HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Fossils tell the hole story of killer drillers and their prey

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---In the classic textbook example, predators and prey are locked in an escalating evolutionary arms race. As prey develop defenses against their attackers, predators go them one better, devising new ways of penetrating their victims' defenses.

But it doesn't always happen that way, and investigating systems in which prey don't respond to predation by upping the ante can be as informative as studying the more typical sort, said University of Michigan paleontologist Tomasz Baumiller. In a report in the June 17 issue of Science, Baumiller and collaborators at Virginia Tech describe how they used fossil shells of animals called brachiopods to shed light on ancient ecological interactions.

Brachiopods, also known as lampshells, were plentiful in Earth's oceans 550 million years ago to 250 million years ago. Today the shelled creatures, which look something like clams, are still around but less prevalent. One way of assessing rates of predation or parasitism on brachiopods and other fossil shellfish is to look for round holes drilled into their shells by their enemies. The researchers studied more than 40,000 specimens from 18 museums, as well as field-based estimates from the literature.

"We wanted to determine at what frequencies drilling had occurred, whether that had changed through time, and what sorts of lessons we could learn from the patterns that we found," Baumiller said. What they found was that attacks on brachiopods were rare, but widespread and continuously present through the entire Paleozoic Era, suggesting that brachiopods were not locked in an arms race with drilling predators. Instead, predators probably picked on brachiopods only when they mistook them for something else or when there was nothing better to eat, the researchers believe.

"The reason is, they're not terribly nutritious---they have a relatively low amount of meat between their shells," which also may explain why you never see brachiopod c
'"/>


16-Jun-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fossils of ancient sea monster found in Montana
2. Fossils pinpoint tropics as Earths most fruitful biodiversity spawning ground
3. Early bird caught the fish: Fossils depict aquatic origins of birds 115 million years ago
4. What we can learn from the biggest extinction in the history of Earth
5. Biologist traces coconuts history through DNA
6. Colorado River streamflow history reveals megadrought before 1490
7. Book explores history, causes of allergy and asthma epidemic
8. Academy paleontologist and Alaska artist in line for natural history awards
9. Ancient coral reef tells the history of Kenyas soil erosion
10. Microfossils unravel climate history of tropical Africa
11. 500,000 years of climate history stored year by year

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Fossils tell the hole story killer drillers and their prey

(Date:11/4/2014)... November 4, 2014   ... growth   Fuel3D , a developer of ... funding round totaling $6.4 million (£4 million). This funding builds ... earlier this year and paves the way for the commercial ... The funding round was led by Chimera Partners and ...
(Date:11/3/2014)... Cancer Center study published in this month,s ... describes the activity of a recently discovered communication molecule ... It has been known to limit inflammation and the ... system: IL-37 inhibits the ability of the immune system ... mechanism that underlies IL-37,s effect on the immune system ...
(Date:11/2/2014)... LA (2 November 2014)—In support of a bold quest ... & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced an award of ... Vaccine Initiative (MVI) in building new vaccines that will ... realize the "accelerating to zero" agenda. Such vaccines would ... could be called an "immunological bed net." , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 3PNAS: From HIV to cancer, IL-37 regulates immune system 2New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 2New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 3New malaria vaccines to prevent infection and block transmission get a shot in the arm 4
(Date:11/22/2014)... 21, 2014 During his lifetime Richard ... need to surround himself with great people and take ... his friends often marveled at his extraordinarily courageous attitude ... life and -- even with his death impending—that’s how ... disease that would ultimately take his life. , Carrying ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... Frederick, MD (PRWEB) November 21, 2014 ... sample management solutions provider, has released Limfinity® version ... more installation projects of Limfinity® than ever in ... majority configuration and minority framework enhancement. Limfinity® version ... goes far above and beyond bug fixes! , ...
(Date:11/22/2014)... Grand Rapids, MI (PRWEB) November 22, 2014 ... the opportunity to simulate the proper management of ... training and test lung devices . Grand Rapids-based, ... Lung” plans to donate two of the respiratory ... $12,000 to $15,000 each. Grand Valley and Muskegon ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... LAVAL, Quebec , November 21, 2014 ... KLOX como responsable comercial   Mariano Rodríguez ... finanzas   KLOX está en marcha para ... tratamiento de cura de heridas de reciente aprobación en Europa ... o "la compañía") se complace al anunciar los siguientes nombramientos: ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Sherry Sharp, Wife of CarMax Founder, Richard Sharp, Accepts Seat on Board of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund 2Sherry Sharp, Wife of CarMax Founder, Richard Sharp, Accepts Seat on Board of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund 3RURO Announces Limfinity® version 5.1.4 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 2Michigan Instruments Donates Two Respiratory Simulation Training and Test Lung (TTL) Devices to Grand Valley State University 3KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 2KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 3KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 4KLOX Technologies anuncia sus nombramientos ejecutivos 5
Cached News: