Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

Did HABs fell the mighty dinosaurs?

August 29, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Harmful algal blooms may have killed this carnivorous theropod dinosaur, discovered by researchers excavating a series of 70-million-year-old bone beds in northwestern Madagascar. Photo: Andrew Farke

Carolyn Gramling writes in ScienceMag that seventy million years ago animals of all sizes came to drink in a rapidly drying river in northwestern Madagascar, and never left. Tiny birds and mighty dinosaurs were entombed together in the riverbed, forming what is now a spectacular series of mass graves.

Last week, researchers proposed a culprit behind this ancient mystery: harmful algal blooms (HABs), in the very water that had lured the animals.

The remains of such algal blooms “should be more common in the fossil record,” says vertebrate paleontologist Nicholas Pyenson of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., who was not part of the study. But he cautions that they are tough to prove.

Last week at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Raymond Rogers, a geologist at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, noted the arched-back posture of the dead, which suggests neck convulsions; an unusual carbonate crust, similar to those left by algae in other sediments; and the sheer number of dead birds. Taken together, he says, these clues suggest that the killer was “almost certainly harmful algal blooms,” which can develop repeatedly in the same place in late summer.

HABs have been implicated in mass deaths before. In 1878, a Nature paper noted a peculiar hyperextended neck posture — similar to the postures of the Madagascar creatures — in dead livestock near a lake; testing confirmed that the animals had ingested toxic cyanobacteria. And in a 2014 paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Pyenson and others suggested that toxic algae periodically killed hundreds of whales and other marine animals off the coast of what is now Chile, starting 11 million years ago.

In Madagascar and elsewhere the smoking gun — direct evidence of algae — is still missing, Dr. Rogers acknowledges. He plans to hunt for chemical traces or biomarkers of algae in the rocks and fossils. If such evidence is found in Madagascar, says Smithsonian vertebrate paleontologist Kay Behrensmeyer, this “very provocative” idea might help explain other fossil troves. “It opens up a possibility that we probably have not been considering seriously enough.”

Read more

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2018 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
David Erickson writes in the (Montana) Missoulian that Clearas Water Recovery, a Missoula tech company formed eight years ago, has developed a patented process to use alg...
Carlsbad-based Surftech, a stand-up paddle (SUP) and Surfboard manufacturing company has announced its collaboration with BLOOM, a materials development company, to devel...
Washington State University researchers have developed a biofilm reactor to grow algae more efficiently, and make the algae more viable for several industries, including ...
Memory Maninga reports for Zambia Daily Mail that in Mansa, the capital of the Luapula Province of Zambia, spirulina is being grown in ponds in the communities because of...
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) reports that an international team has discovered an enzyme which allows microalgae to convert some of their fatty acid...
The Department of Energy has just announced $22 million in funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for 18 innovative projects as part of the...
Sex self-destruction represents a fascinating new scientific mystery that includes climate chaos, ghost forests, temperature spikes, fierce storms, colossal nutrient coll...
Colorado State University scientists and Arizona State University’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation are partners in a three-year grant of up to $3.5 mi...
Ali Morris writes in dezeen.com that Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have developed a bioplastic made from algae, which they believe could completely rep...
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a technology-based economic development program funded by the state of Utah, has awarded a $175,320 grant for...
Globally, an increase in water pollution is pushing scientists and environmental care specialists to seek best ways of preserving and maintaining sources of safe drinking...
The Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA), headquartered in Spring, Texas, has announced that Chile-based Atacama Bio is its newest executive member. Atacama Bio h...