Royal Society study on adaptability of fish to warming oceans


Scaling of mammalian ethmoid bones predicts olfactory organ size and performance by Dr H Pihlstrom, Dr M Fortelius, Dr S Hemila, Dr R Forsman and Dr T Reuter

We introduce the concept of an organ of smell consisting of the sensory epithelium in the nose and the olfactory bulb in the brain. We found that the ethmoid bone in the skull is a good measure of the size of this organ, and thus we could estimate olfactory organ size in 150 mammalian species, from mice to elephant. Much is known about the relation between eye size and visual acuity, and between ear size and the frequency range of hearing. It is now possible to investigate the relation between the size of the organ of smell and olfactory performance.
Contact: Dr H Pihlstrom, Dept of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, PO Box 65, FIN-00014, Finland

The geological history of deep-sea colonization by echinoids: roles of surface productivity and deep-water ventilation by Dr AB Smith and Dr B Stockley

Echinoids are a diverse and important component of deep-sea benthic communities in Today's oceans, but when did they first move into this environment? By combining information about their fossil record and using a molecular clock, we are able to demonstrate that there was a short time interval between about 75 and 55 Ma when a large number of lineages specialising in deposit feeding independently migrated off-shelf. This coincides with a marked increase in surface water productivity, and suggests that changes in the availability of food delivered to ocean basins over geological time had a more important role in controlling the colonization of deep-sea environments than deep-water circulation patterns.
Contact: Dr AB Smith, Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK

Density-dependent dispersal and spatial population dynamics by Professor RA Ims and Dr HP Andreassen

How synchronized are population fluctuation

Contact: Tim Watson
Royal Society

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