Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New fossil species reveals parental care of young from 450 million years ago

Date:
March 13, 2014
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
A portrait of prehistoric parenthood captured deep in the fossil record has been uncovered by an international team of scientists. The 'nursery in the sea' has revealed a species new to science -- with specimens preserved incubating their eggs together with probable hatched individuals. As a result, the team has named the new species Luprisca incuba after Lucina, goddess of childbirth, and alluding to the fact that the fossils are ancient and in each case the mother was literally sitting on her eggs.

This is the ostracod Luprisca incuba, showing limbs and eggs, from 450 million-year old-rocks of New York State, USA.
Credit: Siveter, David J., Tanaka, G., Farrell, C. Ϊ., Martin, M.J., Siveter, Derek J & Briggs, D.E.G.

A portrait of prehistoric parenthood captured deep in the fossil record has been uncovered by an international team of scientists led by University of Leicester geologist Professor David Siveter.

Related Articles


The 'nursery in the sea' has revealed a species new to science -- with specimens preserved incubating their eggs together with probable hatched individuals. As a result, the team has named the new species Luprisca incuba after Lucina, goddess of childbirth, and alluding to the fact that the fossils are ancient and in each case the mother was literally sitting on her eggs.

The find, published in the journal Current Biology, provides conclusive evidence of a reproductive and brood-care strategy conserved for at least 450 million years. It also represents the oldest confirmed occurrence of ostracods in the fossil record.

Professor Siveter, Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology at the University of Leicester, said: "This a very rare and exciting find from the fossil record. Only a handful of examples are known where eggs are fossilized and associated with the parent. This discovery tells us that these ancient tiny marine crustaceans took particular care of their brood in exactly the same way as their living relatives."

The team from the UK, USA and Japan has discovered a new and scientifically important species of a fossil ostracod- an animal group related to shrimps, lobsters and crabs -- in mudstone rocks from New York State, USA, dating back to the Ordovician period of geological time. Ostracods are tiny crustaceans known from thousands of living species in oceans to rivers, lakes and ponds today and from countless fossil shells.

The newly discovered fossils are two to three millimetres long and are especially informative because they are exceptionally well preserved, complete with not only the shell but also the soft parts of the animal that in all but very rare cases are lost to the fossil record. Limbs and in some specimens a clutch of eggs are present within the bivalved shell, enabling the scientists to identify and gender such specimens. These anatomical features were preserved in the mineral pyrite, which facilitated the use of x-ray techniques to reveal morphological details hidden within the shells and the rock.

Professor Siveter, of the University of Leicester's Department of Geology, together with researchers from the universities of Yale and Kansas, USA, Oxford, UK, and the Japan Agency of Marine Science and Technology, discovered the tiny arthropods.

The ostracods lived, together with other invertebrate animals such as trilobites, in poorly oxygenated conditions in a sea bordering the margins of the ancient North American continent. Professor Siveter said that, like their modern relatives, the ostracods were probably capable of swimming near the sea bed and obtained their food by scavenging and hunting.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. David J. Siveter, Gengo Tanaka, Ϊna C. Farrell, Markus J. Martin, Derek J. Siveter, Derek E.G. Briggs. Exceptionally Preserved 450-Million-Year-Old Ordovician Ostracods with Brood Care. Current Biology, 13 March 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.02.040

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "New fossil species reveals parental care of young from 450 million years ago." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313122724.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2014, March 13). New fossil species reveals parental care of young from 450 million years ago. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313122724.htm
University of Leicester. "New fossil species reveals parental care of young from 450 million years ago." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140313122724.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Ruins Thought To Be Port Actually Buried Greek City

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — Media is calling it an "underwater Pompeii." Researchers have found ruins off the coast of Delos. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

Amphipolis Tomb Architraves Reveal Faces

AFP (Nov. 22, 2014) — Faces in an area of mosaics is the latest find by archaeologists at a recently discovered tomb dating back to fourth century BC and the time of Alexander the Great in Greece. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
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