The Paleobiogeography of Tiny Devonian Crustaceans – #365papers – 2017 – 29

#365papers for January 29, 2017

Song and Gong, 2017, Late Devonian global ostracod paleobiogeography: Lethaia, v. 50, p. 7-25.

What’s it about?

This paper summarizes what is known about the distribution of ostracods (small shelled crustaceans) during two stages of the Late Devonian, the Frasnian and the Famennian. The ostracods were used to define biogeographic units (regions) between which there was little communication.

Why does it matter?

The boundary between the Frasnian and Famennian stages is marked by one of the Earth’s “Big 5” mass extinction events. By observing how the biogeographic units changed between the two stages, it’s possible to explore how plate tectonic motions may have been related to shifts in biogeographic units, and shed light on what caused the extinction.

Why did I read this?

Paleobiogeography is an important and interesting topic in paleontology. We need to know how organisms were distributed over the planet in the deep past in order to better understand the relationships among ecosystems and the distributions of lands and oceans. Paleobiogeography is a topic that I cover in my paleontology class, and this paper may get used later this semester.

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