Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Ocean seep mollusks may share evolutionary history with other deep-sea creatures

11.09.2006
Seeps were a shelter from extinctions and abrupt sea changes, Science researchers say

The unusual mollusks of oceanic cold seeps--strange clams, mussels and sea snails that thrive in the sulfur and methane-rich environments--are on average older than the marine mollusk community as a whole, according to a new report in the 8 September issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

On average, the first appearance of cold seep mollusk genera in the geological record is a full epoch earlier than that of marine mollusks in general, according to Steffen Kiel and Crispin Little of the University of Leeds.

These findings indicate that the long evolutionary history of the seep mollusks is more similar to that of other deep-sea animals than to some of their mollusk contemporaries from other parts of the oceans.

... mehr zu:
»Little »Seep

Cold seeps may have been--and continue to be--safe harbors for the mollusks, protecting them from mass extinctions and possible abrupt oxygen changes in the seas, the researchers found. However, many deep-sea species outside of the cold seeps have also managed to ride out these changes.

"The shallow water environment is much more challenging, subject to changes in sea levels, extinction events, pollution, sediment runoff--all sorts of factors which don't affect animals in the deep sea," Little explained.

This makes it difficult to tell whether seep mollusks owe their long evolutionary history to their unique home environment or to their status as deep-sea creatures, he noted.

Cold seeps are places where fluids rich in hydrogen sulfide and methane leak up through the ocean floor, creating a unique chemical environment where hardy bacteria process the sulfide and methane. Seep fluids are about the same temperature as surrounding waters, but similar chemically challenging environments exist at hydrothermal vents, fissures in the ocean floor where water is superheated by magma lurking just below the crust.

Although seep and vent fluids are a poisonous brew for most species, animals such as giant tube worms and the mollusks studied by Kiel and Little thrive with the help of the symbiotic bacteria. "If you can become adapted to living at these sites, you can make a very good living indeed," Little said.

The origins and age of seep citizens such as the mollusks has been debated for some time by scientists using both fossil and genetic evidence. Kiel and Little decided to examine the fossil record for modern seep mollusks to see how their history compared to that of the overall marine mollusk population.

By sorting 29 mollusk genera into the geological time periods when they first appeared, the researchers found that seep mollusk genera, on average, appeared during the Eocene epoch about 55 to 34 million years ago. By contrast, the average age of first appearances for all marine mollusks occurred in the Oligocene epoch, about 34 to 24 million years ago.

Following the fortunes of seep mollusks through time, Kiel and Little also found little evidence that mass extinction events or periods of low oxygen dealt significant blows to the seep communities. Seeps may have been good shelters during these events because "they were driven by a constant source of geothermal energy," Little said.

The Eocene age calculated by the Science researchers casts some doubt on another mystery involving seep animals: what is their relationship to whale falls? Whale falls, the slowly decaying remains of large whales sunk to the ocean's depths, harbor yet another unique chemical community similar to that in vents and seeps.

Some researchers suggest that whale falls were evolutionary "stepping stones," creating new environments for seep animals to evolve into a plethora of new species. But Kiel and Little's work shows that more than three-quarters of seep mollusk genera had already appeared by the time oceangoing whales would have filled the seas.

Whale falls "are not instrumental in the evolution" of seep mollusks, but the falls "may have allowed them to expand into new sites," Little explained.

"Cold seep mollusks are older than the general marine mollusk fauna" by Steffen Kiel and Crispin T.S. Littleat the University of Leeds.

Natasha Pinol | EurekAlert!
Weitere Informationen:
http://www.aaas.org

Weitere Berichte zu: Little Seep

Weitere Nachrichten aus der Kategorie Ökologie Umwelt- Naturschutz:

nachricht Invasive Quallen: Strömungen als Ausbreitungsmotor
23.05.2018 | GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel

nachricht Wenn Korallen Plastik fressen
23.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Ökologie Umwelt- Naturschutz >>>

Die aktuellsten Pressemeldungen zum Suchbegriff Innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Starke IT-Sicherheit für das Auto der Zukunft – Forschungsverbund entwickelt neue Ansätze

Je mehr die Elektronik Autos lenkt, beschleunigt und bremst, desto wichtiger wird der Schutz vor Cyber-Angriffen. Deshalb erarbeiten 15 Partner aus Industrie und Wissenschaft in den kommenden drei Jahren neue Ansätze für die IT-Sicherheit im selbstfahrenden Auto. Das Verbundvorhaben unter dem Namen „Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) wird durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung mit 7,2 Millionen Euro gefördert. Infineon leitet das Projekt.

Bereits heute bieten Fahrzeuge vielfältige Kommunikationsschnittstellen und immer mehr automatisierte Fahrfunktionen, wie beispielsweise Abstands- und...

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Mit Hilfe molekularer Schalter lassen sich künftig neuartige Bauelemente entwickeln

Einem Forscherteam unter Führung von Physikern der Technischen Universität München (TUM) ist es gelungen, spezielle Moleküle mit einer angelegten Spannung zwischen zwei strukturell unterschiedlichen Zuständen hin und her zu schalten. Derartige Nano-Schalter könnten Basis für neuartige Bauelemente sein, die auf Silizium basierende Komponenten durch organische Moleküle ersetzen.

Die Entwicklung neuer elektronischer Technologien fordert eine ständige Verkleinerung funktioneller Komponenten. Physikern der TU München ist es im Rahmen...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: GRACE Follow-On erfolgreich gestartet: Das Satelliten-Tandem dokumentiert den globalen Wandel

Die Satellitenmission GRACE-FO ist gestartet. Am 22. Mai um 21.47 Uhr (MESZ) hoben die beiden Satelliten des GFZ und der NASA an Bord einer Falcon-9-Rakete von der Vandenberg Air Force Base (Kalifornien) ab und wurden in eine polare Umlaufbahn gebracht. Dort nehmen sie in den kommenden Monaten ihre endgültige Position ein. Die NASA meldete 30 Minuten später, dass der Kontakt zu den Satelliten in ihrem Zielorbit erfolgreich hergestellt wurde. GRACE Follow-On wird das Erdschwerefeld und dessen räumliche und zeitliche Variationen sehr genau vermessen. Sie ermöglicht damit präzise Aussagen zum globalen Wandel, insbesondere zu Änderungen im Wasserhaushalt, etwa dem Verlust von Eismassen.

Potsdam, 22. Mai 2018: Die deutsch-amerikanische Satellitenmission GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment Follow On) ist erfolgreich gestartet. Am...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

Im Fokus: Klimaangepasste Pflanzen

25.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Größter Astronomie-Kongress kommt nach Wien

24.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

22. Business Forum Qualität: Vom Smart Device bis zum Digital Twin

22.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Berufsausbildung mit Zukunft

25.05.2018 | Unternehmensmeldung

Untersuchung der Zellmembran: Forscher entwickeln Stoff, der wichtigen Membranbestandteil nachahmt

25.05.2018 | Interdisziplinäre Forschung

Starke IT-Sicherheit für das Auto der Zukunft – Forschungsverbund entwickelt neue Ansätze

25.05.2018 | Informationstechnologie

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics