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Seismic zones, river deltas, landslides, fossil reptiles, and more new Geology science
Date:3/6/2012

constructed. The fate of the earliest Ediacaran animals has been a subject of debate, with many suggesting that they all went extinct just before the Cambrian. This discovery shows that they did not. Coronacollina acula lived on the sea floor. It is shaped like a thimble to which at least four 30-40-centimeter-long needle-like "spicules" were attached, and most likely held itself up by these spicules. Clites and colleagues believe it ingested food in the same manner a sponge and that it was incapable of locomotion. The finding provides insight into the evolution of life -- particularly, early life -- on the planet, why animals go extinct, and how organisms respond to environmental changes. The discovery also can help scientists recognize life elsewhere in the universe.


Incipient melt segregation as preserved in subaqueous pyroclasts
C. Ian Schipper et al., Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTO), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifi que (CNRS), Universit d'Orlans, 1a rue de la Frollerie, Orlans Cedex 2, 45071, France. Published online 28 Feb. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G32582.1.

Magma crystallization yields both the crystals themselves and a chemically evolved residual melt. Melt segregation is the process by which this residual melt may physically separate from the growing network of crystals with which it coevolved. Melt segregation occurs over many time and length scales and can explain many geologic phenomena, such as the generation of large volumes of crystal-free silicic melt and segregation structures within lava flows. C. Ian Schipper of the Universite d'Orleans, France, and colleagues present melt segregation structures of an embryonic type in subaqueous pyroclasts. These structures, termed intravesicular extrusions, are balloon-like protrusions of crystal-free basaltic glass that penetrate the walls of preformed vesicles locked in a crystal rich groundmass. Their analysis shows that extrusions represent the movement
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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