HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Seafloor creatures destroyed by ice action during ice ages

The ice ages made massive changes to the Earth's landscape. But what was happening below the ice in the oceans?

Research by marine scientists reveals that it was a time of mass destruction as whole communities of animals were wiped out by ice sheets scouring the sea floor.

In the past it has been thought that these ecosystems somehow dodged extinction by recolonising from nearby habitats that escaped obliteration. But researchers at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reveal a bleaker scenario.

Dr Sven Thatje, an ecologist at NOC has been working with geoscientists, Dr Claus-Dieter Hillenbrand and Dr Rob Larter at BAS examining one of the harshest environments on Earth - the Antarctic seafloor.

Writing in the October issue of Trends in Ecology & Evolution the scientists provide new evidence that suggests that seafloor organisms were either erased by the advance of ice sheets across the Antarctic continental shelf or starved to death as links in the food chain were broken by the permanent ice cover. There would have been no refuge for shallower living animals further down the continental slope, as huge sediment slides would have buried them. Typically these ecosystems would have been made up of sponges, urchins, sea fan corals, and starfish.

Dr Thatje said: 'We show that during ice ages seafloor organisms emigrated to the deep sea - below the effects of the sediment slides and ice. From there, organisms may have invaded open marine shelters of the Antarctic shelf, which were not affected by the advance of ice masses. Or these animals may have recolonised the Antarctic shelf from the deep-sea during the warm period following each ice age.

'Either way it is an impressive feat against the odds as the extreme cold means that these animals respond much more slowly
'"/>

Contact: Kim Marshall-Brown
kxm@noc.soton.ac.uk
44-23-80-596-170
British Antarctic Survey
17-Oct-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Seafloor observatory opens portal to the Pacific
2. Microscopic sea creatures provide foundation for gas sensors and other devices
3. Little creatures, big blooms
4. Steep oxygen decline halted first land colonization by Earths sea creatures
5. Ocean seep mollusks may share evolutionary history with other deep-sea creatures
6. Sydney harbors seaweed a deadly diet for sea creatures
7. Census of Marine Life explorers surprised by diversity, density of Arctic creatures
8. Satellite images show destroyed and threatened villages in Darfur
9. Nanocomposite labeled cancer cells can be targeted and destroyed using lasers
10. Facial attraction -- choice of sexual partner shaped the human face
11. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... R&D, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract with ... to support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and develop ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... antibody development services, today announced that the company has received ISO9001:2015 certification ... pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and research industries. The decision to pursue ISO9001 accreditation demonstrates ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... analytical instrumentation, is pleased to announce the next event in a series of ... scattering. , The TOPIQ series of webinars was developed in response to social ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... ... August 13, 2020 , ... True Terpenes , the leading platform for ... Board (SAB) to research the medical potential of terpenes and the potential entourage ... terpenes. The board is focused on expanding the recently launched line of effects-based terpenes ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... The FSHD Society announced today ... Clinical Trial Research Network (FSHD CTRN), with consideration of follow-on funding ... of academic research centers in the United States and Europe with expertise in ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... Inc. ... a global leader in FDA compliance consulting has been named on its annual ... The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 2020 , ... ERT, the global leader in ... named one of the 100 most inspiring individuals in the life-sciences industry by ... based on how they have inspired their colleagues and affected positive changes in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: