Scientists find ‘Ghost’ fossil under a microscope

Plankton bersel tunggal, atau nanoplankton fosil, yang hidup jutaan tahun yang lalu saat memeriksa menggunakan mikroskop.

Small plankton still live by storing carbon in seabed debris.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Jakarta – Discovery of “ghost” fossils of tiny ancient creatures reveals new information about how life reacted Climate change In the ocean.

When examined under a microscope, the researchers were amazed to observe single-celled plankton, or fossilized nanoplankton, that lived millions of years ago. The findings were published in the journal Science.

“Discovery Ghost fossil It’s really amazing, “said Sam Slater, a researcher at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.

“We’m actually learning about fossilized pollen from the same rock. I’ve never seen this kind of fossil protection before, and this finding is very surprising because we’ll find a lot of debris from rocks where normal nanofossils are rare or have been lost altogether,” he said. Said.

Slater said researchers found “small holes” in the surface of the pollen under an electron microscope. When the hole was zoomed in thousands of times, they saw an intricate structure.

Called the exoskeleton residual impression of nanoplankton Coccolithophores Such is the structure. These tiny plankton are still active today, supporting seafood nets, supplying oxygen, and storing carbon in bottom sediments.


Cocolithophore Own Kokolith, Or thick perforated plaques that enclose cells and fossilize in rocks. However Cocolithophore It is small in size but can produce flowers like clouds in water that can be observed from space.

When they die, their outer skeleton sinks to the bottom of the ocean. When the exoskeleton is collected it turns to limestone like stone.

When marine debris turns to rock, ghost fossils are formed. As layers of dirt accumulate on the ocean floor, hard cocoolite plates are forced into contact with other organic matter, such as pollen and sperm.

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The acid water trapped inside the rock chamber eventually dissolved the coccyx. Only the seals they made on the rock remained.

“The preservation of these ghost nanofossils is truly remarkable,” said Paul Bowen, a professor of micropaleontology at University College London.

“The ghost fossil is very small, about five thousandths of a millimeter long, and 15 times narrower than the width of a human’s hair!


Filling the gap

Previous research has shown that this fossil was depleted in previous times when global warming affected the oceans. This leads scientists to believe that plankton is being adversely affected by ocean acidity and climate change in general.

Ghost fossils, on the other hand, provide evidence of this Coccolithophores Three oceans warming during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, 94 million, 120 million, and 183 million years ago, were common in the water.

“Usually, paleontologists search for cochlear fossils themselves, and if they do not find them, they often assume that this ancient floating community collapsed,” said Vivi Vajda, a professor at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

“These fossil fossils show that sometimes fossil records deceive us and that there are other ways to protect these perforated nanoplankton, which need to be taken into account when trying to understand the reactions to past climate change,” he said.

Researchers first focused on the Torsion oceanic anoxic event, during the Jurassic period 183 million years ago, when volcanoes emitted more carbon dioxide into the southern hemisphere and caused rapid global warming.

Scientists have found ghost fossils related to this event in Britain, Japan, Germany and New Zealand, as well as models of hot ocean episodes in Sweden and Italy 120 million years ago and 94 million years ago, respectively.

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Researchers can use this knowledge to search for ghost fossils in other gaps in the fossil record and to better understand the warming period throughout Earth’s history.

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