Temporal range: Dresbachian
Torifera is an extinct genus from a well-known class of fossil marine arthropods, the trilobites. It lived from 501 to 490 million years ago during the Dresbachian faunal stage of the late Cambrian Period.
A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.
A fossil is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record.
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Euarthropoda, which includes insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. The term Arthropoda as originally proposed refers to a proposed grouping of Euarthropods and the phylum Onychophora. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. Arthopods are bilaterally symmetrical and their body possesses an external skeleton. Some species have wings.
Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth's surface. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock are called sediment, and may be composed of geological detritus (minerals) or biological detritus. Before being deposited, the geological detritus was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Biological detritus was formed by bodies and parts of dead aquatic organisms, as well as their fecal mass, suspended in water and slowly piling up on the floor of water bodies. Sedimentation may also occur as dissolved minerals precipitate from water solution.
The gastropods, more commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic class of invertebrates within the phylum Mollusca, called Gastropoda. This class comprises snails and slugs from saltwater, from freshwater, and from the land. There are many thousands of species of sea snails and slugs, as well as freshwater snails, freshwater limpets, and land snails and slugs.
Timeline of paleontology
A trace fossil, also ichnofossil, is a geological record of biological activity. Ichnology is the study of such traces, and is the work of ichnologists. Trace fossils may consist of impressions made on or in the substrate by an organism: for example, burrows, borings (bioerosion), urolites, footprints and feeding marks, and root cavities. The term in its broadest sense also includes the remains of other organic material produced by an organism — for example coprolites or chemical markers — or sedimentological structures produced by biological means - for example, stromatolites. Trace fossils contrast with body fossils, which are the fossilized remains of parts of organisms' bodies, usually altered by later chemical activity or mineralization.
Balaenoptera, from the Latin balaena (whale) and Ancient Greek pteron (fin), is a genus of Balaenopteridae, the rorquals, and contains eight extant species. The species Balaenoptera omurai was published in 2003. Balaenoptera is a diverse genus and comprises all but one of the extant species in its family - the other species is the humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) is a California state park located within the Colorado Desert of southern California, United States. The park takes its name from 18th century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and borrego, the Spanish word for sheep. With 600,000 acres (240,000 ha) that includes one-fifth of San Diego County, it is the largest state park in California.
Mosasaurs are an extinct group of large marine reptiles containing 38 genera in total. Their first fossil remains were discovered in a limestone quarry at Maastricht on the Meuse in 1764. Mosasaurs probably evolved from an extinct group of aquatic lizards known as aigialosaurs in the Early Cretaceous. During the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous period, with the extinction of the ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs, mosasaurs became the dominant marine predators. They became extinct as a result of the K-Pg event at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 66 million years ago.
Marine life, or sea life or ocean life, is the plants, animals and other organisms that live in the salt water of the sea or ocean, or the brackish water of coastal estuaries. At a fundamental level, marine life affects the nature of the planet. Marine organisms produce oxygen. Shorelines are in part shaped and protected by marine life, and some marine organisms even help create new land.
Wadi Al-Hitan, is a paleontological site in the Faiyum Governorate of Egypt, some 150 km southwest of Cairo. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2005 for its hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whale, the archaeoceti. The site reveals evidence for the explanation of one of the greatest mysteries of the evolution of whales: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. No other place in the world yields the number, concentration and quality of such fossils, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape. This is why it was added by the UNESCO to the list of protected World Heritage sites.
Najash is an extinct basal snake from the Late Cretaceous Candeleros Formation of Patagonia. Like a number of other Cretaceous and living snakes it retained hindlimbs, but Najash is unusual in having well-developed legs that extend outside the rib cage, and a pelvis connected to the spine. Fossils of Najash were found in the terrestrial Candeleros Formation, in Rio Negro Province, Argentina, and date to roughly 90 million years ago. The skull and spine of Najash both show adaptations for a subterranean existence, consistent with the hypothesis that the long bodies and reduced limbs of snakes are an adaptation for burrowing.
The history of paleontology traces the history of the effort to understand the history of life on Earth by studying the fossil record left behind by living organisms. Since it is concerned with understanding living organisms of the past, paleontology can be considered to be a field of biology, but its historical development has been closely tied to geology and the effort to understand the history of Earth itself.
Bramerton Pits is a 0.7-hectare (1.7-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of the village of Bramerton in Norfolk on the southern banks of the River Yare. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.
La Voulte-sur-Rhône is a commune in the Ardèche department in southern France.
The Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk formation is a Cretaceous conservation Lagerstätte, or fossil rich geological formation, known primarily for its exceptionally well-preserved marine reptiles. The Smoky Hill Chalk Member is the uppermost of the two structural units of the Niobrara Chalk. It is underlain by the Fort Hays Limestone Member; and the Pierre Shale overlies the Smoky Hill Chalk. The Smoky Hill Chalk outcrops in parts of northwest Kansas, its most famous localities for fossils, and in southeastern Nebraska. Large well-known fossils excavated from the Smoky Hill Chalk include marine reptiles such as plesiosaurs, large bony fish such as Xiphactinus, mosasaurs, flying reptiles or pterosaurs, flightless marine birds such as Hesperornis, and turtles. Many of the most well-known specimens of the marine reptiles were collected by dinosaur hunter Charles H. Sternberg and his son George. The son collected a unique fossil of the giant bony fish Xiphactinus audax with the skeleton of another bony fish, Gillicus arcuatus inside the larger one. Another excellent skeleton of Xiphactinus audax was collected by Edward Drinker Cope during the late nineteenth century heyday of American paleontology and its Bone Wars.
Paleontology in Delaware refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Delaware. There are no local rocks of Precambrian, Paleozoic, Triassic, or Jurassic age, so Delaware's fossil record does not begin until the Cretaceous period. As the Early Cretaceous gave way to the Late Cretaceous, Delaware was being gradually submerged by the sea. Local marine life included cephalopods like Belemnitella americana, and marine reptiles. The dwindling local terrestrial environments were home to a variety of plants, dinosaurs, and pterosaurs. Along with New Jersey, Delaware is one of the best sources of Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils in the eastern United States. Delaware was still mostly covered by sea water through the Cenozoic era. Local marine life included manatees, porpoises, seals, and whales. Delaware was worked over by glaciers during the Ice Age. The Cretaceous belemnite Belemnitella americana is the Delaware state fossil.
Paleontology in South Carolina refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of South Carolina. Evidence suggests that at least part of South Carolina was covered by a warm, shallow sea and inhabited by trilobites during the Cambrian period. Other than this, little is known about the earliest prehistory of South Carolina because the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic, are missing from the state's local rock record. The earliest fossils of South Carolina date back to the Cretaceous, when the state was partially covered by seawater. Contemporary fossils include marine invertebrates and the remains of dinosaur carcasses that washed out to sea. On land, a wide variety of trees grew. Sea levels rose and fell throughout the ensuing Cenozoic era. Local marine life included invertebrates, fish, sharks, whales. The first scientifically accurate identification of vertebrate fossils in North America occurred in South Carolina. In 1725, African slaves digging in a swamp uncovered mammoth teeth, which they recognized as originating from an elephant-like animal.
Paleontology in Texas refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Texas. Author Marian Murray has remarked that "Texas is as big for fossils as it is for everything else." Some of the most important fossil finds in United States history have come from Texas. Fossils can be found throughout most of the state. The fossil record of Texas spans almost the entire geologic column from Precambrian to Pleistocene. Shark teeth are probably the state's most common fossil. During the early Paleozoic era Texas was covered by a sea that would later be home to creatures like brachiopods, cephalopods, graptolites, and trilobites. Little is known about the state's Devonian and early Carboniferous life. However, evidence indicates that during the late Carboniferous the state was home to marine life, land plants and early reptiles. During the Permian, the seas largely shrank away, but nevertheless coral reefs formed in the state. The rest of Texas was a coastal plain inhabited by early relatives of mammals like Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus. During the Triassic, a great river system formed in the state that was inhabited by crocodile-like phytosaurs. Little is known about Jurassic Texas, but there are fossil aquatic invertebrates of this age like ammonites in the state. During the Early Cretaceous local large sauropods and theropods left a great abundance of footprints. Later in the Cretaceous, the state was covered by the Western Interior Seaway and home to creatures like mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and few icthyosaurs. Early Cenozoic Texas still contained areas covered in seawater where invertebrates and sharks lived. On land the state would come to be home to creatures like glyptodonts, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, titanotheres, uintatheres, and dire wolves. Archaeological evidence suggests that local Native Americans knew about local fossils. Formally trained scientists were already investigating the state's fossils by the late 1800s. In 1938, a major dinosaur footprint find occurred near Glen Rose. Pleurocoelus was the Texas state dinosaur from 1997 to 2009, when it was replaced by Paluxysaurus jonesi after the Texan fossils once referred to the former species were reclassified to a new genus.
Paleontology in California refers to paleontologist research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of California. California contains rocks of almost every age from the Precambrian to the Recent. Precambrian fossils are present but rare in California.
Desmatochelys padillai is an extinct species of sea turtle described in 2015 and belongs to the family Protostegidae. Estimated to be more than 120 millions years old, it became the oldest known sea turtle, superseding a record earlier held by Santanachelys gaffneyi, which was described in 1998. The fossil, including bones and shells, was discovered from Villa de Leyva in Colombia in 2007. The specimen is larger than an average-sized humans, measuring 2 m in length, and exhibits the key features of modern sea turtles. The specific name is given in honour of Carlos Bernardo Padilla, a renowned supporter of the palaeontology of the region.
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