Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new Oxford University research has found.
According to our results, all non-bilaterian phyla, as well as total-group Bilateria, evolved in an ancient radiation during a geologically relatively short time span, before the onset of long-term global glaciations (“Snowball Earth”; ~720–635 Ma). Importantly, this result appears robust to alterations of a number of important analytical variables, such as models of among-lineage rate variation and sets of fossil calibrations used.
Rocks alone seem to show that the breakup happened 180 million years ago. But a team of Australian scientists think that you should be able to see the split and continuing shifts written into the history of how animals have evolved. So that’s what the researchers did, and they accomplished this by analyzing a large group of species’ evolution and compared them to the date of the breakup of Pangea.
A new fossil mushroom is described and illustrated from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of northeast Brazil. Gondwanagaricites magnificus gen. et sp. nov. is remarkable for its exceptional preservation as a mineralized replacement in laminated limestone, as all other fossil mushrooms are known from amber inclusions. Gondwanagaricites represents the oldest fossil mushroom to date and the first fossil mushroom from Gondwana.
As slabs of Earth’s crust decend into the mantle, they encounter a zone about 1,100 kilometers down where the mantle rock abruptly becomes stiffer, flowing less easily. Similarly, rising plumes of molten rock encounter the same layer and have difficulty punching through from below.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse