Developing Marine Ecosystems (February 11-15)

Your first lecture examination is on Friday, February 15. For preparation, linked here is a sample test and the Fall 2018 student HOL test #1 answers. I highly recommend reading it through. The student answers are not necessarily the best, but they were good enough to receive full credit. Note that there are always topics we covered in the past that we may not have done this semester, and vice versa. Test seating: Students with last names starting with A through L in Room 205 (our regular room); M-Z in Room 216 (across the lobby). Test doors open at 7:50 a.m.; all tests due at 8:50 a.m.

Our topic this week is the rise of animal life and the early development of marine communities. A good place to start is with the Wikipedia page on the Ediacaran Biota. The Wikipedia pages on all these topics are good and authoritative. Another example is the Cambrian article.

We will spend time on the appearance of skeleton-bearing invertebrates in the Cambrian. I hope you enjoy the Burgess Shale (this is the Smithsonian’s main page on it), found in the Middle Cambrian. Here is the Smithsonian’s Burgess Shale reconstructed images page. (I was fortunate to visit the Burgess Shale quarries in British Columbia.) This virtual submarine website from the Royal Ontario Museum has great animated images of the Burgess Shale fauna. A new site of Burgess Shale-type fossils in Kootenay National Park in Canada was announced recently. It may soon rival the original for number and diversity of soft-bodied fossils.

You may enjoy this blog post from the superlative science writer Carl Zimmer on the Cambrian animals. (The illustrations by Quade Paul are stunning.) Zimmer also has a New York Times article on new ideas about “Evolution’s Big Bang” in the Cambrian.

Anomalocaridid “arm” from the Burgess Shale, Walcott Quarry, British Columbia, Canada.

Geology in the News –

Dr. Rick Lehtinen recently named a new frog species after our treasured College of Wooster. This is an honor for Wooster and an accomplishment for Dr. Lehtinen. Guibemantis woosteri is a cute little critter who lives in Madagascar.

Here is a very cool story about an ambitious experiment in natural selection. It is long, but worth reading. You should recognize all the principles involved.

Later this month the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will attempt to collect a sample from the asteroid Ryugu and return it to Earth. Fantastic!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.