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104 million year old fossils reveal ancient life in the deep sea, shedding light on maritime history


Lengthy colonization of the deep sea by irregular echinoids

Scientists at Göttingen School have made an unprecedented discovery relating to the deep sea ecosystem. By means of evaluation of fossil proof, they’ve discovered that enormous invertebrates, significantly irregular echinoids or sea urchins, have inhabited the deep sea for 104 million years, beginning within the Cretaceous interval. The invention sheds gentle on the lengthy existence of life within the depths of the ocean.

Try evolutionary adjustments

To take a look at the evolution of these sea urchins and their adaptation to altering environments, the evaluation group analyzed greater than 40,000 spinal twine fragments from sediment samples. These specimens have been collected from nice depths within the Pacific, Atlantic and Southern Oceans. By observing morphological traits of the spinal twine, equivalent to form, dimension, and thickness, scientists have been in a position to observe adjustments over time.

Impression of extinction occasions

One of many notable findings of the examine was the influence of main extinction occasions on deep-sea ecosystems. Researchers discovered that sea urchins’ spines grew to become thinner and fewer considerable after a devastating meteorite influence on the finish of the Cretaceous interval, about 66 million years in the past. He attributed this phenomenon to the Lilliput impact, that means that small species are subsequent extra more likely to survive after a mass extinction. The group estimates that in this era, the physique dimension of surviving sea urchins could have turn into smaller resulting from lack of meals within the deep sea.

Potential results of world warming

One other vital discovering of the examine was the connection between sea urchin biomass and water temperature. The researchers noticed that sea urchin biomass elevated about 70 million years in the past, coinciding with a interval of cooler water temperatures. This relationship between biomass and temperature led the group to think about the potential impacts of human-induced worldwide warming on deep-sea ecosystems.


The evaluation carried out by the College of Göttingen offers helpful details about the deep sea ecosystem and its historical past. The invention of fossil proof that enormous invertebrates, significantly irregular echinoids, have inhabited the deep sea for greater than 100 million years is a big milestone in our understanding of life within the deep sea. The examine additionally highlights the implications of main extinction occasions and the potential impacts of world warming on deep-sea ecosystems. This analysis contributes to elevated information concerning the fascinating and various world that exists beneath the ocean ground.

Questions have been requested constantly

What’s the significance of the evaluation performed by Göttingen School?

This evaluation displays historic colonization of the deep sea by large invertebrates, significantly irregular echinoids, for a minimum of 104 million years. The invention sheds gentle on the historical past of the deep-sea ecosystem and its resilience within the face of main extinction occasions.

How did researchers analyze the fossil proof?

The researchers examined greater than 40,000 vertebrate fragments from sediment samples collected at completely different depths within the Pacific, Atlantic and Southern Oceans. They analyzed comparable morphological traits of spinal twine form, dimension, and thickness to hint evolutionary changes over time.

What does the Lilliput impression examine say?

The Lilliput impact refers back to the phenomenon wherein small species have a survival benefit after mass extinction. Researchers noticed that the spines of sea urchins grew to become thinner and their numbers decreased after a big meteorite influence, suggesting that smaller-bodied species have been extra more likely to survive as a result of lack of meals at depth. From the ocean.

What are the potential results of world warming on the deep sea?

Based mostly on the connection between sea urchin biomass and water temperature, researchers speculate that international warming could result in adjustments in deep-sea ecosystems. As water temperatures improve, the biomass of sea urchins and different organisms within the deep sea could also be affected, doubtlessly altering the biodiversity and functioning of those ecosystems.

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