Neoproterozoic Geobiology and Paleobiology


The Neoproterozoic Era (1000-542 million years ago) has become a major focus of geobiological investigations because it is a geological period characterized by dramatic climatic change and important evolutionary innovations. Repeated glaciations of unusual magnitude occurred throughout this tumultuous interval, and various eukaryotic clades independently achieved multicellularity, becoming more complex, abundant, and diverse at its termination. Animals made their first debut in ...
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The Neoproterozoic Era (1000-542 million years ago) has become a major focus of geobiological investigations because it is a geological period characterized by dramatic climatic change and important evolutionary innovations. Repeated glaciations of unusual magnitude occurred throughout this tumultuous interval, and various eukaryotic clades independently achieved multicellularity, becoming more complex, abundant, and diverse at its termination. Animals made their first debut in the Neoproterozoic too.

This volume presents a sample of views and visions among some of the growing numbers of Neoproterozoic workers. It includes a set of multidisciplinary reviews on the Neoproterozoic fossil record (animals, algae, acritarchs, protists, and trace fossils), evolutionary developmental biology of animals, molecular clock estimates of phylogenetic divergences, and Neoproterozoic chemo stratigraphy and sedimentary geology. These topics are of continuing interest to geoscientists and bioscientists who are intrigued by the deep history of the Earth and its inhabitants.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"The volumes of Springer’s series ‘Topics in Geobiology’ bring together contributions from leading scientists in hot research fields investigating the interaction between Earth and life. … For university libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (W. L. Cressler III, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (10), June, 2007)

"The emphasis on biology – whether geo or palaeo – is a heartening sign of the times … . So is the volume successful? In principal, absolutely. This is very much the kind of multidisciplinary approach that is necessary to appreciate when and how biology revolutionized the surficial Earth system, yielding our modern, uniformitarian world. … Its real value … lies in synthesis, and the focus it brings to one of the most fascinating intervals in Earth history." (N. J. Butterfield, Geological Magazine, Vol. 145 (3), 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402052019
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Series: Topics in Geobiology Series , #27
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2006. Corr. 3rd printing 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Published titles in Topics in Geobiology Book Series     ii
Aims & Scope Topics in Geobiology Book Series     v
Dedication     vii
Preface     ix
Contributors     xv
The Proterozoic Fossil Record of Heterotrophic Eukaryotes   Susannah M. Porter
Introduction     1
Eukaryotic Tree     2
Fossil Evidence for Proterozoic Heterotrophs     4
Opisthokonts     4
Amoebozoans     5
Chromalveolates     7
Rhizarians     9
Excavates     10
Summary     10
Why are Heterotrophs Rare in Proterozoic Rocks?     12
Conclusions     14
Acknowledgements     15
References     15
On the Morphological History of Proterozoic and Cambrian Acritarchs   John Warren Huntley   Shuhai Xiao   Michal Kowalewski
Introduction     24
Materials and Methods     25
Materials     25
Body Size Analysis     28
Morphological Disparity Analysis     29
Dissimilarity     29
Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling     30
Results     31
Body Size     31
Morphological Disparity     33
Dissimilarity     33
Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling     35
Discussion     39
Comparative Histories of Morphological Disparity and Taxonomic Diversity     39
Linking Morphological Disparity with Geological and Biological Revolutions     40
Morphological Constraints, Convergence, and Nutrient Stress in the Mesoproterozoic     40
Neoproterozoic Global Glaciations     41
Ediacara Organisms     43
Cambrian Explosion of Animals     44
Conclusions     45
Acknowledgements     45
References     46
SAS/IML Codes     53
On the Morphological and Ecological History of Proterozoic Macroalgae   Shuhai Xiao   Lin Dong
Introduction     57
A Synopsis of Proterozoic Macroalgal Fossils     60
Morphological History of Proterozoic Macroalgae     67
Narrative Description     67
Quantitative Analysis: Morphospace, Body Size, and Surface/Volume Ratio     70
Methods     70
Results     74
Discussion     75
Comparison with Acritarch Morphological History     75
Surface/Volume Ratio      77
Maximum Canopy Height     80
Ecological Interactions with Animals     80
Conclusions     82
Acknowledgements     83
References     83
Evolutionary Paleoecology of Ediacaran Benthic Marine Animals   David J. Bottjer   Matthew E. Clapham
Introduction     91
A Mat-Based World     92
Nature of the Data     95
Geology and Paleoenvironments     95
Lagerstatten     96
Biomarkers     97
Molecular Clock Analyses     97
Evolutionary Paleoecology     98
Doushantuo Fauna (?600-570 Mya)     99
Ediacara Avalon Assemblage (575-560 Mya)     101
Ediacara White Sea Assemblage (560-550 Mya)     102
Ediacara Nama Assemblage (549-542 Mya)     105
Discussion     108
Acknowledgements     110
References     110
A Critical Look at the Ediacaran Trace Fossil Record   Soren Jensen   Mary L. Droser   James G. Gehling
Introduction     116
Problems in the Interpretation of Ediacaran Trace Fossils     117
Tubular Organisms     119
Palaeopascichnus-type Fossils     120
List of Ediacaran Trace Fossils     120
Discussion     135
True and False Ediacaran Trace Fossils     136
Archaeonasso-type trace fossils     136
Beltanelliformis-type fossils     136
Bilinichnus     137
Chondrites     137
Cochlichnus     137
Didymaulichnus     137
Gyrolithes     138
Harlaniella     138
Helminthoidichnites-type trace fossils     138
Lockeia     139
Monomorphichnus     139
Neonereites     139
Palaeopascichnus-type fossils     139
Planolites-Palaeophycus     140
"Radulichnus"     140
Skolithos     141
Torrowangea     141
Dickinsonid trace fossils     142
Meniscate trace fossils     142
Star-shaped trace fossils     142
Treptichnids     143
Ediacaran Trace Fossil Diversity     143
Stratigraphic Distribution and Broader Implications of Ediacaran Trace Fossils     145
Acknowledgements     147
References     147
The Developmental Origins of Animal Bodyplans   Douglas H. Erwin
Introduction      160
Pre-Bilaterian Developmental Evolution     163
Phylogenetic Framework     163
Unicellular Development     165
Poriferan Development     166
Cnidarian Development     167
The Acoel Conundrum     171
Development of the Urbilateria     172
Anterior-Posterior Patterning and Hox and ParaHox Clusters     172
Head Formation and the Evolution of the Central Nervous System     174
Eye Formation     176
Dorsal-Ventral Patterning     178
Gut and Endoderm Formation     178
Segmentation     179
Heart Formation     181
Appendage Formation     182
Other Conserved Elements     183
Constructing Ancestors     184
Maximally Complex Ancestor     184
An Alternative View     186
Conclusions     188
Acknowledgements     189
References     189
Molecular Timescale of Evolution in the Proterozoic   S. Blair Hedges   Fabia U. Battistuzzi   Jaime E. Blair
Introduction     199
Molecular Clock Methods     201
Molecular Timescales     203
Prokaryotes      203
Eukaryotes     205
Land Plants     212
Fungi     213
Animals     215
Astrobiological Implications     217
Complexity     217
Global glaciations     219
Oxygen and the Cambrian explosion     221
Conclusions     221
Acknowledgements     222
References     222
A Neoproterozoic Chronology   Galen P. Halverson
Introduction     232
Constructing the Record     233
The Neoproterozoic Sedimentary Record     233
The [delta][superscript 13]C Record     236
Bases for Correlation     238
Review of the Neoproterozoic     242
The Tonian (1000-720? Ma)     242
The Cryogenian (720?-635 Ma)     245
The Sturtian Glaciation     245
The Interglacial     248
The Marinoan Glaciation     250
The Ediacaran Period (635-542 Ma)     253
The Post-Marinoan Cap Carbonate Sequence     253
The Early Ediacaran     254
The Gaskiers Glaciation     258
The Terminal Proterozoic     260
Conclusions     261
Acknowledgements      262
References     262
On Neoproterozoic Cap Carbonates as Chronostratigraphic Markers   Frank A. Corsetti   Nathaniel J. Lorentz
Introduction     273
"Two Kinds" of Cap Carbonates     276
Key Neoproterozoic Successions     277
Southeastern Idaho     277
Oman     282
South China     283
Namibia     284
Tasmania     284
Conterminous Australia     285
Newfoundland     285
Northwestern Canada     286
Discussion     286
Global Correlations, Cap Carbonates, and New Radiometric Constraints     286
Intra-continental Marinoan-style Cap Carbonates -90 m.y. Apart     288
Is it Time to Abandon the Terms Sturtian and Marinoan?     290
Conclusion     290
References     291
Index     295
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