The team of researchers led by Dr. Jin-Young Lee confirmed from radiocarbon dating for carbonized wood (charcoal) found beneath the basaltic layer located in Sangchang-ri, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do that it dated back 5,000 years; meaning the time when the basalt on the upper layer was formed was fairly recently, i.e. 5,000 years ago, which demonstrates that the island has experienced a volcanic eruption quite recently.
The last known volcanic activity that occurred on Jeju Island was approximately 7,000 years ago at Mt. Songak. The basaltic layer in Sangchang-ri is known to have formed due to the eruption in the vicinity of Byeongak Oreum 35,000 years ago; however this study exposed information that they layer is in fact a product of the most recent volcanic activity, which spewed a large amount of ash.
It is extraordinary that the research team enhanced the accuracy of the findings in the radiocarbon dating technique using carbonized wood, consequently increasing the reliability of the findings. Previous research used the dating method for rocks covering the upper sedimentary layer, in which such dating method with the relatively longer half-life period shows limitations determining the time the basalt was formed approximately 10,000 years ago.
In order to overcome these limitations associated with the dating methods for the rocks covering the upper sedimentary layer, the research team used radiocarbon dating and optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL), using such cross validation, which raised the accuracy of tracing the past volcanic activities.
According to these findings, Jeju Island is not an extinct volcano; rather it is a potentially live volcano as it has erupted within the last 10,000 years. On a geological basis, a volcano that has erupted within the last 10,000 years is defined to be a live volcano.
The research team plans to continuously conduct the studies on the time the volcanic rocks were formed in several regions on the island in order to identify the latest volcanic activity for certain.
Contributing Source: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
Header Image Source: WikiPedia
The research team has found that they even had their own preferred hangouts. Crowley’s findings indicate each species kept to separate areas based on availability of favored foods.
“I suspect that this was a pretty nice place to live, relatively speaking,” Crowley says. “Our data suggest that animals probably had what they needed to survive here year-round.”
The research that Crowley conducted with co-author and recent UC graduate Eric Baumann, “Stable Isotopes Reveal Ecological Differences Among Now-Extinct Proboscideans from the Cincinnati Region, USA”, was published in the international academic research journal, Boreas.Could the Past save the Future?
Obtaining more information regarding the different behaviors of prehistoric animals has the possibility of benefiting the survival of their modern-day cousins, African and Asian elephants. Both species are on the World Wildlife Fund’s endangered species list. Studying how different types of elephants might have been in the past, Crowley says, might help ongoing efforts to protect these large land mammals from continued threats such as poaching and habitat destruction.
“There are regionally different stories going on,” Crowley says. “There’s not one overarching theme that we can say about a mammoth or a mastodon. And that’s becoming more obvious in studies people are doing in different places. A mammoth in Florida did not behave the same as one in New York, Wyoming, California, Mexico or Ohio.”The Wisdom in Teeth
During their research Crowley and Baumann looked at the wisdom in teeth- specifically museum specimens of molars from four mastodons and eight mammoths from Southwestern Ohio and Northwestern Kentucky. Carefully drilling a tooth’s surface and proceeding to analyse the stable carbon, oxygen, and strontium signatures in the powdered enamel can reveal a lot of information.
Each of these elements conveys a different story. Carbon exposes insight into an animal’s diet, oxygen relates to overall climatic conditions of an animal’s environment and strontium indicates the amount of travelling an animal undertook whilst the tooth was developing.
“Strontium reflects the bedrock geology of a location,” Crowley says. “So if a local animal grows its tooth and mineralizes it locally and dies locally, the strontium isotope ratio in its tooth will reflect the place where it lived and died. If an animal grows its tooth in one place and then moves elsewhere, the strontium in its tooth is going to reflect where it came from, not where it died.”
The in-depth analyses allowed the researchers to determine several things including the different diets of mammoths and mastodons; mammoths typically consumed more grasses and sedges than mastodons, who preferred leaves from trees or shrubs.
One of their key findings however, was that the strontium from all the specimens studied, except one mastodon, matched local water samples, suggesting they were less mobile and migratory than previously thought. This was coupled with the discovery that there were differences in strontium and carbon between mammoths and mastodons, which implies they did not reside in the same localities.
Contributing Source: University of Cincinnati
Header Image Source: WikiPedia
Science and art bring back to life 300 million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate
Dr. Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, was one of the co-authors of the paper that was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure of Gephyrostegus.
Palaeontologists have provided a cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognized specimens discovered in coal deposits from the Czech Republic.
The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus- a small animal with a lizard-like build that roamed the earth 308 million years ago.
It has been found that this early tetrapod may be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of amniotes, all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.
Experts from, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, The Natural History Museum in London, and the University of Lincoln have been able to study additional specimens unavailable in previous works.
Ruta explained: “Gephyrostegus has always been an elusive beast. Several researchers have long considered the possibility that the superficially reptile-like features of this animal might tell us something about amniote ancestry. But Gephyrostegus also shows some much generalised skeletal features that make the issue of its origin even more problematic. We conducted a new study that brings together data from a large number of early tetrapods. The study shows that Gephyrostegus is closely related to another group of Eurasiatic and North American tetrapods called seymouriamorphs, also involved in debates about amniote ancestry. We found some interesting new cranial features in Gephyrostegus that helped us establish this link.
“Staring at specimens for a long time down a microscope and trying to make sense of their anatomy may be frustrating and tiring at times, but always immensely rewarding.”
Contributing Source: University of Lincoln
Header Image Source: Fotopedia
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