Navigation Links
New study finds link between marine algae and whale diversity over time
Date:2/19/2010

FAIRFAX, Va.A new paper by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Otago in New Zealand shows a strong link between the diversity of organisms at the bottom of the food chain and the diversity of mammals at the top.

Mark D. Uhen, a geologist at Mason, says that throughout the last 30 million years, changes in the diversity of whale species living at any given time period correlates with the evolution and diversification of diatoms, tiny, abundant algae that live in the ocean. In the paper "Climate, Critters, and Cetaceans: Cenozoic Drivers of the Evolution of Modern Whales," which was published in the latest issue of Science, Uhen and co-author Felix G. Mark of Otago show that the more kinds of diatoms living in a time period, the more kinds of whales there are.

Looking at thousands of published accounts of whale fossil records, the researchers assembled the records in a database to analyze and pinpoint the various fossils. The fossil records show a direct link between the productivity of the ocean and the variety of whale fossils. Uhen says they also found a correlation between global changes and fossil variety.

"This study shows that if we look at the bottom of the food chain, it might tell you something about the top," says Uhen. "Diatoms are key primary producers in the modern ocean, and thus help to form the base of the marine food chain. The fossil record clearly shows that diatoms and whales rose and fell in diversity together during the last 30 million years."

Uhen says this is the first time that such a correlation has been shown. Though scientists in the past have tried to answer the question of how the modern diversity of whale and dolphins arise, this question has been difficult to answer. The fossil record might not truly reflect evolutionary history, says Uhen. "Is it possible that the diversity of fossils we find through geological time might really just reflect the amount of preserved sedimentary rock paleontologists can search the more rock there is, the more fossils we find? This comprehensive study has shown that the diversity of these fossils is in fact not driven by the sedimentary rock record."

The researchers hope these findings will encourage other specialists to look at other animals with a similar narrow ecology to see if this link translates.

Uhen is a term assistant professor in Mason's Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences and is an expert in marine mammal fossils. In the future, he hopes to conduct research on how the body size of whales changes over time, and how whales became the largest living organisms in the world.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara Laskowski
tlaskows@gmu.edu
703-993-8815
George Mason University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit ... Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein ... dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um ... der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... ABI Research, the leader in transformative ... market will reach more than $30 billion by ... Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the ... reach two billion shipments by 2021 at a ... Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is also ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ... at CeBIT in Hanover next week.   ... will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... and manufacturing company, today announced several positive developments that position the Company for ... a result of the transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has become a rising hotspot for specialized ... of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, such as Illumina, Hewlett-Packard, Qualcomm and ... intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off with an olive oil and salt-tasting ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The Ankle Plating ... options designed to address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. This system ... Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of seven plate families that span the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) ... National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach to interoperability that ... when and where it was needed. The organization of health informatics professionals said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: