Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossilized Fish Act As Ancient Thermometer

Date:
May 5, 2003
Source:
St. Lawrence University
Summary:
Fossilized fish bones may help scientists to reconstruct the temperatures of 65 million years ago, according to a paper in this week's Nature, co-authored by colleagues representing three generations of researchers.

CANTON, N.Y. - Fossilized fish bones may help scientists to reconstruct the temperatures of 65 million years ago, according to a paper in this week's Nature, co-authored by colleagues representing three generations of researchers.

Related Articles


St. Lawrence University alumnus Scott J. Carpenter of the University of Iowa, Iowa City; Chapin Professor of Geology J. Mark Erickson, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; and F.D. "Bud" Holland Jr., professor emeritus, department of geology and geological engineering, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, co-authored the paper, which compared the carbon, oxygen and strontium isotope ratios of four fossils collected from the Fox Hills Formation of South Dakota. The relics were the calcium carbonate ear stones belonging to Vorhisia vulpes, a Late Cretaceous fish that spawned in brackish water before migrating to open marine waters of the Western Interior Seaway of North America. The fossils suggest that the seawater temperature in this region was an ambient 18 degrees, Centigrade. This is consistent with previous temperature estimates that have used different techniques. Sediments from the Western Interior yield exceptionally well-preserved fossils that serve as proxies for the rapid climate change that occurred 67-65 million years ago.

Carpenter, research scientist in the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and associate director of the Paul H. Nelson Stable Isotope Laboratory, says that the work provides another piece of the paleo-climate puzzle for the time period just prior to the end of the Cretaceous.

"This is the first published report of the life history of a Mesozoic age fish," Carpenter says. "This fish was thought to have lived in freshwater, but our analyses indicate that it never lived in freshwater."

The research is part of an ongoing collaboration to characterize the ecology and climate of North and South Dakota near the Cretaceous-Tertiary [K-T] Boundary.

"The preservation of fossils in the sediments from this area is unparalleled," Carpenter says. "Clam shells look like those collected on a beach today. This preservation is why these specimens can provide such detailed geochemical information."

The collaboration represents three generations of researchers. Holland was Erickson's dissertation advisor at the University of North Dakota. Erickson was Carpenter's advisor at St. Lawrence. Carpenter's undergraduate thesis and first publication, in 1988, was on the geochemistry of fossil-bearing concretions from the Fox Hills Formation of North Dakota.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by St. Lawrence University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

St. Lawrence University. "Fossilized Fish Act As Ancient Thermometer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084933.htm>.
St. Lawrence University. (2003, May 5). Fossilized Fish Act As Ancient Thermometer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084933.htm
St. Lawrence University. "Fossilized Fish Act As Ancient Thermometer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030505084933.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — Visitors take a trip down murderer memory lane at the Museum of Death located in the heart of Hollywood. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Major Clue Found In Amelia Earhart Mystery

Major Clue Found In Amelia Earhart Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) — Researchers believe they have identified a fragment from Amelia Earhart's plane. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dracula's Dungeon May Have Been Found in Turkey

Dracula's Dungeon May Have Been Found in Turkey

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) — Historians think they may have discovered a dungeon in Turkey where the Romanian prince who inspired Count Dracula was once held captive. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Doesn't Prove Megalodons Are Extinct, Never Needed To

Study Doesn't Prove Megalodons Are Extinct, Never Needed To

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) — How and why a study about when the giant prehistoric shark Megalodon went extinct got picked up as "proof" that it is. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins