Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers that study the paleoecology of the Ediacaran fauna. The first paper looks at environmental information that can be gleaned from the microbial mats these organisms lived on, and the second paper studies how different Ediacaran fossils are distributed on this microbial mat. Meanwhile, James is having a week, Curt is unsure about chips, and Amanda is comfortable being very on brand.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends look at two papers that study some very old animals that lived a long long time ago and lived on these beds of tiny tiny tiny animals and not animals. In fact, these two papers are also interested in the beds these things lived on and how they lived on the bed. The first paper looks at these parts of the beds and how you can find them in different beds made of tiny tiny tiny animals and not animals. There are these lines in the beds that are found in some beds but not all of the beds. They think that the way water moves over the beds may cause these lines to form. The other cool thing they find is that the animals are found when there are these lines, and are not found when there are not these lines. This means that the way the water moves might be important for these animals to live.

The second paper looks at how these animals lived in space with each other. Did they want to live close to each other or did they want to be far from each other, or do they not really care? Some earlier papers had said they wanted to be far from each other, which is weird when we look at animals in the big blue wet thing today which want to stay close to each other. So they run a lot of studies on three different animals that can show if they are close to each other because they all need the same thing (and that thing is in small parts around the ground) or if they seem to want to be very close to each other because they either use each other or they can not move far from each other. They show that these animals all show that they are close to each other, but two of the animals are close because they all want something that is in just a few places. One animal shows a really strong need to be close, which could mean that this is something about the animal that makes new babies be closer to the father/mother. This shows we can learn things about how these animals lived and why they lived where they did, even for things that are very very very old.



Boan, Phillip C., et al. "Spatial  distributions of Tribrachidium, Rugoconites, and Obamus from the  Ediacara Member (Rawnsley Quartzite), South Australia." Paleobiology (2023): 1-20.

Tarhan, Lidya G., Mary L. Droser, and  James G. Gehling. "Picking out the warp and weft of the Ediacaran  seafloor: Paleoenvironment and paleoecology of an Ediacara textured  organic surface." Precambrian Research 369 (2022): 106539.

Direct download: Podcast_262_-_Take_It_To_The_Mat.mp3
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