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An Investigation Of Paleo-Wildfires During The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Boundary At El Kef, Tunisia, Michael Gross 2017 University of Colorado, Boulder

An Investigation Of Paleo-Wildfires During The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) Boundary At El Kef, Tunisia, Michael Gross

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The causes and consequences of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction have long been a source of contention. Several models predict that enough thermal radiation from the bolide impact was produced to ignite wildfires at least regionally and possibly on a global scale, raising average temperatures by up to ~10°C, and releasing large amounts of CO2 and CO. However, the role of regional versus global wildfire events as an environmental stressor, as well as the sources of the fire (land vegetation vs. hydrocarbon reservoirs) and its expression in terrestrial and marine archives, remains controversial. Typically, wildfires are preserved in the ...


Locomotion And Skeletal Morphology Of Late Cretaceous Mosasaur, Tylosaurus Proriger, Jesse A. Carpenter 2017 Georgia Southern University

Locomotion And Skeletal Morphology Of Late Cretaceous Mosasaur, Tylosaurus Proriger, Jesse A. Carpenter

University Honors Program Theses

Mosasaurs (Reptilia: Squamata) are apex marine predators from the Late Cretaceous (Turonian to Maastrichtian) epicontinental seas of North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. From previous studies, it has been suggested that this group trends towards increased rib compactness, lengthening and increased posterior inclination of neural spines of intermediate and terminal caudal vertebrae to support a caudal fluke, and a transition from anguilliform to carangiform locomotion, closer to thunniform in pelagic adapted species. This study examined multiple Tylosaurus specimens using centrum length/width (CL/CW) and width/height (CW/CH) ratios along with neural spine height and angle of posterior inclination ...


Giant Beaver (Castoroides) Palaeoecology Inferred From Stable Isotopes, Tessa Plint 2016 The University of Western Ontario

Giant Beaver (Castoroides) Palaeoecology Inferred From Stable Isotopes, Tessa Plint

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Stable isotope analysis was used to explore unresolved questions about the palaeoecology of the extinct Pleistocene giant beaver (Castoroides). The δ13C, δ15N, and δ18O of bone collagen and structural carbonate from enamel served as proxies for palaeodiet and palaeoclimate. A new baseline for freshwater and terrestrial plant δ13C and δ15N was utilized in a mixing model (SIAR) to assess rodent feeding niche. SIAR analysis indicated that Castoroides’ consumed a diet of predominantly macrophytes, making them reliant on wetland habitat for food. Based on isotopic data for potential modern analog species ...


Lessons From The Past: Unfolding The Dynamics Among Climate, Balkan Landscapes, And Humans Over The Past Millennium, Charuta J. Kulkarni 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Lessons From The Past: Unfolding The Dynamics Among Climate, Balkan Landscapes, And Humans Over The Past Millennium, Charuta J. Kulkarni

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The primary objective of this doctoral dissertation is to reconstruct the environmental history of the Central Balkans (Serbia) over the past millennium utilizing biological proxies (pollen, spores, and charcoal), geochemical signals through X-ray fluorescence (XRF), statistical analyses, and atomic mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C chronology. This dissertation establishes the first chronological framework for vegetation-landscape changes in Serbia and discusses the role of humans and climate as underlying processes.

Chapter 1 discusses the background and the nature of the research problem followed by the extensive literature review on the topic of the Holocene climate and paleoecology. The state of Holocene paleoecology ...


Belowground Rhizomes In Paleosols: The Hidden Half Of An Early Devonian Vascular Plant, Jinzhuang Xue, Zhenzhen Deng, Pu Huang, Kangjun Huang, Michael J. Benton, Ying Cui 2016 Peking University

Belowground Rhizomes In Paleosols: The Hidden Half Of An Early Devonian Vascular Plant, Jinzhuang Xue, Zhenzhen Deng, Pu Huang, Kangjun Huang, Michael J. Benton, Ying Cui

Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles

The colonization of terrestrial environments by rooted vascular plants had far-reaching impacts on the Earth system. However, the belowground structures of early vascular plants are rarely documented, and thus the plant−soil interactions in early terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we report the earliest rooted paleosols (fossil soils) in Asia from Early Devonian deposits of Yunnan, China. Plant traces are extensive within the soil and occur as complex network-like structures, which are interpreted as representing long-lived, belowground rhizomes of the basal lycopsid Drepanophycus. The rhizomes produced large clones and helped the plant survive frequent sediment burial in well-drained soils ...


First Major Appearance Of Brachiopod-Dominated Benthic Shelly Communities In The Reef Ecosystem During The Early Silurian, Cale A.C. Gushulak 2016 The University of Western Ontario

First Major Appearance Of Brachiopod-Dominated Benthic Shelly Communities In The Reef Ecosystem During The Early Silurian, Cale A.C. Gushulak

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The early Silurian reefs of the Attawapiskat Formation in the Hudson Bay Basin preserved the oldest record of major invasion of the coral-stromatoporoid skeletal reefs by brachiopods and other marine shelly benthos, providing an excellent opportunity for studying the early evolution, functional morphology, and community organization of the rich and diverse reef-dwelling brachiopods. Biometric and multivariate analysis demonstrate that the reef-dwelling Pentameroides septentrionalis evolved from the level-bottom-dwelling Pentameroides subrectus to develop a larger and more globular shell. The reef-dwelling brachiopods in the paleoequatorial Hudson Bay Basin were more diverse than contemporaneous higher latitude reef-dwelling brachiopod faunas, with ten distinct community ...


Testing The Temporal Stability Of The Climate Response Of Tree Species At Norris Dam State Park, Tennessee, U.S.A., Allison Elizabeth Ingram 2016 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Testing The Temporal Stability Of The Climate Response Of Tree Species At Norris Dam State Park, Tennessee, U.S.A., Allison Elizabeth Ingram

Masters Theses

Temporal stability of the climate-tree growth relationship means that over time, tree species were responding to a specific climate variable and continue to respond to that variable into the present. The stability of this response is important to test prior to attempting to reconstruct past climate. In this study, I sampled oaks (white oak = Quercus alba L. and chestnut oak = Quercus montana Willd.) and pines (Virginia pine = Pinus virginiana Mill. and shortleaf pine = Pinus echinata Mill.) growing in Norris Dam State Park in eastern Tennessee and tested the temporal stability of these species and their potential for reconstructing past climate ...


Santonian—Campanian Calcareous Nannofossil Paleobiogeography, Brandi R. Moore 2016 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Santonian—Campanian Calcareous Nannofossil Paleobiogeography, Brandi R. Moore

Dissertations & Theses in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Calcareous nannofossil abundance data from 11 DSDP/ODP sites were analyzed by multivariate methods to assess the paleoceanographic change that is associated with the Santonian-Campanian boundary transition. Data were divided into Santonian or Campanian age groups based on the presence or absence of the lower Campanian nannofossil species, Aspidolithus parcus parcus. All assemblages are dominated by Watznaueria barnesiae, Micula decussata, and Prediscosphaera intercisa. Analyses determined that the relative abundance of M. decussata generally reflects a change in temperature, with a preference for cool water. Prediscosphaera intercisa appears to have had an inverse abundance relationship with M. decussata, suggesting that P ...


Reconstructing The Paleoecology And Biogeography Of Rhinoceroses (Mammalia: Rhinocerotidae) In The Great Plains Of North America, Leading Up To Their Extinction In The Early Pliocene, Bian Wang 2016 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Reconstructing The Paleoecology And Biogeography Of Rhinoceroses (Mammalia: Rhinocerotidae) In The Great Plains Of North America, Leading Up To Their Extinction In The Early Pliocene, Bian Wang

Dissertations & Theses in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Members of the family Rhinocerotidae first appeared in the middle Eocene and were one of most successful mammal groups of the Oligocene and Miocene in North America. Their extinction in the early Pliocene has been attributed to several causes, including cooling climate, an expansion of C4 grasslands, and faunal turnover favoring high-crowned, open habitat-adapted mammalian taxa. This study tests whether the extinction of North American rhinoceroses in the Great Plains was abrupt or gradual by examining changes in their paleogeographic distribution in a series of time-slices through the Barstovian, Clarendonian, and Hemphillian North American land-mammal ages. It further examines ...


Shell Bluff – A Fossiliferous Ridge, The Site Of The Extinct Oyster Crassostrea Gigantissima And History Of Its Identification, elliott o. edwards jr. 2016 Bartram Trail Conference

Shell Bluff – A Fossiliferous Ridge, The Site Of The Extinct Oyster Crassostrea Gigantissima And History Of Its Identification, Elliott O. Edwards Jr.

Georgia Journal of Science

Shell Bluff is described by geologists as stratigraphically one of the most important exposures in the Georgia Coastal Plain because the bluff is home to the large oyster, Crassostrea gigantissima, now extinct. Native Americans inhabited this area prior to Hernando DeSoto and his men who visited the area in 1540. They were probably the first Europeans to visit Shell Bluff. John and son William Bartram visited the bluff in 1764 and John described the bluff in his journal and the existence of large oysters. The British naturalist, John Finch, described a fossil oyster taken from the site in 1824 as ...


Cone In Cone Concretions Of The Stanley Group In Southeastern Oklahoma, Kyle B. Ayres 2016 Stephen F Austin State University

Cone In Cone Concretions Of The Stanley Group In Southeastern Oklahoma, Kyle B. Ayres

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Cone in cone concretions found in the Stanley Group of Southeastern Oklahoma have a variety of external and internal attributes which allow diagenetic and theoretical models of formation to be hypothesized. Stanley Group carbonate cone in cone concretions are initially formed in sulfur reducing horizons at shallow burial depths in a poorly circulated possibly deep trough containing siliceous sediments and organic matter. Collected concretions near the town of Smithville, Oklahoma displayed four different external morphologies and four variations of mineral constituents. All concretions contained microscopic cones which initiated diffusion and/or fluid patterns and is an early cementation process that ...


The Stratigraphic Position Of Fossil Vertebrates From The Pojoaque Member Of The Tesuque Formation (Middle Miocene, Late Barstovian) Near Española, New Mexico, Garrett R. Williamson 2016 Stephen F. Austin State University

The Stratigraphic Position Of Fossil Vertebrates From The Pojoaque Member Of The Tesuque Formation (Middle Miocene, Late Barstovian) Near Española, New Mexico, Garrett R. Williamson

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The stratigraphy of the Pojoaque Member of the Tesuque Formation near Española, NM is not well understood. This region, during the Middle Miocene, represented a dynamic alluvial fan-fluvial-lacustrine environment within the Española Basin while the Rio Grande Rift was active. Cavazza (1986) identified two paleodrainage systems (lithosome A, basin-margin facies and B, basin-floor facies) by means of sandstone and conglomerate petrology, paleocurrent, and sedimentary facies analyses. After x-ray diffraction analyses of claystones within lithosome B, mordenite was discovered, which is a zeolite mineral commonly found within volcanic rocks. This is significant because the presence of mordenite confirms Cavazza’s (1986 ...


The End-Permian Mass Extinction And The Siberian Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University

The End-Permian Mass Extinction And The Siberian Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed

Rebecca Teed

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that a series of flood-basalt eruptions in Siberia caused the mass extinction at the end of the Permian Period.  This is the worst mass extinction known to geologists, and 90% or more of all species on Earth were wiped out.

It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Permian Mass Extinction And A Possible Massive Impact, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University

The End-Permian Mass Extinction And A Possible Massive Impact, Rebecca Teed

Rebecca Teed

This handout examines the evidence for the theory that a massive meteor impact caused the mass extinction at the end of the Permian Period.  This is the worst mass extinction known to geologists, and 90% or more of all species on Earth were wiped out.

It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Chicxulub Impact, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University

The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Chicxulub Impact, Rebecca Teed

Rebecca Teed

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that massive meteor impact off the coast of Mexico caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period.  The dinosaurs and about 75% of all marine invertebrate species and many other organisms died abruptly at this time.

It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Deccan Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University

The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Deccan Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed

Rebecca Teed

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that a series of flood-basalt eruptions in northern India caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The dinosaurs and about 75% of all marine invertebrate species and many other organisms died abruptly at this time.

This is one of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Permian Mass Extinction And The Siberian Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University - Main Campus

The End-Permian Mass Extinction And The Siberian Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed

Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty Publications

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that a series of flood-basalt eruptions in Siberia caused the mass extinction at the end of the Permian Period. This is the worst mass extinction known to geologists, and 90% or more of all species on Earth were wiped out. It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions that can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Permian Mass Extinction And A Possible Massive Impact, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University - Main Campus

The End-Permian Mass Extinction And A Possible Massive Impact, Rebecca Teed

Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty Publications

This handout examines the evidence for the theory that a massive meteor impact caused the mass extinction at the end of the Permian Period. This is the worst mass extinction known to geologists, and 90% or more of all species on Earth were wiped out. It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions that can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Deccan Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University - Main Campus

The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Deccan Traps Eruptions, Rebecca Teed

Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty Publications

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that a series of flood-basalt eruptions in northern India caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The dinosaurs and about 75% of all marine invertebrate species and many other organisms died abruptly at this time. This is one of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions that can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Chicxulub Impact, Rebecca Teed 2016 Wright State University - Main Campus

The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction And The Chicxulub Impact, Rebecca Teed

Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty Publications

This handout focuses on the evidence for the theory that a massive meteor impact off the coast of Mexico caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The dinosaurs and about 75% of all marine invertebrate species and many other organisms died abruptly at this time. It is part of a set of four articles on possible causes of the Permian and Cretaceous mass extinctions that can be used to organize classroom debates or to have students compare and contrast the events and their causes.


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