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RE: Scottish tetrapods fill Romer's Gap in fossil record



And... It goes right into next week's lectures...

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Ben Creisler
> Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 4:59 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Scottish tetrapods fill Romer's Gap in fossil record
> 
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> 
> Not strictly dino-related, but Romer's Gap has been a 
> long-standing mystery in early tetrapod evolution:
> 
> 
> Timothy R. Smithson, Stanley P. Wood, John E. A. Marshall, 
> and Jennifer A. Clack (2012) Earliest Carboniferous tetrapod 
> and arthropod faunas from Scotland populate Romer's Gap.
> Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance 
> online publication)
> doi: 10.1073/pnas.1117332109
> http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/27/1117332109.abstra
> ct?sid=77288ea0-6da6-4f1e-b892-abece2f20bab
> 
> 
> Abstract
> Devonian tetrapods (limbed vertebrates), known from an 
> increasingly large number of localities, have been shown to 
> be mainly aquatic with many primitive features. In contrast, 
> the post-Devonian record is marked by an Early Mississippian 
> temporal gap ranging from the earliest Carboniferous 
> (Tournaisian and early Viséan) to the mid-Viséan. By the 
> mid-Viséan, tetrapods had become effectively terrestrial as 
> attested by the presence of stem amniotes, developed an 
> essentially modern aspect, and given rise to the crown group. 
> Up to now, only two localities have yielded tetrapod 
> specimens from the Tournaisian stage: one in Scotland with a 
> single articulated skeleton and one in Nova Scotia with 
> isolated bones, many of uncertain identity. We announce a 
> series of discoveries of Tournaisian-age localities in 
> Scotland that have yielded a wealth of new tetrapod and 
> arthropod fossils. These include both terrestrial and aquatic 
> forms and new taxa. We conclude that the gap in the fossil 
> record has been an artifact of collection failure.
> 
> News Story:
> 
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-17258372