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Fossil find resolves ancient extinction mystery古

(2010-05-13 19:55:56)
标签:

传媒

科学

科技

教育

校园

it

杂谈

古老

化石

寒武纪早期

灭绝之谜

矿物质

分类: 教育

Fossil find resolves ancient extinction mystery古老的化石发现解决灭绝之谜 
 

Fossil <wbr>find <wbr>resolves <wbr>ancient <wbr>extinction <wbr>mystery古

这些化石都保存在色彩鲜艳的矿物质


Researchers have revealed remarkably well preserved fossils of soft-bodied marine creatures that are between 470 and 480 million years old. 研究人员已经发现保存完好的古老化石软万年健全海洋生物的470和480之间。

Prior to this find, scientists were unsure whether such creatures died out in an extinction event during an earlier period known as the Cambrian.在此之前发现,科学家们不能确定这种生物灭绝事件中死亡一出在一个名为的寒武纪早期。

The fossils were preserved in rocks formed by layers of ancient marine mud in south-eastern Morocco.这些化石都保存在由古代东南部摩洛哥海泥层形成的岩石。

They are described in the latest issue of the journal Nature.他们被描述在最新一期自然杂志。

The research team that studied the fossils described them as marine animals that lived during the early part of a period that followed the Cambrian, known as the Ordovician.该研究小组认为,研究这些化石形容,在随后的一个时期的寒武系,奥陶系已知的早期的海洋动物生活的一部分他们。

Professor Derek Briggs from Yale University in New Haven, US, who was an author of the study, told BBC News that the discovery provided "a much more complete record of early marine life than we've every had before".德里克教授在纽黑文耶鲁大学,美国,谁是该研究报告的作者大学布里格斯,告诉BBC新闻说,这项发现提供了“一个早期海洋生物更完整的记录每一个比我们以前”有。

The creatures, he explained, closely matched those found in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, a locality famous for yielding rare fossils of soft-bodied marine creatures from the Middle Cambrian period.的产物,他解释说,密切配合在不列颠哥伦比亚伯吉斯页岩,为高产寒武纪时期从中东软健全的海洋生物化石发现的著名的地方。

"There was an anomaly in the fossil record," said Dr Peter Van Roy, the lead researcher on the study, who is also based at Yale University. “有人在化石记录异常,医生说:”彼得凡罗伊,对学习,谁也于耶鲁大学的首席研究员。 "Most of these animals just seemed to disappear at the end of the Middle Cambrian." “这些动物大多只是似乎消失在中寒武世的结束。”

The transition between the Cambrian and the Ordovician periods is crucial in evolutionary history.之间的寒武系和奥陶系过渡时期是在进化史上的关键。

The "Cambrian explosion" saw the sudden appearance of all the major animal groups.在“寒武纪大爆发”看到的所有重大动物群体的突然出现。 It was followed by the "great Ordovician biodiversification event" when the number of marine animal groups increased exponentially over a period of 25 million years.其次是“伟大的奥陶系生物多样化事件”时的海洋动物群体数量增加了25万年的时间呈指数增长。

Professor Briggs explained: "[These specimens have] shown that some of the organisms that we thought were exclusive to Cambrian actually persisted until the Ordovician."布里格斯教授解释说:“[这些标本]表明,生物体,我们觉得有些是独有的,其实一直持续到寒武奥陶系。”

Preserving life's record 维护生命的纪录

Fossil <wbr>find <wbr>resolves <wbr>ancient <wbr>extinction <wbr>mystery古


Dr Van Roy created illustrations of the ancient marine creatures凡罗伊博士创造了古老的海洋生物插图 
These specimens show that poor fossil preservation, rather than mass extinction, was probably responsible for this gap in the fossil record.这些化石标本显示,贫穷的保护,而不是大规模的灭绝,可能是这个化石记录的空白在负责。

Because hard shells fossilise, and are therefore more readily preserved than soft tissue, scientists had an incomplete and biased view of the marine life that existed during the Ordovician.由于封存坚硬的外壳,因此比软组织更容易保存,科学家们对海洋生物的存在,在奥陶系不完整和有偏见的观点。

But the conditions at this Moroccan site, Professor Briggs explained, were special.但在这个摩洛哥网站的条件下,布里格斯教授解释说,是特别的。

"Very thick" marine muds, he said, were laid down in the deep ocean, trapping the creatures' bodies below the influence of storms. “很厚的”海洋泥,他说,奠定了在深海下,捕捉低于风暴影响动物的尸体。

These mud layers also excluded oxygen, creating conditions conducive to forming some of the minerals in which fossils are preserved.这些淤泥层也排除氧气,创造有利条件形成的,其中一些矿物化石得以保存。

Dr Van Roy, who has been working at this site in for around a decade, discovered this particular group of fossils just one year ago.凡罗伊博士,谁一直在这个网站在10年左右的工作,发现仅在一年以前的这个特殊群体的化石。

But he expects to find even more and he and his team have planned further expeditions to Morocco.但他希望能够找到更多的,他和他的团队已计划进一步考察摩洛哥。 "We're only scratching the surface," he said. “我们只作表面文章,”他说。

"I'm certain there will be more spectacular fossils coming out of this site in the near future." “我敢肯定会有更可观的化石走出这个网站在不久的将来。”

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