly known, and their fossil record is very fragmentary. In the present contribution we report a discovery of an unusual and exceptionally well-preserved cryptic community of corals, crinoids, sponges and microbes developed in a submarine cavity of Devonian age in the Hamar Laghdad area (Morocco). The biota encrusted the cavity roof and grew predominantly in an upside-down position, forming spectacular "hanging gardens." The study provides new insights into the paleoecology and dynamics of Paleozoic cryptic assemblages. The investigated community differs strikingly from its both Paleozoic and modern analogues; it constitutes one of a very few known examples of fossil cryptic assemblages developed in relatively deep-water settings, and the first report of a cryptic paleoecosystem dominated by rugose corals. The results support the view that during the Middle Paleozoic there was no distinct polarization between open-surface and cryptic faunas in deep-water environm
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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